The PTO, which stands for Parent-Teacher Organization, exists to support the students and the teachers. So it seems reasonable to expect the teachers to be involved in the fundraising and event-planning; but if your non-profit school fundraising group struggles with the teacher participation portion, then I have a few ideas to encourage them. Following are a few ways to increase teacher participation in the PTO…
Following are a few ideas. If you have others, please leave them in them in the comments below so I can add them to the list:
1. Give Prior to Receiving
Begin the school year by hosting a coffee and donuts/bagels hour. Ask the teachers how the PTO can best support them. Ask the teachers what events and fundraisers they would like to see at the school this year; after all many of them have years of experience and have already seen many successful and even failed events. Ask them what has worked in the past. Then ask them to participate. Also see Idea #7 below.
2. Events in Which Teachers Want to Participate
Run fundraisers & events in which teachers want to participate. Two examples are our Humanity Challenge fundraiser and Academic Challenge fundraiser. These fundraisers are run in-house by parent volunteers who run short, daily activities with the students in the classroom. The activities are fun, educational, and ones the students are likely to remember for the rest of their lives. Teachers will recognize the impact of the activities and will likely want to assist in running them.
Learn more about our Humanity Challenge Fundraiser HERE.
Learn more about our Academic Challenge Fundraiser HERE.
3. Support Teachers’ Curriculum
Our Academic Spelling Challenge fundraiser is similar to the Humanity Challenge in that it is run in-house with fun activities. Here, the teachers supply the spelling words for the fundraiser and the fun activities are geared toward helping the students learn the words.
Learn more about our Academic Challenge fundraiser HERE.
4. Money in Exhange for Time
Offer a set dollar amount for the teachers to put toward classroom supplies in exchange for volunteering at a PTO event or attending PTO meetings and serving on a committee. Our school would offer up to $200 per classroom. The teachers would need to submit their receipts for reimbursement so the PTO could verify the money was used toward classroom supplies that directly benefited the students.
5. Attend a Staff Meeting
Attend a teacher/staff meeting at the beginning of the school year with a very clear, concise list of how you would like the teachers to get involved and ask for them to sign up for at least one item on the list.
6. Personally Ask
Visit each teacher in person. Have a face-to-face conversation. Ask how you can assist each other. Let them know how much you appreciate their assistance and how excited you are to work with them this year.
7. Cheer Them On!
Gather the sports teams to line the hallway and welcome your teachers & staff back to school. Clap & cheer! Let them know how much you appreciate them.
Do you have more ideas? Leave them in the comments below so we can all share helpful PTO ideas.