It’s that time of year again … Board Election Season! Whether you’re new to parent teacher groups or this is old hat for you, we know that this time of year can be stressful for all of the parents hoping to get elected. It can also be stressful for those that are giving up their roles – after all, they’ve worked hard for the last year (or more!) to build something great, and handing it over can be daunting.
Below, we’ve got some tips for those who are running for office, and those who are on their way out, to make this board election season as stress-free as possible.
Keep The Goal In Mind
If you’re running for office, you may feel that the only way there’s a positive outcome is if you win. And while, on a personal level, we certainly understand your feeling, remember that in order to keep things running smoothly, you’ll need to be all in even if you’re feeling a bit less than stellar. Conversely, it’s also important to remember to be gracious – if you win (and we bet you will!), congratulate your opponents sincerely, and perhaps ask them to sit down and go over some ideas they may have. After all, although only one person will be elected to each position, two heads (or more) is always better than one.
Similarly, if you’re the outgoing titleholder depending on how your year went (here’s looking at you, everyone who had to deal with budget cuts, rained out events, and parents who feel that they simply can’t volunteer for one more fundraiser) you may be inclined to hand a binder over to the winner and high-tail it out of there, but we’re betting you – don’t do that! Even if the new officer has been on the board before, or has been involved for years, there is still information that they’ll need to get from you that isn’t in your binder (however sacred it may be).
Iron Out The Wrinkles
Your board should, if it hasn’t already, implement an onboarding retreat for new officers and outgoing officers. One final meeting where everyone joins forces and discusses goals, challenges, things that are in progress, things that will need more attention in the coming year, etc. The two boards – the sitting board and the incoming board – should also preside over one or two meetings jointly, so that the new members can see how everything goes while they’ve got a resource handy to refer to.
Up The Ante
Finally, one of the best ways for the new board to make the next year as smooth as possible will be to utilize technology to the best of its abilities. Google Docs provides a great way to share files, while Pay4SchoolStuff.com is an excellent way to streamline the registration and fee-paying processes. With Pay4SchoolStuff.com you’ll be able to manage sign-up forms and volunteer slips, process payments, issue receipts, and review (and print) reports easily, from one fully-functional platform. In the next few months we’ll be rolling out even more updates to make our system meet your organization’s needs more fully, and we can’t wait for you to try it out!