Inspired Minute Note: The purpose of this article is to encourage you to share these ideas. It is not intended to be a solicitation.

Many times I have heard from various Parent Teacher Association (PTA) leaders that while they deeply appreciate their volunteers, they greatly need membership dues to further their goals.

They also want people to understand that joining the PTA does not require a time commitment.

It involves paying a very small annual due to a community-based, non-profit organization that spends every penny to improve the lives of our children.

Extended family, business leaders, seniors and other members of the community are encouraged to join...not just parents or teachers of students.

Being a new PTA member myself, I now understand just how vital their contributions are to our children's education.

A PTA/PTSA/PTO works tirelessly to put technology in the classrooms, books in the hands of our students, equipment on the playground, security in our halls, and take care of endless other behind-the-scenes needs that our teachers, principals, and community have.

Therefore, I wanted to take this opportunity to help the PTAs across the country come up with additional ideas to increase membership in their communities.

At the very least, I hope that I am helping to shine a spotlight on these very important organizations.

Please share this list with everyone you know that is involved in a PTA, PTSA or a PTO today, so that they can continue to make a difference in the lives of our children tomorrow!

Feel free to leave comments or additional suggestions below, so that everyone else can share in your helpful ideas.

This is a list of ways to increase PTA membership at our schools:

Marketing Materials Should:

* Highlight the projects that your PTA has successfully completed in the past
* Highlight the projects slated for this year
* Reinforce that "Joining does not require a time commitment"
* Include a list of places that you can receive discounts by showing your PTA card
* Include benefits or perks that your personal organization offers to members
* Include contact information for new members
* Include your website address and any other social media links, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest
* Have a tear-off section on the primary flier that can be completed and returned with membership dues
* Be available in the various languages of your community

Current Student Strategies:

* Packets on Display - Put PTA membership packets in the front office on display, in plain view for parents that are volunteering, bringing students in late or signing them out early, dropping off items, or coming up for conferences.
* Membership Goal in View - Have a large banner or graph at the front entrance of the school showing what the PTA's membership goal is for the year and where they are to date. Have a small table set up next to the banner with marketing materials about upcoming meetings and membership fliers. Stress that joining PTA does not equal a time commitment.
* High Traffic Days - On days when there is an event scheduled at the school and an increase in traffic is expected, have a couple of people manning the front table handing out brochures and signing up new members. Offer coupons to local establishments with any new membership.
* Parties for Participation - Have a party for classrooms that have 100% membership. Give students who get multiple memberships (extended family, neighbors, etc.) special perks.

New Student Strategies:

* Welcome Packet - Make sure that new students receive PTA marketing materials when they are enrolled at the school, rather it be during the "Kindergarten Roundup" before school starts or as students transfer in.
* Follow Up Email - Send a follow up email welcoming the parents of the students to the school/community and attach your marketing materials. Also include a list of local doctors, dentists, grocery stores, banks, dry cleaners, restaurants, sports team's contacts (for extracurricular activities), and after school care programs that are MEMBERS of your PTA.
* First Day Breakfast - Hold a breakfast on the first day of school for parents of ALL new students that have not had the chance to attend a getting-to-know-us meeting. PTA volunteers can answer questions, give tours, make introductions and discuss membership opportunities within the PTA.
* Preschools and Day Cares - Set up a table and hold a mini-membership drive before the new year starts at local preschools and day cares whose children will soon be attending your school. This will help to get parents excited about joining and volunteering.
* Informational Nights - Set up a table and hold a mini-membership drive at course selection nights for parents at lower level schools that feed into your school.
Community Strategies:
* Community Service Need - Identify a need in the community and rally your group around it. This will give outsiders an inside view of your PTA and its values.
* Submit Articles - Reach your community and beyond through well-written articles that are submitted to local newspapers, magazines, neighborhood newsletters, online blogs, Facebook sites, school newsletters, and any other place else where you can tout the PTA's latest projects, highlighting the importance of membership and how to join.
* Partner with Community Service Groups - Find community service groups or organizations that require members to fulfill community service hours and partner with them to co-sponsor special awareness projects or drive membership for your organization. (See Membership Drive Strategies below.)
* Senior Membership - Have students perform or display their artwork at local senior's centers and set up a table for a mini-membership drive. Encourage seniors to get involved at the school.
* Grandparent's Day - Sponsor a "Grandparent's Day" at your school, inviting both student's grandparents, as well as seniors from the community to help with class projects and eat with students who could use a fill-in for the day.

