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MANAGING YOUR PTA – Year-end review It’s a wrap!


September is frantic enough without coming back to school with the PTA throttle at maximum thrust, so set aside some time now for a bit of forward planning...


Accounting Review activity


You’ll know instinctively which events were a success, but it’s worth reviewing these in more depth, thinking about your income, the effort involved and the fun had. Can you make them even better? Get your core group of volunteers together over a coffee and work through the year’s events, considering the following questions: Who didn’t participate and why? Who were our champions (eg. volunteers, supporters or sponsors)? How can we encourage more of this? Could we have attracted more sponsorship or donations? As part of your analysis, track participation rates. If most of those taking part were from KS1, consider how to engage older pupils next time.


Skill up


When it comes to tasks that require particular skills, volunteers may, because of their work background, come ‘ready-made’. Others learn on the job. Matching a task to a volunteer’s skill set is a happy challenge. A volunteer with the right attitude is worth their weight in gold, and with some nurturing can become your greatest asset. Even seasoned volunteers will appreciate some training. Consider sending key members on courses to achieve certificates in first aid or food safety and hygiene. When key people leave, new volunteers are often reluctant to take on their workload. Outline what has been done in the past, so people can choose to follow it rather than having to come up with a whole new plan themselves.


Celebrate successes Gather photos from events (speak to your school about permissions) and create a PTA display board. Highlight how much each activity has raised (bearing in mind that some parents might not attend events, but might have signed up to the 100 Club, for example). How have PTA funds been spent? Get photographs and feedback from teachers and pupils about any resources that the PTA has funded. Round off the year with a PTA knees-up for volunteers – this might be at the end of your summer fair or a night out at the local pub (obviously NOT using PTA funds to cover your bar bill!).


28 SUMMER 2018 pta.co.uk


It is best practice to have two authorised signatories on cheques and direct debits, so make sure you know who yours are. Check whether an independent annual audit needs to be carried out (see gov.uk for reporting and accounting guidance from the Charity Commission). Are there any ongoing financial commitments to the school, such as maintenance contracts, that need to be built into next year’s fundraising plans? Make sure that all event organisers are aware of the profits (and costs) involved. This will be invaluable when considering similar fundraising initiatives in the future.


Have a filing frenzy


Make sure you have all your key paperwork and policies kept securely in one place. This should include your constitution, accounts, minutes of meetings, insurance policy, charity registration details (if applicable), copies of previous risk assessments and licences. In light of the new GDPR regulations (for more information go to pta.co.uk) you should also review what data you hold for committee members, volunteers, local businesses and other supporters, plus where this is stored and how often you will clean up this database.


Create handover records Handover records are an intrinsic part of good and successful fundraising. Not only do they save time in terms of learning the ropes, they will let you know how much stock to order next time, where to buy it from and how many volunteers are needed. Once handover notes are prepared, your committee will have a blueprint that can be used for every event in the future, and it is easier to compile notes as you go, rather than writing a huge handover tome at the point where you’re stepping down.


PTA+ online


For more information on managing your PTA, go to pta.co.uk/running-a-PTA.


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