10 PTA Membership Drive Ideas ( +Tips & Best Practices)

Finding enough members for your school’s PTA is never an easy prospect. Parents aren’t always interested or able to attend meetings and few have the fundraising expertise you need. Most PTAs have moved their fundraising activities online and are looking for more virtual options to build their membership. This article offers effective membership drive ideas and best practices to help your organization grow.

8 minutes read
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. Parents are busy! As a result, PTAs have turned to online membership tools and other, creative ways to increase membership.

Without a strong membership, 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 to fit your needs.

In this article, we’ll look at 10 creative and effective PTA membership drive ideas. Plus, we’ll show you examples of how Donorbox can help along the way!

10 Effective PTA Membership Drive Ideas

As PTAs look for new ways to connect with parents, creativity and personal relationships become vital. The following ideas work with both in-person and online membership drives.

1. Offer incentives

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 and outline the benefits/incentives that members will receive for each tier. With Donorbox Memberships, nonprofits can create as many tiers as needed 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. After all, teachers have an even closer relationship with the school.

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.

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. Giving each membership tier a meaningful name will attract both teachers and parents.

Just be sure to share the benefits of membership so parents and teachers alike understand why they should join!

membership form Donorbox

Start Your PTA Membership Drive on Donorbox!

With Donorbox Memberships, you can easily customize your membership form and page 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 who 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 partnership level in your membership form can help make people aware of this option and encourage more community involvement.

We love how easy the PS 110 PTA makes it for anyone to support children at their school. They’ve raised over $23,000 by clearly outlining the need for each child and how anyone in the community can help.

Screenshot showing a PTA using Donorbox to raise funds.

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!

Screenshot showing a Donorbox Events page for a PTO.

Try Donorbox Events

6. Lapsed member outreach

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. This is also a great opportunity to get some feedback on how your membership program can improve to attract more members.

Donorbox offers PTAs the option to add communication notes to their members’ profiles through Donorbox’s donor management tools. These notes track any communication including feedback and other important messages to build member relationships for the long term.

Screenshot shows the communication records option in Donorbox's donor management tool.

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 every month, 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 this 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.

PTA membership campaign ideas

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. Video is the perfect medium to tell these stories, and these days it’s easy to get started with just a smartphone. You can share these videos on your membership page to get visitors excited about your PTA.

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.

Donorbox School Fundraising

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 your goal 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

An easy, virtual way to sign up for your PTA is necessary to grow your membership base. This will also allow you to quickly and efficiently share information about your PTA activities and what benefits members receive.

Choose an online membership software that makes this easy for you. This software or online solution should help you set up membership campaigns in simple steps. The campaign should include a simple yet comprehensive membership form comprising of as many membership tiers as you need. You should be able to customize the form and the page to match your branding.

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 donor portals to manage their membership plans and 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!

Check out this video to learn more about Donorbox’s powerful Memberships feature –

Get Started With Donorbox Memberships

4. Provide proof

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 as you create your campaign.

Final Thoughts

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 your success! We have a variety of powerful fundraising tools to help level up your fundraising and donor management. From Recurring Donations to Crowdfunding to Peer-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. Sign up for our newsletter to receive insights through our best resources every month!

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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.

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