With the 2015-2016 school year just around the corner, we thought this would be a perfect time to take inventory of your existing parent organization/PTO Board structure and make sure that everyone’s roles and expectations are clearly defined. There’s nothing worse than people duplicating efforts or having too many cooks in the kitchen.
The role of President is pretty easily defined – they oversee it all. The President should not only be comfortable with creating the agenda for regularly scheduled meetings, but also running the meets, soliciting volunteers for various committees, and spearheading all fundraising with gusto. Ideally, the President will have served in at least one other capacity during their time with the organization so that they have the experience to fill in any other role, if needed.
The VP is essentially the President’s right-hand man or woman, and should have a good working relationship with the President. The VP is typically responsible for fulfilling the duties of the President should they be unable (ie: running the meeting if the President is not present), as well as assisting with other duties that contribute to everything running smoothly, such as setting up for the meeting and heading up various committees. Ideally, the Vice President is someone that aspires to hold the position of President in the future, and should be looking at their time as VP as a training ground for future greatness. Like the President, a good VP will have held other roles within the organization, so they are able to fill in at a moment’s notice.
Someone has got to be responsible for collecting dues and payments (and managing your Pay4SchoolStuff.com account!) and that person is the treasurer. In addition to being trustworthy and reliable, the Treasurer should also be someone who is interested in taking on various leadership responsibilities when called upon such as coordinating volunteers, stepping in for the Secretary or Vice President when needed, or heading up committees.
A great Secretary should be looked upon as the organization’s eyes and ears. They’ll be responsible for taking notes during meetings and sending them out to the entire membership afterward, coordinating and creating regularly scheduled newsletters, and maintaining any and all files and forms for the group. All communication from the organization to the greater parent/community population should come from the Secretary, so that all messaging is cohesive and there is no overlap in communication. In addition, the Secretary should maintain an up-to-date list of contact information for other members, volunteers, and their entire audience (parents and community members). The Secretary should also be prepared to fill in for the Treasurer if needed, as well as taking on other responsibilities as necessary.
During the course of the year various events will crop up that need someone to spearhead them to run efficiently. This is where the other members of the organization who haven’t been elected to the board will get their chance to leave their mark. The committee heads should be prepared to solicit volunteers for their event, work with the Treasurer and Secretary to gather funds and put together a communications calendar, coordinate a schedule of events with the President and/or Vice President, and be present on the day of their event to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Although they should defer to the wishes of the board, in general the Committee Heads will be fully responsible for their event. This will avoid the problem of too many people trying to manage an event, which can typically end with someone forgetting to do something because they think someone else is handling it, or too many people doing too many things and everything getting far more complicated than it needs to be.
By instituting positions such as the ones listed above, your organization will be able to function with ease, avoid duplicating efforts, someone forgetting to handle their responsibility because they think someone else is handling it, or the problem of having “too many cooks in the kitchen.”
As always, Pay4SchoolStuff.com provides parent organizations (and other groups!) with the ability to easily manage their groups finances (fee collecting, field trip payments, etc.) as well as allowing them to collect paperwork (sign up sheets, registration forms, volunteer forms) and print out rosters and attendee lists. For more information visit Pay4SchoolStuff.com or call (877) 397-2937.