two PTO volunteers working together

How to Work with Other PTOs in Your School District

Unless your child’s school covers Kindergarten through Grade 12, you are not in a little PTO bubble and can do whatever you’d like.

Instead, you have other PTOs to take into consideration since the Elementary School fees into the Middle School which feeds into the High School.

But this also creates a really awesome opportunity, so don’t be overwhelmed!

This post will explore the ways you can work with other PTOs in your school community as well as highlight the many benefits of doing so!

Brainstorming and Problem Solving

No matter the structure of your group, PTA, PTO, etc., volunteers and leaders all face similar issues… how to get more members, how to handle bounced checks, dealing with volunteer burn out, etc.

Coming together to problem solve and work out ways to handle these issues is a great thing to do with other PTO leaders in your district.

Guaranteed you’ll come up with better ideas and solutions than if you try to solve it yourself, for starters.

Schedule a monthly roundtable for all Presidents to come together and chat. Or Membership Chairs. Or Treasurers. You get the idea… bring leaders in similar roles together for a chat.

Well worth the time and effort to bring leaders together in the same room, if only to get empathy and support from someone who understands.


Similarly, it’s a fantastic idea to get training to equip PTO leaders with the information they need to do their jobs.

Share training resources between groups or schedule a speaker to come in and talk with all leaders on a topic everyone need to know about.

Doing it together can be beneficial for relationship building as well as learning from others.


Another great way to work with other PTOs in your district is to come together for fundraising.

For years now, three different PTOs in my district have put on a joint fundraiser to support student scholarships, teacher grants and equipment for students: the PTA, Athletic Boosters and Band Booster.

Over the years, the fundraiser theme has changed… one year it was Night at the Races, Casino Night another, but the core mission of raising a ton of money for the three organizations via a fun event remained a constant.

And the event was so large that no one group could’ve pulled it off individually.

The pooling of time and talent of the volunteers was the event’s key to success.

And it gave a unique opportunity for the volunteers at the lower school PTO volunteers to meet and work with high school PTO volunteers, helping to create a strong collaborative and build community spirit.


It’s just a tad bit more work to plan an event for 300 people as it is to plan one for just 100.

So why not join forces with another PTO to put on programs and events families and students of both schools will enjoy?

Years ago, I started a Trunk or Treat at my child’s elementary school.

We partnered up with not only the other lower Elementary School PTAs in my district but the Upper Elementary PTA as well.

It was a super fun, well attended combined event that everyone enjoyed a ton!

After all, there’s only so many nights in October when you can have this sort of event, so it made sense for us to all team up and work together instead of each of us working in our own little silos.

The event was more fun with more people and the PTA volunteers had a chance to meet and work together and we split the cost of the event, which was less for each group than if we’d done it alone.


Cross Promote

Publicize the other PTO’s programs and fundraisers and ask they do the same for you.

You may not have a middle school aged kid yet, but you probably want to make sure the PTO is strong when you get there, so support all schools now.

Also, when you know what events other PTOs are doing, you can work to avoid scheduling conflicts, which end up hurting participation levels.

More about that…

Eliminate Competition

Whenever possible, work to eliminate competition between PTOs.

I’m talking about competition for time, money and even attention.

Families only have so much all all of these, so work with the other PTOs to avoid conflicts as much as possible!

This means sitting down to ensure your meetings and programs aren’t on the same night.

People can only be at one place at a time.

Don’t force them to choose, your PTO will not come out as the winner in the end.

Similarly, pay attention to scheduling fundraisers with enough time between so families don’t have to choose which PTO and school to support.

Again, financial resources are limited.

Families may feel guilty about not being able to participate in both fundraisers, so they very well may choose to not participate in either!

And that totally sucks for both PTOs!

Watch this!

Collaborate DON'T compete with other PTOs

Over to you!

It’s easy and a great thing to work with other PTOs in your school district.

This post touches on some of the main ways PTOs can collaborate and work together, but let this be inspiration to you…

There are so many benefits when you network with the other PTOs!

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