Online Tools for the Efficient PTA
Time and again successful PTAs run into the same problem: how to drum up participation and involvement in school activities. While this challenge has remained consistent over the years, the methods and tools to go about it have most definitely evolved.
What if you could still accomplish the same things – with an increase in results – with significantly less time and paperwork? With the surge of startups and affordable online services available today, it’s possible. The kicker is being aware of what services are out there and how you can use them to make your life – and the lives of your school’s families and parent volunteers – much easier. The following sites represent online tools for the efficient PTA allowing for easier organization, events and payments. Want to be a hero? Be the one to introduce them to your school! You’d be amazed at the difference these simple tools can make!
Online Tools That Make School Life Easier
Getting people organized can quickly get out of hand, but an online signup sheet like Bringit will make organizing volunteers a breeze. With flexible features that communicate to volunteers what’s needed in real time, Bringit works well for scheduling meals for a friend, carpools, classroom snacks, potlucks, volunteers and school field day events. If you’re like us…you don’t care who’s bringing the sugar cookies. Or at least you don’t need to receive a separate email from someone with that tidbit…not to mention 10 more just like it. This service eliminates the need for those dreaded “reply all” email chains…and who doesn’t love that?! Check out their Tour to get a better idea of how it works.
Trying to nail down a time that works for everyone involved in PTA activities can cause some serious brain damage. Thankfully, Doodle allows you to schedule meetings while avoiding a million emails. Everyone involved can chime in on a time that works, allowing you to easily see the time that works for everyone. It also syncs with your calendars, including Google, Outlook and others. Learn more on their Functions and Products page.
For a PTA-organized event that requires an RSVP, consider PaperlessPost. It’s a notch above the typical evite, which means you’ll get rave reviews for your impressive handy work. Outside of sending a pricey, physical invitation, it doesn’t get much better than this. PaperlessPost allows you to pick and customize your invite and even select your envelope liner and virtual stamp! And the fun doesn’t stop there. People who receive your invitation get the thrill of the card virtually opening up online before their eyes. If you want the style of a paper invitation but the price of something electronic, PaperlessPost is your solution.
The amount of money exchanged and collected at any given time during the school year can get crazy. Have you ever noticed moms on the playground or in the hallways looking for someone to hand off a check to? Envelopes are exchanged…cash changes hands…and all the while someone is supposed to be keeping track of it all. It gets batty! Whether it’s organized by the PTA, the school, or a parent volunteer, Cheddar Up works for almost anything that involves collecting money from groups. With the ability to create a personalized payment page within minutes and online payment tracking, this service does the work for you. Simply describe what you’re collecting for and then either: 1) send an email invite from Cheddar Up to pay or 2) simply copy a special URL that links to your payment page and share it via your own communication and/or school website or newsletter. This service even eliminates those awkward interactions thanks to the automatic reminders that come straight from Cheddar Up. From auction baskets to PTA dues to field trips to fun runs…Cheddar Up helps you eliminate paper forms and collecting checks. Parents will love you for this simple way to pay online in just a few clicks. And the best part…it’s free for the school with even a free option for paying. Check out this video for a quick tour of how it works.
Let us know what you think of these services or if you have any others to recommend!