GET STARTED Download our health check questionnaire at

‘Use a health check to open up discussions on topics you may not usually encounter’

thought about how you will keep track of this money?

People PTAs are volunteer organisations.

People volunteer for lots of different reasons and keeping them engaged and happy will make your work a lot easier. Examine who gets involved.

Are they enjoying their roles? Do they feel engaged and valued? Do you actively seek to get new volunteers? How long do people stay for? Why do they stop? Do you have succession planning in place for key people in your organisation, such as event organisers, chair and treasurer, in case their circumstances change and they have to step down?

Partners PTAs frequently work closely

with other organisations in order to succeed in their work. Those relationships require care. Who do you collaborate with? Do you work with Lions, Scouts or other community groups? What about other local organisations? How are those relationships? What can be done to strengthen them? How can you make them work in the current circumstances? Take a look at your relationship with the school. If there is tension, what can be done to help you all move on together?

As you can see, these are

wide-ranging questions but they are an excellent way of focusing the team and picking out issues and opportunities. Discussing these items in committee meetings can be an excellent team bonding exercise too.

What’s next? Performing the assessment is just

the beginning. When you have the answers to your questions, use them to generate a list of priorities and begin to set meaningful and achievable goals. While you undoubtedly need to include fundraising goals in the mix, you may also decide on other targets such as recruiting new committee members or setting up a second-hand uniform service. Speak to the school to fi nd out what they want, when they need it and what is possible within their guidelines. Whatever you decide, remember to celebrate every achievement and make sure you thank your team and all those involved for their hard work.

● Paul Kaerger is a consultant and management trainer. He has been a school governor and charity trustee and now works with charities and small businesses delivering leadership training.

Set the right goals You might think setting objectives sounds too corporate for a PTA, but well-defi ned goals are a powerful way to stop your group pulling in different directions and becoming overwhelmed with suggestions. Try following this fi ve-part method used by project managers to create SMART objectives. Specifi c: What is the goal? Why do we want to hit this goal? Who will be involved? Measurable: Actual amounts or real deadlines. How much money did we raise? How many committee members were recruited? Attainable: Do you have the skills, equipment and fi nances available to help you get there? Do you have the backing of the head? Will they help with promotion, and is access to the school possible? Relevant: Does it align with the overall goal of your PTA and the school? Is now the right time to be doing this? Time-bound: Some goals may be long-term, such as funding a new playground, while starting up a Facebook group could be done much more quickly.

Example objective: Raise £1,000 to pay for online learning resource subscriptions by January 2021 with not more than £100 outlay and using current committee members. How will you do it? Hold a virtual event in December. Break it down further: Research and select an event, and assign job roles in October. Approach local businesses for sponsorship – if required – and promote in November. Once you’ve got a rough

framework for the year it’s easier to see where you might go wrong or where resources may overlap. Use your objectives as a guide to give you confi dence and to help keep the school updated on your progress. If you don’t achieve your goals, assess why that happened and use this to learn for the future.

14 AUTUMN 2020

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