Spring = Growth!

SPRINGSpring is finally here after the long winter that much of America has endured. We are ecstatic to welcome its arrival! Springtime is a natural period of growth and rejuvenation. Trees and flowers begin to bloom, birds and other animals become more visible, and lawns are once again green. But what does spring bring for PTA? More important, what does spring mean for PTA membership recruitment and retention?

The three calendar months of spring (April, May, and June) are traditionally not the highest months for membership growth at PTA. The number of members reported during this season is significantly less than the Back-to-School mega-membership months. Of course, this connects to the natural tendency for most people to join PTA when school starts, rather than when school is nearing summer recess.

However, on this Membership Monday we would like to encourage, inspire and challenge PTA to answer the call of spring and GROW! Don’t stop recruiting! Proudly display your PTA membership table this spring season, fill backpacks with membership applications, and send out a few more emails to ask for engagement and retention. Help us honor the spring spirit of growth!

And for your efforts to help recruit new members now, we offer your PTA an incentive. For every 14 members your PTA recruits and reports now through May 31st, your PTA could win $1,000! The National PTA Membership Committee recognizes students and parents may be thinking of summer, but the committee encourages you to take part of the season of growth and ask members to join PTA. Membership recruitment is a year round necessity. The 14 in ’14 membership challenge was created with these things in mind.

Let’s roar into spring PTA presidents, membership chairs, and board members! Remind parents, family and community members, elected officials, local businesses, teachers, and friends that they can join the PTA in the spring. Recruit 14 of them to join PTA before May 31st and enter for the $1,000 prize. Much greater than the prize, we hope your efforts to recruit members now, will help PTA grow in unison with spring!

Felisha Battle is the Membership Marketing Director for National PTA.


Get 14 in ’14: The Perfect PTA Prospect Member!

Happy Membership Monday PTA! There’s still time to recruit the perfect PTA prospect and win $1,000 for your PTA.

14in14As a reminder, the National PTA Membership Committee is challenging PTAs nationwide to recruit 14 new members between February 1and May 31 for the 14 in ’14 Membership Challenge.  For every 14 new members your local PTA recruits and reports to your State PTA office, your PTA will be entered to win $1,000 to support membership recruitment, engagement and retention in your school and community.

The National PTA Legislative Committee asks you to consider the perfect prospect for PTA membership.  Who is the perfect prospect?  Elected Officials! Remember to ask them to join your PTA as you endeavor to get 14 in ’14. Whether a school board member or a mayor, elected officials are often times an integral part of local PTAs achieving their goals.

Recruiting elected officials as members of PTA helps connect your PTA to community leaders and keep your PTA members informed of issues affecting their child. Just like PTA, elected officials have deep roots to the community. Your local PTA wins when elected officials join by fulfilling one of the National PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships, “Collaborating with Community” and allows them the opportunity to experience and understand PTA’s goals. What a great reason to align our efforts by recruiting them for membership!

To help you ask your elected officials to become a PTA member, the National PTA Legislative Committee provides you with an easy to use customizable template to recruit the perfect PTA prospect. Download the template here and visit the PTA Takes Action web page to find out elected officials in your state.

Strengthening Today’s PTA voice with elected officials from across America will be awesome. Winning the Get 14 in ’14 Membership Challenge by recruiting the perfect PTA member prospect will be an added bonus.

Good luck to your PTA!


National PTA Membership Challenge! 14 in ’14

14in14The National PTA Membership Committee has issued your PTA a challenge to Get 14 in ’14 and GROW!

14 in ’14, a nationwide membership challenge has started. From February 1, 2014 to May 31, 2014, your PTA can win $1,000 by simply recruiting 14 members.  In three steps, win cash to support existing PTA programs and events or start new initiatives.

  • Step 1: RECRUIT 14 people to join your PTA
  • Step 2: DOWNLOAD & SUBMIT the 14 in ’14 entry form with your state dues report
  • Step 3: REPEAT for every 14 members you recruit

That’s three simple steps! Your State PTA office will confirm your report and send your entry form(s) to National PTA to be included in a drawing for your chance to win $1,000. Recruit 14 members, get 1 entry! Recruit 28 members, get 2 entries! Keep recruiting and submit up to 10 entry forms to increase your odds of winning.

Vice Chair Phillip Clark of the National PTA Membership Committee is excited about the nationwide membership challenge and is looking forward to seeing PTA entry forms roll in from coast to coast. “The possibilities are endless… You can ask 14 school bus drivers, 14 teachers, 14 business owners, 14 friends, or 14 family members,” says Vice Chair Clark.

PTAs voice and our ability to effectively advocate for every child are strengthened when we grow. We want every PTA to step up to this challenge. With over 20,000 PTAs recruiting 14 new members, we will grow stronger, better, and bigger in 2014!

Felisha Battle is the Membership Marketing Director for National PTA.

