10 PTA Membership Drive Ideas ( +Tips & Best Practices)
PTAs always have a difficult time finding new members. The traditional ways of holding an Open House or Family Picnic no longer have the desired effect. Moreover, the pandemic has changed the way people want to interact and connect. As a result, PTAs have turned to online membership tools and other ways to connect. Membership…
PTAs always have a difficult time finding new members. The traditional ways of holding an Open House or Family Picnic no longer have the desired effect. Moreover, the pandemic has changed the way people want to interact and connect. As a result, PTAs have turned to online membership tools and other ways to connect.
Membership is crucial to a PTA. Without it, many of the goals your organization hopes to accomplish will fall by the wayside. Donorbox Memberships helps you set up and run your membership drives online with a fully customizable membership form that can include unlimited membership tiers as per your needs. We’ll discuss it further as you dive into the ideas!
Parents are interested in supporting their children’s education, but parenting is expensive! It can feel like schools continuously ask for money. One way to change that belief is by giving parents discounts for shopping and child-friendly events.
PTAs, in association with the school, can provide parents with discounts in school stores and work with local businesses to offer discounts at stores like Target, Home Depot, and Walmart. Every little bit helps when you’re a parent.
Pro tip: Add membership tiers to your membership form, briefly mentioning the benefits/incentives that members will be receiving for each amount. Your members will appreciate that since they can have a look at the form to decide which tier to go for. With Donorbox Memberships, nonprofits can create as many tiers as they want and start a campaign for their monthly/annual membership program for free.
2. Staff invitations
PTAs often forget the “Teacher” part when searching for members and ignore a potential member group. Parents have no closer connection with the school than the teachers.
Including teachers in PTA membership drives may help convince parents to learn more and join PTA events. Teachers should be one of the first groups PTAs should target for membership. Find ways to connect with teachers personally.
A simple membership form like the one in the live example below would help you share the news with parents as well as teachers. They can easily become members by choosing the membership level that suits them the most. Remember to give the levels meaningful names that suit both parents and teachers. This example can be a good reference; although we’d suggest that you add more details to the membership levels to help your staff and parents understand the benefits of becoming members.
With Donorbox Memberships, you can easily customize your membership form and page to your liking to include more valuable details about your membership drive. Read our step-by-step guide to learn how to create a membership campaign on Donorbox.
3. Corporate partnerships
Parents are not the only ones that benefit from the work of a PTA or PTO. Children are the future, and communities rely on having a solid education system. Many businesses are aware of this fact. While some companies already support student groups through sponsorships, these businesses can also become long-term members of your PTA and continue their support in big and small ways.
Including a corporate membership level in your membership form can help make people aware of this option and encourage more community involvement.
Look at what the Donald Leonetti Elementary PTO has done with its Donorbox-hosted annual giving campaign page. These tiers they’ve added to their donation form can be a good reference for adding corporate membership levels to your membership form on Donorbox!
4. Membership contests
Parents have connections with other parents, businesses, and community members. Organizations that find ways to excite parents enough to share the PTA and its work with their friends will see an increase in membership. By making it a contest, you may get more parents to promote the organization to their community.
Find an exciting prize and see which parent can get the most members to join. Older students can also be an excellent source for new members.
Creating a classroom contest for students to find new members may open opportunities that have been overlooked. Students may convince their parents, grandparents, and other community members to join the PTA and help them achieve their educational goals.
5. Father campaigns
PTAs regularly build relationships with mothers, but fathers are not always their first choice. PTAs can counter this story by holding ‘Fathers Only’ events that give them a chance to spend time with their children and see the results of their efforts in real time.
One way to do this is by holding an event where Dads and kids accomplish specific tasks in exchange for tickets. At the end of the night, Families can exchange their tickets for prizes. During the event, PTAs can find ways to talk to dads about different ways they can help their children through PTA membership.
For example, check out this father-daughter dance event created using Donorbox Events by the North Star’s PTO. They have included many fun activities – raffles, a photo booth, food, and drinks to engage the adults and kids. You may want to take inspiration from this event idea to implement something like this at your PTA/PTO and share the word about your membership drive!
It’s easier to reconnect with current members than to find new ones, yet more often, PTAs ignore their current members when searching for new ones. Your donor database is an excellent tool to keep track of your members and find ways to strengthen relationships.
Reach out to lapsed members and ask them if they’d like to renew their membership. If they had the chance earlier and didn’t, try to know what may have been the reason.
Donorbox offers PTAs the option to add communication notes to their members’ profiles. Such notes will help keep track of any communication including feedback and other important messages to build member relationships for the long term.
7. Include student testimonials
Nothing is more powerful than a child’s testimonial. Your PTA has helped more than one child reach their potential and given them a future previously thought impossible.
Add testimonials from these children to your website and social media accounts to entice membership. If possible, include a picture to help people feel a stronger connection.
8. Compare costs
For only the cost of a coffee, you can be a member.
