Membership Toolkit

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Looking for help, information, and resources to help launch your next membership campaign?

The WSPTA Membership Toolkit includes: logos, marketing tools and tips, membership success stories, tips for community engagement, sample letters, forms, and certificates, and much more.

Visit the WSPTA Membership Toolkit

The Value and Benefits of PTA includes: information about WSPTA member benefits, reproducible information sheets about the importance of membership, where membership fees go, and 100 reasons to join a secondary PTA.

Visit the Value and Benefits of PTA

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Ten Great Reasons to Join PTA
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1. Connect! Stay on top of what is happening in your child’s school.
2. Learn! PTA offers a variety of programs for parents as well as students.
3. Network! Build relationships with other parents, teachers, and staff.
4. Grow! PTA volunteers gain valuable experience and personal confidence.
5. Innovate! Make suggestions to benefit your child’s school.
6. Engage! PTA fosters parent engagement, which has been proven by three decades of research to be the greatest predictor of student success.
7. Make a difference! PTA members are part of the solution, helping to make positive changes. Local PTAs play an important role in fundraising to provide building improvements, curriculum-based programs, and social events – all vital to a school’s success.
8. Be a role model! By becoming a PTA member, you demonstrate to your child the importance you place on education.
9. Advocate! Use your voice on behalf of all children.
10. Tell your story! PTA will be stronger and more effective because of YOU!

Online Membership Campaigns

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It is a growing trend for PTAs to switch from paper to all online membership enrollment. This certainly streamlines membership enrollment, but is it the best thing for your organization and community? Do families have access to computers and internet at home? Are families used to filling out membership forms with their school back-to-school packets (might they miss the online registration information?) Are families used to seeing membership tables at school events? Discuss this decision carefully with your board before making it.

Tips and Tricks for Online Membership Campaigns
  • Work with the school office staff to include a paragraph about PTA and a link to your membership sign-up in the back-to-school email that is sent to parents.
  • Offer an incentive to sign up online before back-to-school days. One idea is to collaborate with your principal to allow PTA members who join before back-to-school day to get a “fast pass” to bypass certain lines or to get their teacher assignments or schedules first.
  • Offer a deadline incentive: all PTA members who join online by a specified deadline may be entered in a drawing to win a spirit item or $10 gift card.
  • Have new kindergarten parents sign up for your PTA newsletter at kindergarten registration so they can learn about your community before their child starts at school. Make sure you include your membership information in all your newsletters!
  • End of the year pre-sale: A simple pre-sale online form at the end of the school year can help you get a jump start on next year. Offer a special incentive for these families.

Engage Your International Community

indian father and daughterEvery year the Lake Washington School District attracts more and more families from across the nation and across the world for great jobs and great schools. Our thriving school communities have families from a wide variety of cultures speaking multiple languages. Many of these families have never heard of PTA. Fortunately for PTA, we all have something very important in common: our children.

Meeting the needs of all our families is vitally important, as is having them be part of our PTA membership. Here are tips to encourage your international community to join your PTA:

  • What is PTA? Take opportunities in groups (events or meetings) or one-on-one to explain what PTA is and what you stand for.
  • Explain that being a member is different than volunteering, although both are beneficial. Keep requests for volunteers separate from requests for membership.
  • Show families how being a PTA member benefits their family and more specifically, how PTA directly benefits their child.
    • Visually demonstrate how you spend your resources (think of a pie chart where a large slice is academic support).
    • More than 30 years of research shows that parental involvement is associated with higher student achievement outcomes.
    • Let parents know if PTA runs the school’s after school enrichment class program.
    • Let parents know that PTA provides academic support to the school in the way of: library books, practice SAT/ACT tests at high schools, classroom equipment (list PTA purchases), and more.
    • Make sure that parents know which classes and community enrichment opportunities are sponsored by the PTA (science fair, math night, author’s tea, or a multi-cultural fair).
    • PTA gives every parent a voice: many members of our international community are not able to vote for legislation to support their children’s educational experience, but by joining PTA, they have a voice.
  • Have the principal talk about the academic and community value of PTA at back-to-school events, curriculum night, and in their newsletter.
  • Ask teachers to encourage PTA membership in their class newsletters. Give them talking points to make it easier for them.
  • Attend ELL (English Language Learner) advisory meetings with a translator and explain the role of PTA in your school.
  • Have a board liaison position to the ELL group.
  • Provide interpretation to those that need it at all meetings and events.
  • Identify volunteer translators from the community or through the district to hold bilingual meetings or parent education opportunities.
  • Recruit parent “cultural ambassadors” to help reach out to other families who speak their language.
  • Translate all printed materials as needed.
  • Most importantly: personally ASK people to join your PTA!
Building Student Membership
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Your students may be considered ex-officio members (members without voice or vote) of your PTA if it states this in your standing rules; however, were you aware that your PTA may also choose to include students as full PTA members (with voice and vote)? Students may join your PTA as full members if you define this membership and its price in your standing rules.
Including students as members with voice and vote can be an amazing way to build leadership skills in students and encourage families to join.Here are some great ways to encourage students to join your PTA:
  • Put an enthusiastic and supportive student member on your membership committee.
  • Provide membership invitations with pre-addressed envelopes in the summer registration packets sent to all students including incoming students from elementary or middle schools.
  • Set up a PTA table on student registration days and at other school events. Highlight activities that benefit students.
  • Publicize graduating high school senior scholarships.
  • Contact student groups (ASB and Honors Society to name two) and provide them with school and community service volunteer opportunities that can be listed on their college applications.
  • Encourage and welcome students in PTA leadership positions. It looks great on their college applications!
  • Involve students in the planning and execution of PTA events.
  • Consider changing your meeting time to encourage more student participation.
  • Partner with ASB to offer discounts at the student store or provide discounts on PTA student store items for members.
  • Encourage student delegates to attend the Washington State PTA Convention, Legislative Assembly, and Focus Day.
  • Challenge a nearby high school to a friendly student membership competition.
Membership Comes with Privileges
PTA members may be eligible for benefits through your PTA, in addition to the benefits that they receive through Washington State PTA and National PTA.  Remember that you may not exclude non-members. Some ideas for membership benefits at your local PTA:
  • Discounts on popular PTA-sponsored school programs (enrichment classes, practice SAT/ACT)
  • Free popcorn or refreshment at PTA movie night or other PTA activity
  • Discounts at local stores, restaurants, coffee shops
  • Student directory with membership
The “silent” benefits of membership:
  • You are supporting children and youth throughout the nation.
  • You may participate in all PTA meetings.
  • You are eligible to hold elected office in your PTA.
  • You are eligible to vote at local, state, and National PTA meetings.
  • You are a member of the Washington State PTA and National PTA.
  • You are part of a unified voice that advocates for all children.