Help me grow our Parent Teacher Organization
September 3, 2015 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Hi, I was elected P.T.O. President of a lovely small organization serving a very diverse elementary school with 490 students this year. The weekly emails are ( as I understand, the old board is slow to give up responsibilities & info) sent out in 3 batches on Sunday evenings via Yahoo.

This doesn't seem like an efficient use of volunteer time. I need help setting up a more modern, useful mailing list. I would also love a way for the core group to communicate electronically without sprawling email threads. Based on a previous Askme about P.T.O. commincations I will definitely make sure we are utilizing Facebook for mobile users.
Our P.T.O. has no website and that will be my next electronic problem to tackle. Any tips or suggestions for email that will dovetail with that nuance are
posted by slothhog to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mail Chimp
posted by oceano at 6:45 PM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm PTA secretary for another very diverse elementary school (although nearly 3X larger).

The exec board uses zoho as a place for all our working docs, to-do lists, calendars and suchlike. We started using it, yes, to get around the sprawling email threads.
posted by gaspode at 7:12 PM on September 3, 2015

If your organization is a registered non-profit with the IRS you can get a free Google Apps for Nonprofits account.

You get a decent number of accounts (I think 25?), with all that typically comes with Apps: email, docs, forms, groups, etc.

That plus a $10/year domain from DirectNIC and I set up our whole PTA in an afternoon.

If you have the EIN for your org, you can set everything up pretty much automatically, just make sure the name you use on the application matches your tax returns. Otherwise you might need a Googler to manually review the application and that takes a little bit of time.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:14 PM on September 3, 2015

If the website will be internal to the P.T.O, Google Sites works well as a very basic website that is fairly easy for people to use. It integrates well with Google Calendar, Drive, etc. and it can be helpful if you want other people to be able to upload documents or information.
posted by earth by april at 7:21 PM on September 3, 2015

Trello can be pretty useful. Think of it as a richer google docs, with the ability to manage multiple at once. I am happy to write more if you think it would be useful.
posted by rubster at 7:39 PM on September 3, 2015

I think which is a Complete PTA/PTO Software Solution can you be your perfect solution.
Features include..
Easy Online Committee List, Chair List & Event List for PTA/PTO President
Online Student Directory/Online Data Collection For Directory Administrator
Email groups to communicate with Parents, Chairs etc
Finance Manager for Treasurer
Online Committee Signups for all Parents
Online Volunteer Log for all Volunteers
Beautiful Forms for Volunteer/Event Signup for various Events
Online Document storage & display for Newsletter, Meeting Minutes, Various Forms etc
Role Based Security and many more features!

As I represent, I can help you get started on it. You can start free on it.
You can email me at
posted by kendsouza at 6:08 PM on September 18, 2015

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