The primary emphasis in PTA should be the promotion of the PTA mission and the purposes of PTA. The real working capital of a PTA lies in its members, not in its treasury. Fundraising is not a primary function of PTA.
When PTAs invest their human resources in programs that improve homes, schools, and communities, they earn benefits for children and youth with very small outlays of money. PTA-sponsored programs can provide enrichment activities for families. PTAs can work with other community organizations on community-wide issues that match up with PTA priorities.
The purpose is not to subsidize public funds by hiring teachers, etc. Any funds generated by a PTA, including the local portion of dues, should be predetermined and budgeted for purposes that advance PTA work, such as participating on committees, and undertaking projects and programs. Participation in state and national PTA conventions is an appropriate and important use of PTA funds.
Children should never be exploited or used as fundraisers.
Program and Project Funding Sources
Annual membership dues are the primary source of funds for PTAs; some PTAs are able to do excellent work with no financial resources other than their dues. However, special projects and programs may require additional funds. If dues are not sufficient to finance a PTA’s work, supplementary funds may be raised within the context of the mission and purposes of the PTA.
The framework for how a PTA should conduct its fundraising is determined by the policies of the National PTA and the government regulations for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.
Any funds generated by a PTA, including the local portion of dues (not state or national portions of dues), should be budgeted for purposes that advance PTA work.
PTAs should begin each year with specific goals in mind, and should identify strategies for reaching those goals before determining the dollar amount needed in a fundraising event. Only those funds necessary to meet the needs of the year’s activities and projects, as outlined in the PTA’s budget, should be raised.
One well-planned fundraising project will usually raise whatever funds are needed to finance the year’s activities. If the fundraising event is to reflect the high principles of the association, it will have educational, social, or recreational value in itself.
Before undertaking any financial enterprise, a PTA should check with school, local, and state authorities to determine whether the planned activity is prohibited by state or local law or by school policy, or whether the PTA requires any special permit.