How to be the Best PTO Membership Chair

How to be the Best PTA PTO Membership Chair

Success doesn’t happen by accident.

It happens when you’ve planned out what needs to happen and then made all of it happen.

Here are the steps to becoming the very best Membership Chair for your PTA / PTO!

Know your Membership Chair Job Responsibility

As implied by your title, the main job of the Membership Chair is to work to get more members for your PTA / PTO.

As I’ll discuss later in this post, the Membership Chair’s responsibilities extend past the first few weeks of school, and is a year round job.

Make a Plan

When you boil it down, the main responsibilities of a PTA/PTO Membership Chair is to sell the PTA/PTO.

In other words, become the PTA/PTO’s marketing guru!

If this sounds like an overwhelming task, then you’re in the perfect place.

This post will break it down into manageable steps to take.

Let’s get to it!

Include Everyone

First and foremost, you should be asking every parent and every staff member to join your PTA/PTO, without exception

Give membership forms to every parent via backpack mail, email and send reminders on your PTA/PTO’s social media accounts.

Go out of your way to be welcoming and inclusive of every family.

You see, being the very best Membership Chair is more than just handing out a form to get parents to sign up as members.

It’s really about going beyond that simple, almost route task and making sure that ​every​ family at your school feels welcome ​and included​.

Whether black, white or brown.

Whether financially secure or not.

Whether working full time out of the home or not.

Your PTA/PTO needs to be overtly welcoming to all families, but especially the black and brown families who’ve been shut out of opportunities on so many levels, especially education.

Including Staff and Teachers

For teachers and staff, put a membership form in every teacher, staff and administrator’s school mailbox.

Ask that your teacher liaison encourage staff to join and send them a digital membership form to distribute.

You also might need to send a follow up ask to those who don’t join the first time.

Don’t be shy or feel bad about the polite reminder – we all need them!

Identify a Membership Team

If you have a small school, say under 100 students, then you might be able to handle this job alone.

But if you have a school larger than about 100 students, then you’re going to need a team of volunteers to help you.

When you set up a membership table, you need to have multiple volunteering staffing the table to talk with prospective members.

If it’s just you alone, you won’t be able to talk with everyone who comes to the table and may lose out on potential members.

And you’ll also lose your voice!

Most parents don’t join the PTA/PTO just because.

They do it either out of a sense of obligation, wanting to make new friends or because of the connection they make with a volunteer at the membership table.

I have convinced many a parent to join the PTA when they probably weren’t interested until they talked with me.

My passion and level of commitment to the PTA means that I can effectively communicate why they should get involved. And I also help to dispel myths about what it means to join.

For example, many parents are afraid to even join because they fear getting sucked into the black hole of never-ending volunteer requests.

Team responsibilities

Once you have identified your team of helpers, ask them to help you at the membership tabling events.

Also see if they’re willing to contact new members to personally invite them to upcoming meetings.

This extra step really makes the difference in someone feeling welcome and included!

Identify Opportunities

Successful membership chairs know that they can’t just send home a membership form and hope for the best.

Instead, look at your school and PTA/PTO’s calendar of events for opportunities where it makes sense to have a membership table.

Suggested events include:

  • Kindergarten orientation
  • New student orientation
  • School, PTO, PTA and Community Events held during the Summer
  • Meet the teacher nights
  • Open House
  • Any back to school event
  • Parent Teacher Conference Nights
  • Any other events held during the first half of the school year, especially

Develop a new family welcome kit

Now that you’ve invited current parents and school staff to join, it’s time to get a plan in place to handle new students who transfer in throughout the year.

The trickiest thing about this is that unless you’re hanging out in the school office all day, every day, you probably aren’t going to know when new students are enrolled!

But there’s a solution to this issue!

Develop a New Family Welcome Kit!

Don’t forget to get the school office administrator on board with giving a packet to new families.

Also make a digital version of the kit to cut down on time prepping paper kits.

New families will appreciate not having anything added to their stack of papers to go through.

Need more help getting the packet together? Make sure to check out the Membership Master Plan.

It has everything you need to have the New Family Welcome Packet done and copier ready in an hour or less!

Over to you!

This membership growth plan is pretty straight forward and easy to follow, no?


Recommended Resources

Looking for even more guidance on how to pull off the perfect membership growing strategy?

The Membership Master Plan has exactly what you’re looking for.

In addition to a detailed step by step plan to follow, there’s also 12 different editable and customizable PTO membership forms that’ll make growing your PTA/PTO base so simple!

If coming up with the right wording and formatting for your membership form is a task you’d like to skip, then you’l want to snag the PTA/PTO Membership Form Template!


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