The end of the calendar year is often recognized as an opportunity to reflect back on all of your Personal and Local Unit success for the year. It is also a great time for everyone to assess where you are as a group. Grab a coffee or hot chocolate, and as a Board, look back on the goals your unit established at the start of the school year.
· Begin with the positive! What has worked well as a Board? Enhancing what is strong will only bring more success. Then you can take a more progressive look at what did not work well. Maybe the program was tailored in such a way that by placing a leader with a different skill set, it would be launched into success. Maybe personalities are clashing. Did your unit have a few bumps in the road at the start of the year?
· Be sure and evaluate it! Come up with plans and ideas of
how you would do things differently next year. We all know that ignoring
problems only makes them bigger, but this brainstorming exercise should be a safe place to throw out some fresh perspective, and an opportunity to change the way you have done business in the past.
· Start your New Year off right! I found this great quote on goals "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." (Carl Bard)
What better way to establish a goal then to ask your members! There
are many ways to survey your members; you can send one home through kid mail, at a General Membership Meeting, or you can email a link to an online survey (Survey Monkey is free and really easy to use!). Creating attractive incentives to getting a response is one way to get them back in.
Everybody has a few minutes to give feedback, so you want to be sure that you carefully evaluate what important information you are trying to capture in the survey with quick and direct questions. What do you want to know? What kind of information are you trying to capture as a Board? Results can play a key role in identifying strengths, areas to improve, or even where organization improvements can be made. Be ready to respond to the information you collect in your surveys, and always thank your members for taking the time to participate. Use the data collected in your decision making as you establish or enhance the goals for your Unit. And as always have fun doing it! Please feel free to share with your
by Virginia Muniz
Region 7 Director
Washington State PTA
When a PTA creates a budget, it is making a plan on how and where to spend money. The general membership approves the budget and tasks the Board of Directors to oversee the management of the funds. This budget is just a proposal and is not set in stone. How much money a PTA actually has in the bank can change based on fundraising, matching funds, and donations. Remember, just because the budget says there is a certain amount of money for an event doesn’t mean that money is really there.
To avoid overspending for events, every committee needs to submit a Committee Report/Plan of Action to the Board of Directors BEFORE spending any money. This report outlines what the committee plans to spend money on, how much money the committee plans to spend,
and how much money the committee plans to bring in at the event. This
report needs to be looked over closely by the Board of Directors and discussed before being approved. Once approved, either as presented or with changes, the committee can then go out and spend the money the Board has approved.
Too often we see PTAs with committees that just go out and spend what was listed in the budget and then end up spending more than the PTA actually has or raises at the event. An auction is a perfect example. An auction might have a budget of $10,000 to cover everything from decorations to invitations to facility. Often though, an auction committee will go out and spend this $10,000 without a Plan of Action/Report to the Board and it turns out that the PTA really didn’t have $10,000 in the bank. This might be made up if the auction brings in a lot of money, but what if the auction doesn’t bring in much money at all? Not only has the PTA now had to take money from other items in the budget to cover the $10,000, but it also did not bring in as much money as expected and has to cut events or programs.
Committee Reports/Plan of Action are also a good way for the Board of Directors to ensure that PTA events and programs are really aligning with the PTA mission and goals. Having a Science Fair is educational and fun, but is bringing in a snow cone machine for the event necessary? How does it meet with the PTA mission and goals? How does it make the Science Fair better? These are questions that need to be answered for all PTA events/programs but without a Committee Report/Plan of Action the Board does not know what to ask.
Region 2 Director
Council Leaders will be writing articles relating to their committee or favorite interest. You are encouraged to respond! Ask questions, add your experiences, contribute to the conversation. We are all in this together!