Developing a Plan

After you Listen to Your Community and craft your messaging, develop a plan.

Start with a Membership Goal

Begin by setting a membership goal for the year.

You can also consider using a 2-5 % increase over last year’s membership as a target.

Or if you want to be bold, use this simple formula:

Desired % of student enrollment + Number of school staff = Membership Goal

The school has 754 students and 75 staff.
Goal is 377 family members (50% of 754 students) + 75 staff = 452 members

Be reasonable with your desired percentage. Work with your PTA Board to determine the percentage that gives you a stretch without too much stress. A PTA membership goal should feel achievable.

Determine Membership Options

Look at your bylaws to determine the options you can offer for members, such as:

  • Member (no time commitment)
  • Member + Volunteer (I will help when I can! Add me to your volunteer email list!)
  • Member + Committee (Reach out to me to find out my interests, skills, talents that can help PTA)
  • Support PTA with an additional donation! Your donation covers membership dues for families who can support PTA as a volunteer only. Also, donations contribute to the overall budget to support students and teachers, while improving our school. Tax-deductible receipt will be sent.

Depending on your bylaws and guidance from your state PTA, you may also have the following membership options:

  • Student Memberships — You may be a PTSA(Parent, Teacher, Student Association). If so, students are as much a part of your PTA as parents and teachers. Follow your state guidance on PTSAs. Consider ways students can get involved in the mission implementation and ensure their voice has equal weight to other member types.
  • Volunteer Only — Some families or school staff may want to support your PTA but can’t afford the fee at this time. Consider starting a membership fund with additional donations generated through the membership sign-up process so that anyone who commits time becomes a card carrying member. Be sure to work with the Treasurer to reconcile “volunteer only” membership dues with donations.
  • Family Memberships — Some PTAs offer family memberships. The state and National PTA dues portion for each person who joins through a family membership are forwarded to your state. Remember that each person who joins through a family membership:
    • Is an individual member and entitled to all the rights and benefits of membership, including the right to vote at your meetings and a membership card.
    • Should provide you with their name and contact information, which must then be reported to state and national to initiate membership benefits.
    • Pays dues. Your unit may decide to assess a flat fee for the first person who joins, then a reduced fee for your unit’s portion of the dues for each individual member.
  • Teacher/School Staff Membership — Some PTAs offer teachers a discount membership and focus the membership promotion on the ways PTA specifically supports teachers and classrooms. Teachers can be great supporters of educational programs, promoters of PTA, and partners in engaging families in a meaningful way.
  • Corporate or Community Memberships — Some PTAs offer corporate or community memberships. These are flat fee memberships that generate financial support from community-based donors that service the families of the community (i.e., restaurants, grocery stories, doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). See template Community Membership recruitment tool.

Incorporate Messaging in Your Membership Tools & Plan

Your membership committee will create a membership packet and marketing plan. In these tools, incorporate messaging that will most appeal to parents, teachers, etc. A membership packet may include:

  • Brief letter from President explaining your mission focus for the year
  • Membership form or online link
  • Membership options
  • PTA calendar of events, programs or activities
  • Photos or graphics to help sell PTA via social media
  • Member benefits (local, state or national benefits to PTA members)

Develop a timeline for distributing these resources and communicating messages about membership to recruit parents, students, school staff and community members to join PTA or renew membership. The plan is something every PTA Board Member can help to implement.
See Template Membership Form and Sample Marketing Plan.

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