The 10 Most Important Things to Include on your PTA or PTO Website

As more and more families and community members from your school are turning to the internet as their main source of information and communication, I thought it might be helpful to outline some of the most important things to make sure to include on your Parent Groups Website.

PTO and PTA websites of the past have been notoriously outdated and chock full of expired content. Successful PTA and PTO websites these days are up to date constantly and not only an informational tool, but also a marketing tool.

Remember, the more families and community members you have involved in your PTA or PTO, the most successful you are going to be!

Here is my list of the 10 most important things to make sure are on your Parent Groups Website.

1) Current PTA / PTO News

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep the news on your website current. You don’t need to write a novel! Just a few lines about the upcoming tallent show, or a few lines about school registration next week, whatever your group is currently planning, be sure to share it with your community online. If your website is current, visitors will return frequently to get updates and trust the content as reliable and up to date.

2) Online PTA / PTO Calendar

If you’re a Premium Member of Digital PTO this is easy, because a calendar is pre-installed for you on your website. Be sure to USE IT! Enter all the dates that matter to both your Parent Group and your school community. Keeping your calendar up to date will keep visitors coming back and will also save you a lot of questions that can be answered with a simple calendar. If you are not a Premium Member and do not have a built in PTA / PTO calendar, you can still make a Calendar Page and create a list of upcoming events and important dates for families to reference. Be sure to keep it current as new events are added and old events have passed!

3) Simple Details on how to Join Your PTA / PTO

If you are a Premium Plan member, you’ve already got an online PTA / PTO Registration form installed on your site and ready to roll. Premium Plus Members can even collect membership dues and donations on their form via our secure payment providers. If you are not a Premium Member, be sure to include information on your site about how to join your PTA / PTO and also explain WHY it is important to join. Consider uploading your registration form and adding it to your page so that families can download it and print it out at home and deliver it to school with their children. Make it EASY to join your parent group and you’ll have more members.

4) Volunteer Information and Sign Ups

Every parent group needs volunteers. They are the backbone of any successful PTA or PTO. If you are a Premium Member, be sure to install and use your online PTA / PTO Volunteer sign up forms so that families can give you their contact information and specify which areas of your groups activities they can help with. It’s also a good idea to outline all of the different volunteer opportunities and explain what the responsibilities are, when volunteers are needed, and how much time they can expect to spend performing a specific volunteer task. It’s also a good idea to outline and committee chairpeople positions your group may have available and request that people contact you if they are interested in taking more of a leadership role in any one of your committees.

5) Your Groups Contact Information

It is very important for a PTA or PTO to listen to the community it serves. There are a lot of great ideas out there and you may not ever hear them if you don’t have contact information on your website. Families also can tend to have a lot of questions and by providing clear and easy to use contact information on your website, it will be simple for people to contact you that need assistance. This can be as simple as an email address and mailing address. Premium Members have a built in Contact Us form that makes set up a snap.

6) Up to Date Board Member Information

This ties in with the Contact Information above. It is a great idea to post your current board members on your website in the event that people want to reach out to you personally. Some people would rather talk in person and by letting them know WHO is on the board, they can then approach you at events, school pick up and drop off etc. It’s a good idea to personalize your board and not hide behind the name “The PTA Board”. You’ll have much more involvement if you are a part of the school community, even on your website. This list can be as simple as listing your positions and names, or you can take it a step further and add photos and even descriptions of each board member depending on your particular needs.

7) Explain what your PTA / PTO Does for the School

As a PTA / PTO Board Member, this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many members of your school community do not know what the PTA / PTO does for their school. Take pride and tell them! Be sure to list the activities and events that your group hosts and sponsors. Outline where your spending goes and why they should donate to you. Let them know how you work with the teachers and administrators to better the school that their children go to. PTA and PTO groups are more important now than they have ever been, especially with the lack of funding for schools across the United States. Be proud of your PTA / PTO and educate your community at the same time.

8) Give Families the Opportunity to Donate

Even if you are collecting membership fee’s, you’ll be surprised at how many families are willing and able to donate even a little more to your group, especially if you’ve explained why it’s important and what you do. Make it simple for families to donate to your PTA / PTO online. Premium Plus members can build donation forms online with a few clicks, but even if you don’t have access to those tools, you should at least have a link to a Paypal donation form that allows you to collect donations from your families. Don’t let money vanish that people are willing to donate!

9) Important Links and Information

Most school districts and individual schools have very difficult to remember website addresses. Be sure to link to your district, your school and anything else that may be of value to your families. Your PTA / PTO website can become the first place people go to find those important links as long as you’ve added them. Link to the school lunch menu, the district calendar, etc! Provide information and families will continue to use your website.

10) Add Images & Photos to Everything

One of the most important things you can add to your site to keep visitors entertained and interested are photos and graphics. No one likes to read news without some sort of visual element. Add photos of the school, clubs, groups, etc and attach them to your pages and news stories. If you don’t have a photo, find a graphic that is relevant and include that with your stories. Almost everyone is visual and the more visual your website can be, the better chance you have of visitors sticking around a little longer to explore your website and information. Have fun with it, this is where you can get creative!

 

Obviously, there are dozens of additional things that you can add to your PTA or PTO website to make it as appealing and informative as possible, but I hope that my top 10 list can at least get you started in the right direction. Thanks for being involved in your school, your are so important to the success of your group and the betterment of every student you assist!

Matt Sampson
Founder of Digital PTO

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