Building Today’s PTA, One District at a Time

Membership recruitment in PTA has traditionally been individual based. We sign up individuals at Back To School Nights, bring in one parent here or there through backpack mail, or use our elevator speeches to recruit one family at a time. With this week’s Membership Monday we take a look at how Arizona PTA is going beyond individual membership recruitment and growing PTA, one district at a time.

“One of the goals is to make contact with every school district to introduce PTA and make administration aware of the support through our board, Region Directors, Councils and the PTAs in their district.” – Grace LaMoureaux, Arizona PTA President

Arizona PTA set out this membership year with a lofty goal of connecting with all of their school districts. Recently, their efforts to lay the groundwork in Tucson Unified School District, one of Arizona’s largest districts, paid off with the chartering of a new Council! The newly formed Tucson PTA Council was formed a few weeks ago and is already a shining example of how a Council can help local units, and all their children, to grow and thrive.

Mitzi Epstein, Arizona PTA Vice President says, “This really is a very big deal! — Not only chartering the Council but also creating dialogue with the Tucson Unified School District officials.”

Does your PTA have an elevator speech for school superintendents, district officials, school board members? Is there a continuous dialogue between the school district and PTA about the benefit that PTA brings to the community? What are your goals for connecting not just with parents but with school district leaders?

Arizona PTA has formed a relationship with TUSD that will allow them to continuously inform the administrators and parents in that district the relevance of PTA programs to their children’s success. We all know the value PTA can bring to a home and a school. Let’s be sure we are consistently sharing with key individuals the value that PTA brings to an entire school district.

Keep growing Today’s PTA, one member, one family, one district at a time.

Give The Members What They Want!


Survey results from PTA members across the country have helped National PTA understand more about what our members want and need from their PTA membership.

This research has been instrumental in providing us with insight for moving forward in securing new benefit providers, creating programs and initiatives, and tailoring our resources.  When was the last time you surveyed your member base? Are you aware of what parents really want from their PTA membership at every level? Knowing and responding to the needs of our membership is critical to remaining relevant to their lives and in the lives of their children.

This school year, ask questions before making plans. Before scheduling PTA meeting times, do a quick survey and ask members what times and even locations they prefer? Is daycare a necessity? Is translation of materials needed? Having the answers to these few questions alone and incorporating them into your unit, can increase meeting attendance, membership growth, and enhance the PTA experience in your school and community.

Whether you use a formal survey tool such as SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang or a simple conversation with members to elicit feedback, the answers can help shape your PTAs future direction, and ensure all perspectives are taken into account. PTAs can also use social media to get quick responses from members on important topics. Sunny Hills Elementary PTA in Washington State used Facebook to post the link to their year-end survey:

At National PTA we continue to review  the survey results to aid us  shaping what we offer our members and our units. For example, the survey revealed that the #1 requested discount by PTA members was a discount in school supply stores. Well, if you haven’t heard by now, PTA membership now offers exclusive discounts at Staples stores! PTA members who log onto PTA.org/activate to activate their 2013-2014 membership cards, will then be able to sign up for the PTA Staples Rewards program and begin saving. Year round savings include: 10% discount on supplies and 25% discount on copy and print purchases, with some exclusions. This flyer will help you promote the new Staples discount and all of our other member benefit discounts as well.

What was probably the most prominent statistic from the National PTA survey, is also the one constant mission of PTA. Outside of discounts, the #1 reason parents join PTA is to play a role in their child’s educational success. While this statistic was not new news to us and is probably not new news to you, the survey does help reinforce our goal. Let’s be sure to give the members what they want!

Membership Monday: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Grindstone PTA 2012-13 from Grindstone PTA on Vimeo.

A few days ago our National Field Services team shared a video with us highlighting an excellent best practice story. They were right! Within minutes, all the computers in the membership department were running the Grindstone Elementary PTA slideshow. The music filled our offices and the photos reminded us of the work we do each day for every child.

The caption for the video reads: This is Grindstone PTA’s 2012-13 recap video. This video showcases everything we do, our students smiling faces and our wonderful volunteers. In the world of membership recruitment and retention, we believe this caption translates to: Our PTA has value! Our PTA makes a difference in the lives of your children! Join our PTA TODAY!

Often times we are asked by parents to explain the benefits of PTA. What a perfect way to not only explain what your PTA does but capture its work in action. Pictures are worth a thousand words and the smiles of children are certainly worth more new members.

This video summary by Grindstone, created using Vimeo is the perfect annual report. We know that many of you take photos highlighting your many events, projects, and initiatives. Consider rolling these images into a photo collage summary using one of many FREE and user friendly video services like Animoto or pay a small fee for other services like Roxio’s PhotoShow.

Whether you choose to use pictures or words to convey the value of your PTA, the true best practice here is to be sure you know the value you bring to your schools, communities, and children. Continue to tell the story! Be able to clearly explain this value in a clear and informative way. If you build it, they will come.


Felisha Battle if the Director of Membership Marketing at National PTA