school age kids as kindergarteners, middle schoolers and throwing mortar boards at graduation in picture grid with black and white text.

From Elementary to High School: The Must-Have Tool for Every PTO

Sometimes you come across something that works so well that you come to view it as a trusty sidekick.*

You find yourself relying on it time and time again, much like a favorite holiday recipe or a favorite pen that writes on all surfaces, no matter what. 

Smart PTO leaders take this concept event further and develop a set of tried and true favorite tools and systems.

Because they know that the name of the game for PTO leader success is avoiding recreating the wheel.

And they’re always looking to save time and trouble wherever possible to make giving back a joy and less of a job. 

So if you’re not yet familiar, I’d like to introduce you to your new PTO secret sauce that will be such a  game changer, Cheddar Up.

I first told you about Cheddar Up in 2019, back when PTOs were just beginning to get comfortable with using online tools to manage aspects of their groups.

Fast forward through the pandemic years when PTOs were all forced to really step up their game to make their organizations work in the new reality where getting together in person wasn’t always possible. 

Everyone, including PTOs, had to get tech savvy and pivot to using online tools, pretty much in an instant.

Present day, both parents and PTOs are really in a different place than 2019, more familiar with technology and all things online than ever before.

And Cheddar Up has evolved too, beyond just a way to take online payments and is really a tool that fully serves the needs of today’s PTOs now and going forward.

You see, Cheddar Up is cleverly designed to become your reliable sidekick, saving PTO volunteers oodles of time, trouble and hassle, no matter the stage or age of the school population your PTO is serving.

It’s where you can collect online payments and volunteer sign ups, coordinate class party and event donations and run super successful fundraisers too, all in one place, all in one app.

Chances are, you’ll soon come to think of this as your everything app. 

So let’s dive into how PTO volunteers will use Cheddar Up throughout their entire time as volunteers, from Elementary School through High School, and thoroughly enjoy being able to rely on this comprehensive system, no matter what their changing needs require.

Elementary School PTO

In Elementary school, it’s an understatement to say there’s a lot going on for families and PTOs. 

Kids are just beginning the decade plus stretch of formal education and there’s a ton of firsts to commemorate and celebrate. 

There’s also much fun to be had with kids at this age, so options for activities are plentiful and PTOs can use this to their advantage by leaning into this eagerness to get involved and enjoy time together as families.

Take a Family Movie Night for example.

After setting up the event collection page, you can download a custom QR code to include on your send home flier to give parents an easy way to purchase tickets.

Class parties are also a big event for the younger set of students, and this type of event requires lots of coordination of both volunteers and donations.

Room Parents can share the class party sign up form, which can be set to ensure everyone has a chance to participate by limiting how many slots an individual can sign up for.  

Middle School PTO

As students transition to the middle school years, things take a turn a bit. 

Kids are less apt to want to hang out with their families at school, so PTOs pivot to activities that allow students to hang out together, without their entire family unit. 

School sports also rise up as an activity that brings kids together on a team or as spectators.

For PTOs, this opens up the possibility of shifting fundraising away from traditional school fundraisers that are based from catalog sales and turning to sporting event concessions to raise money. 

Taking credit card payments at the concession stand is an absolute must in this day and age as so many people no longer carry cash.

But PTO volunteers staffing the concessions stand are not always the same leaders who are signers on the PTO bank account.

This isn’t a problem with Cheddar Up since the PTO Treasurer  and other PTO account administrators can invite the concession stand volunteers to accept payments, without the volunteers having the account password or access to the back end of the account.

This means your account will always stay safe and secure.

Your group can also invest in a point of sale card reader to take your concessions game to the next level. 

The addition of a physical card reader will speed up the line and you’ll be able to sell through to more fans, not missing out on a single sale.

Speaking of running a concession stand, it takes many volunteers to pull this type of fundraiser off, so the Cheddar Up sign up forms will come in handy once again, this time keeping your volunteer staff fully coordinated.

Also, teacher and staff appreciation increases in importance in the middle school years since the staff deals with one of the hardest to manage age groups!

Simplify showering the staff with love and gratitude by using a Cheddar Up sign up page to coordinate Appreciation Week.

High School PTO

Finally, high school marks the beginning of the end for students as they near the conclusion of their K-12 experience.  

The number of activities and busyness is similar to that of the elementary school era.

Only this time, the firsts are now the lasts, marking a bittersweet occasion that parents relish and go over and beyond to celebrate. 

The Senior year in particular marks a full circle moment, and brings with it a unique chance to do a lot for the students to make the entire year fun and memorable.

This means the opportunity for parent involvement returns more full force for 12th grade parents, with lots of help needed for fundraising, planning and event execution for things like the Senior Class Shirt Sale, After Prom, and Senior Send Off last day of school class party. 

Once again, the Cheddar Up sign up forms come back into play so you can get as many volunteers involved as possible.

For PTO sponsored After Proms, separate fundraising is usually in order.

PTOs can use both in person and online payment collection to take full advantage of Cheddar Up’s flexible payment methods, whether it be for class spirit wear, After Prom Ticket sales or Senior Shout Outs or any other type of fundraiser too.

Over to You

As you can see, there’s really no better system for coordinating all of the different aspects of your PTO from Elementary School through High School than with Cheddar Up

And the use cases highlighted in this post are just a few examples of how PTOs at any age and stage can use the Cheddar Up systems to manage all aspects of their group more easily.

Cheddar Up provides a reliable central home base to center your group’s payment collection, item donation, volunteer sign up and fundraising too.
The bottom line is that while your kids may age out of a school, you and your PTO can always use Cheddar Up and won’t have to spend time searching for a different solution. 

Ready to give it a whirl?  Of course you are! 

Sign up for your free Cheddar Up account right here to get started today.

*This is a sponsored post. I’ve been compensated by Cheddar Up to write about my experiences using the payment platform. All opinions are 100% mine and haven’t been influenced by the sponsorship agreement.

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