Starting a PTO from scratch can be a really daunting and overwhelming task.
But it doesn’t have to be!
A question that pops up a lot, especially from leaders of newly formed PTOs is how a PTO should be structured.
And the truth is there is no one right way.
It all depends on how many volunteers there are and what the talents and strengths of those volunteers are.
But in every parent group, there are a set of 9 positions that are essential for the functioning of the PTO.
In no particular order, here they are!
Make sure to look at the recommended resources for each position at the end of the post!
The President of any PTO should ideally function as a generalist who oversees the leadership team.
“President” doesn’t mean it’s the one person who does everything!
Top responsibilities for PTO Presidents are to communicate, delegate whenever possible, facilitate discussions and meetings, act as the point person on all PTO matters.
Read more about mistakes to avoid as PTO President here.
The Treasurer is the person who handles the money stuff.
One slip up some people make is that they think that the Treasurer, alone, can make decisions about what to spend money on.
All decisions about expenditures should be made during a meeting, or if your group’s Bylaws and/or Standing Rules permit, with the approval of the executive board.
The Treasurer should work with the President to set a budget for the year.
The budget should be based on reasonable expectations for income and expenditures that don’t outweigh the income.
Read more about being Treasurer here.
The Membership Chair is responsible for recruiting parents and teachers to become members and be involved through the year.
In lieu of dues, your group may want to consider the price of membership to be two volunteer hours per year, or another amount that makes sense for your PTO.
Read more tips on how to be the best Membership Chair here.
Family Events Chair
Having a dedicated person in place to oversee and coordinate family events to bring the school community together is absolutely essential!
The Family Events chair should choose programs that will engage the students and parents.
The Fundraising Chair should choose a few (hopefully quick and easy) fundraisers to raise money for the group throughout the year.
The goal should be based on the amount needed to fund the projects and programs for the the year and some extra to carry over to the next year.
Get more details n the role and responsibilities of the PTO Fundraising Chair here.
The Communications Chair should use multiple methods to spread the word about all PTO happenings.
They should act as a central hub to provide the who, what, where and how for everything!
People can’t get involved if they don’t know about it, so this position is crucial.
More advice on how to get parents to show up for events right here.
To help the group continue as seamlessly as possible, a slate of officers should be made a few months before elections are held.
The Nominations Chair should contact volunteers who are already involved and ask if they’d like to continue, as well as reach out to parents who are not quite so involved.
The President should not be the Nominations Chair, nor serve on the Nominations Committee.
And this post is the best guide to running PTO officer elections!
The Secretary should take minutes at meetings so there’s no confusion about what was discussed and decided at meetings.
Sending thank you notes and sympathy cards is another responsibility the Secretary can take care of.
More of the PTO Secretary’s job responsibilities are detailed here.
Each school has it’s own programs that makes the PTO unique!
Use your discretion to create additional positions as the need arises.
Many times the amount of program chairs depends on the number of volunteers there are!
The size of the PTO and the amount of volunteers can rise and flow, so programs should be structured to allow for these changes so your group doesn’t get stuck with more jobs than volunteers.
For example, your PTO may host an annual school carnival, which is a huge endeavor and takes many volunteers to pull off.
Having a dedicated leader to organize and delegate all the tasks for a successful event can make your event even more profitable and less stressful!
Quickly whip your PTO into shape with our the following fabulous resources!
Each are designed to save you time and headache as they’ll equip you with what you need to do your job!
No more searching for the right information with these tools at your fingertips!
Complete PTA/PTO Organizing and Planning Collection
Want all the resources to transform your group into a well oiled, organized machine, chock full of sanity saving systems?
This is our top resource that acts like a PTO in a box: Just add volunteers and watch your group bloom!
President’s Success Kit
It’s a planner for Presidents, only better.
Instant organization plus all the forms you’ll need throughout the year with monthly advice baked right in so you’re never left wondering what to do next.
Get organized in minutes with this printable planner that help keep you on track and save you the hassle of recreating all the forms and systems you’ll need from check requests to reimbursement procedures and beyond.
Treasurer’s Finance Manager
Manage your PTO’s money in a clear and easy way without needing to be an accountant or an Excel whiz. The Treasurer’s Finance Manager makes it easy for anyone to keep tabs on PTO money down to the last penny. The based in reporting features save hours of work!
Membership Made Easy
Who has time to put together a detailed membership drive plan with all the forms and fliers to go with it?
The Membership Master Plan saves tons of time by bundling together the smart, but simple strategies plus editable form, flier and welcome packet templates that’ll send your membership size soaring!
PTO Fundraising Formula
This jam-packed strategy guide and planning kit helps you plan out the most successful fundraisers without it taking over your life to become a full time job.
The printable resources are so helpful in keeping you on track and sane!
Newsletters Made Simple
Spread the word about the latest PTO happenings with this easy to customize newsletter template.
Choose the one or two page format and let families know about all the great stuff your PTO has planned!
Over to you!
What other positions does your PTO have?
Did I miss any you feel are also must-haves?