We are a relatively new PTA at middle school level struggling to get parents and teachers involved. Is it acceptable for the group to pay the membership dues out of our own funds rather than ask new members to pay out-of-pocket?
I guess, but where are you getting this money from? If you are paying membership with it, then the $ isn't going to kids' activities. I would rather see some sort of discount or free dance ticket or something like that. And membership doesn't equate with involvement. Our MS PTA has about 15-20 active members, but 350 paid membnerships, including teachers.
What you have to do is make it worthwhile for them to join. If you have $, this will be easier! I teach in a middle school and I am the PTA Presdent of a different middle school. The one I work in is small and few people join. The last time we paid, we didn't even get membership cards. The one I am President of gives everyone a small free gift, pays for programs for the kids, sponsors family programs in the evenings, etc. We also give the Staff a Welcome Back Luncheon and a Farewell Luncheon at the end of the year. We don't get 100% teacher membership, but we get over 95%.
We have funds in our account from previous fundraisers. The funds we have raised typically supports an awards assembly each grading period, meals for the teachers on conference nights, funding buses for student field trips, and an honors banquet at the end of the school year as well as purchases such as outdoor tables & benches since our school was built just two years ago.
I am beginning the year with about 6 members from the past. One is a teacher. I do not believe that the PTA in previous years has asked people to pay membership dues. I would like to offer each paying member a school t-shirt as a gift with hopes that they will wear the shirt at functions we host. This topic is #1 agenda item for our first meeting and I wanted to have some ideas for how other schools do it before I begin this discussion.