Local Business Strategies:

* Business Owners Join - Ask community business owners to join and display your PTA's marketing materials in their front office.
* Awards for Businesses - Award business owners with a PTA-membership certificate that can be hung in their office for customers to see.
* Business Owners' Support - Ask businesses to display supportive PTA messages or notice of upcoming PTA meetings and events on their marquee signs.
* List of Members - Distribute a list of businesses that are PTA members to your PTA membership, encouraging them to support these establishments.
* Coupons and Discounts - From PTA-member businesses, get coupons or authorization to offer discounts to new and/or current members that will help drive traffic to these supporters.
* Business Drive - Ask local businesses if you can set up a membership table during their lunch break or work hours for 2 days, so that you can talk to people as they come and go. It would be a good idea to start with larger and/or more frequented companies first, since your odds for gaining new members greatly increases as the pool of possibilities increases.
* Business Sponsorships - Ask businesses to sponsor a meeting or event.
* Real Estate Professionals - Ask real estate professionals to hand out PTA marketing materials with their real estate marketing packet or flier.
* Chamber of Commerce - Attend chamber meetings and give an update of what your PTA is doing. Invite attendees to become new members.

Teacher and Principal Strategies:

* Back-to-School Nights - Ask your Principal to speak about the importance of being a member of PTA at back-to-school nights. Have a manned PTA table at these events to sign up new members.
* Get-to-Know-the-Teacher and Open House Nights - Ask your teachers to talk briefly with parents about membership opportunities and hand out marketing materials during various school-sponsored activities.
* Poster Displays - Display tastefully decorated posters in each classroom and in the halls encouraging membership. Remember to include, "Joining does not require a time commitment."
* General Membership - Encourage membership of teachers, principals, school administration and district administration. Place signs of recognition on teacher's or administrator's doors that have joined.
* Teacher's Breakfasts and Luncheons - Regularly have teacher's breakfasts and luncheons to discuss upcoming projects and garner their support.
* PTA Bulletin Board - Request that the school provide a PTA-only bulletin board in the main hall, where visitors can see pictures of PTA-sponsored initiatives as well as children's related artwork, posters, and stories.

Membership Drive Strategies:

* Weekends - Put a manned PTA table outside local grocery stores, movie theaters, restaurants and other entertainment locations on the weekends.
* Production and Recital Days - Put a manned PTA table inside auditoriums and local theaters on days when students have activities.
* Game Days - Put a manned PTA table at local sporting complexes, recreational fields and school gyms on game days.
* Summers - Put a manned PTA table outside the local library, museum, or establishment that draws business during the summer, including festivals or fairs, right before school starts.
* Neighborhoods - Go door-to-door in neighborhoods that feed into your school, handing out fliers and signing up new members.
* Extended Family - Offer discounted dues for additional family members that join, such as: spouses, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and the like. Make sure parents that are not living with the children also have the opportunity to join.
* Vouchers - Offer new member vouchers that can be redeemed at PTA-sponsored carnivals for games and food.
* Workshops - Offer "members-only" workshops, classes and special presentations.
* Elected Officials - Ask elected leaders, including school board members, city council, and others to join. Remind them that these parents are their constituents.
* Places of Worship - Set up a membership table at your place of worship, encouraging people who attend, with a special focus on seniors, to join and, if they have extra time, get involved in PTA.
* School-Related Meetings - Set up a membership table at school-related community meetings that attract traffic, such as redistricting, annual budgeting, and the like. People who do not want to be re-zoned are more likely to show their solidarity, in this instance.
* Community Meetings - Set up a membership table at city-wide meetings, encouraging engaged community members to support your cause.
* Past PTA Members - Contact all past PTA members and ask for their financial support.
* School Volunteers - Contact anyone who has volunteered in the school over the past couple of years and ask them to join.
* Advertisements - Place yard signs on the drive up to the school advertising upcoming meetings, local business discounts with memberships, and upcoming events.
* Evites - Send "Evites" to the school-wide database for PTA general meetings.
* Facebook Page - Have a PTA-specific Facebook page and have each member of the PTA invite all of their "friends." Advertise events, meetings, and membership benefits.
* Letters Home - Write a "How PTA Supported Your Class" letter to parents, giving specific examples.

At Meetings:

* Babysitting and Tutoring - Provide free babysitting and free tutoring for member's children that are in attendance at meetings, in conjunction with high school kids receiving community service hours.
* Student Involvement - Have a student group (choir, band, theater) perform or display student's work (art, writing, photography) at a general meeting. This should attract more of an audience.

Again, please share this list with everyone you know that is involved with a PTA/PTSA/PTO.

They may already be working on several of these initiatives, but will gladly welcome any new ideas that you can offer.

Here's to another Inspired Minute!

Author's Bio: 

Hi there! My name is Tracey and I’m on a mission to turn average days at home into meaningful minutes. I’m a wife, mother of 3 and an Inspired Life Blogger. This is my journey to create ways to save time, maximize money, creatively organize, craft, gift, and decorate and humbly volunteer. Please visit my blog at for ideas and tips that I hope will inspire you!