Many schools have struggled to provide materials and equipment to their students. It is a well-known fact that parents have covered many of these costs for their students for decades.
Becker Elementary has used Donorbox to create the below donation page for accepting membership donations. Through their campaign content, this PTA compares the cost of membership to a daily cup of coffee. This is a great example for you to refer to as you create your membership drive page for your PTA.
9. Give examples of success
Your membership can change the life of a child. This type of marketing has been successful for nonprofits for years, and your PTA can use this to encourage more parents and community members to join your efforts.
By including the success stories of students, you can let parents see real-world results and get excited by the possibilities. You can also give specific examples of your PTO’s work on the ground. That way people feel connected to the organization and its efforts.
10. Work with the school
One of the more obvious sources of membership support is the school itself.
Schools already have relationships with parents for obvious reasons and may have an easier time encouraging parents to join the PTA at the beginning of the year. Work with the school’s principal and staff to find ways to connect with parents and share how PTA membership can help their children.
6 Tips & Best Practices for Hosting a Successful PTA Membership Drive
A successful membership drive starts with a solid plan and a passionate team. The following tips provide PTAs with a step-by-step process to hold effective membership drives.
1. Set SMART goals
Before starting any membership drive, your PTA should create a plan to ensure its success. SMART Goals lay out specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based goals to help your PTA. By creating a realistic plan, your organization will better see the results you desire.
Once you begin your membership drive, you can track how close you are to meeting the goals and see where to make changes.
2. Form a membership committee
One of the first committees your PTA should develop is a membership committee responsible for finding and onboarding new members. When building this committee, you should find ways to include various ages, sexes, and career levels. This variety will help the committee reach a larger section of the population.
Pro tip: Leave most of the membership drive decisions to the committee once it’s formed. Allowing the committee to take a leadership role ensures long-term involvement and a more personal connection with the PTA and its successes.
3. Set up an online membership drive campaign
These days you can’t afford to run a membership drive that has no online existence. Many parents and teachers would love the convenience of making monthly or yearly membership payments that are quick and easy to complete. When you tell them they have that option, you’ll have better chances of converting them into members!
The first step to this would be to choose an online membership software. This software or online solution should help you set up membership campaigns in simple steps. The campaign should include a fast and simple-to-use membership form comprising as many membership tiers as you want it to have. You should be able to customize the form and the page as per your branding needs.
Donorbox Memberships enables you to do all this and more. In addition to creating fully customized monthly and annual membership campaigns and forms, you can also securely store member and payment data in the Donorbox database. Your members will be able to log in to their Donorbox accounts to manage their membership plans – upgrade or cancel at any time!
Donorbox also lets you embed the membership forms you create onto your website – through a simple copy-paste code!
Give this video a watch to learn more about Donorbox’s powerful Memberships feature –
By providing proof of what your organization has accomplished, you give parents and community members a reason to join your PTA.
Your mission is a great place to start! PTAs are built to strengthen parents’ relationships with the schools. The goal is to help parents play a more significant role in their child’s education. Has your PTA found ways to meet this goal? Don’t be afraid to share all the ways you are seeing parents play a part in the school and children’s education.
5. Clearly convey the member-only benefits
The best way to ensure that your PTA membership drive is successful is to clearly specify the member-only benefits for each membership level. The whole idea of a membership campaign is to create loyal supporters and involve them more closely and meaningfully through benefits or services that matter to them. Otherwise, you’d simply run a donation campaign!
When you set up an online membership drive campaign, ensure that you’re being clear as to what your members will receive in return. It can be anything from special member-only events to VIP passes to your other events or some discounts at local stores. Add these to your membership form. Alternatively, you can just name your membership levels and write down the benefits for each of those names in the campaign content or your website.
6. Recognize members
If your membership drive has been successful, you have found a host of new members excited to get started. Recognizing these new members and thanking them for joining will help them feel like part of the community.
PTAs can add a “Thank you to Our Newest Members” post on their social media accounts. Instead of a vague thank you, your organization can tag all new members and let their online community know they have joined.
A recognition wall is another way PTAs can identify members. Since PTAs change membership regularly, it’s best to create a virtual recognition wall to honor them. With Donorbox, you can add a recognition wall to your memberships page by simply checking a box on the dashboard.
Thanks to social media, PTAs are finding new and creative ways to reach parents and find new members. Including committees, staff, and the school in membership drives gives PTAs a better chance of finding a varied membership base. We hope these ideas and tips will help you get started with your PTA membership drive.
As you start this new journey, use Donorbox Memberships to enhance the success of it! We also have a variety of other powerful yet simple fundraising tools to help level up your fundraising and donor management. From Recurring Donations to Crowdfunding to Peet-to-Peer to Events, and more, you’ll find everything you may need at this one-stop shop for nonprofits!
If your PTA wants more online fundraising tips and resources, here’s our Nonprofit Blog. Do sign up for our newsletter to receive insights through our best resources every month!
Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.