Welcome to a new school year!  I hope that your year is off to a fantastic start.  This year brings with it another opportunity to build and strengthen your PTA unit.

All of our members are involved in PTA to help children.  It could be your child, grandchild, niece, nephew or the neighbor’s child, but we are all here to help the children in our communities.  Every member is important to your PTA unit and your unit wouldn’t exist without members.

How can you strengthen your PTA Unit?  Here are some tips to help increase your membership retention.

  • Learn the names of your members – and use them!  Yes, I am Katelyn, Zachary and Brandon’s Mom … But I do like to be called Mandy as well.  Your members are more likely to become volunteers if you establish a personal relationship with them.  If you see them at school or in the community, say hello!
  • Smile and be positive!  People are attracted to positivity.  Nobody wants to volunteer in a negative environment.  Even if there has been drama in the past.  The past is just that, THE PAST.  You now have the power to change things and this starts with a positive attitude.
  • Listen to your members.  We all tend to get set in our ways, but all of our units are constantly evolving.  The community at your school changes each year – families come and families go.  The needs of your school are different every year as well.  Don’t get stuck in a rut of doing the same things just because you have always done them that way.  Your new members bring with them new ideas, talents and enthusiasm for helping your school.  Have an open mind.
  • Say THANK YOU!  It does not matter if your volunteer stayed for 10 minutes shelving books or ran your biggest fundraiser of the year.  Saying these two words may be simple but they go a long way.  Use them on a regular basis.

And lastly, I want to share with you an idea that I recently came across.

An “out of the box” idea.  There is really “no box” except for the one that you create for yourself and your organization.  Often, you are the people who supply the plans for building the box along with wood, nails and the hammer to create this box.  It is those self-imposed barriers and obstacles that really only exist in our minds and we create the circumstances to bring them to life.  By breaking down these barriers we can build strength, partnerships and relationships with our members to ultimately make the biggest impact for our children.

We only have 180 days in a school year to make a difference… what are you waiting for?  Oh, and Thank You for volunteering your time and talents to the children!

Do you need additional resources?  Be sure to check out the Back To School Kit at http://www.ptakit.org/

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