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  • Austin Jones

Parent Teacher Association : The Importance of Transparency

According to - "PTA's mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children." To accomplish this we need transparency and teamwork amongst our PTA groups.

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is an organization that has long played an important role in supporting and strengthening the bond between school and home. With the help of transparency and teamwork, PTA|PTO's can effectively empower both parents and teachers to create a positive learning environment for students. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of transparency and teamwork in Parent Teacher Associations and the impact it has on fundraising, collecting, expensing, and communication. We will explain why SoshWallet is the ultimate tool to optimize your PTA|PTO.

The Parent Teacher Association|Organization and schools have a unique partnership in ensuring the success of students. An essential part of this collaboration is transparency between the two groups. Transparency helps to ensure that both parties are aware of the activities, programs, and financials of their shared mission.

When it comes to transparency in the PTA|PTO, it starts with fundraising. When funds are raised, the PTA|PTO should make sure that parents and teachers know exactly where the money is going and how it will be used. The PTA|PTO should provide detailed information about the types of projects or programs that the money is allocated for, such as special field trips, classroom supplies, or assemblies. Additionally, any funds left over at the end of the year should be explained. SoshWallet is the ultimate tool for PTA|PTO's because it can show every member or just its board members the bank accounts activities, expenses and earnings.

The school can help facilitate transparency by providing detailed information about upcoming projects or programs that require PTA|PTO funding. This can include an explanation of the purpose of the program and its budget. This information can be shared with parents and teachers at the beginning of each school year so they can understand what funding will be needed and where donations can be made to support the project or program. If the PTA|PTO uses SoshWallet, the success of fundraising and budget credibility can be established by creating detailed bins for each program. As an example, if you are fundraising through an annual festival, then you have the ability to create bins & unique QR codes for each part of that festival you are using to raise funds; cake walk, bouncy house or pie in the face. We give the treasurer a way to organize their PTA|PTO's financials, the way they need them to be organized. Additionally, at the end of the fundraiser, the treasurer or insiders with accounting access can export the transactions to know who donated and for which project.

PTA|PTO members are responsible for giving annual dues. They give every year but have no real transparency in where those funds are being used. We have built a very specific account type for collections like these so that access is limited. If you are a district treasurer or a district manager, you have the ability to set up one main district group account and the sub accounts for each of our schools. Or if you are a Treasurer for your local school, you can set up a dues account for each year. These types of accounts are great to give board members access but maybe not the entire membership. With a collection account, you can also send weekly reminders, set up recurring collections and also refunds.

A great tool that we see missing in the PTA|PTO Treasurer's toolbox is the way to virtualize their expenses. Currently, a volunteer/parent may submit a receipt and a treasurer would write them a check but that check could take weeks to refund. We have a very unique account called an expense account that treasurer's can again organize in the way that makes it easier on them. Going back to the fundraising example of the annual festival, the treasurer can set up an expense account for the annual festival. Once this is set up, then volunteers can by a cake for the cake walk and immediately take a picture of their receipt and upload in a matter of minutes. The treasurer receives a message, looks at the receipt and clicks to pay. At the end of the festival, the treasurer can export everything in CSV file for tax purposes.

Communication, when it comes to the financial activity of a PTA|PTO is limited or non-existent. Often times, they are fundraising and collecting from different ways whether via a check, cash or other virtual payment systems. Either way, it's hard to keep up with because the treasurer is often receiving text about their payments or if lucky the tech has a feed but that feed is limited and it could take the treasurer time to scroll through those payment systems to find the exact transaction. With SoshWallet, we give a social feed at every level. You have one for the group account and all of the insiders of that account. They can carry on conversations with context around the financial transactions happening then and there. The same goes for all accounts and bins...they have their own social feed. No more sending text to figure out if someone has paid. The reminder functionality is great for treasurers and for the payer.

PTA|PTO and school can work together to create a culture of transparency by making sure that communication lines are open and accessible. This could involve regularly scheduled meetings between parents and teachers, as well as updates on progress from the PTA|PTO through newsletters or emails. With SoshWallet, even if meetings can't have full attendance - members can see the agenda, budget, and financial history through the social feed attached to the wallet. When it comes to fundraising and other activities, being open and honest with your members will help ensure that everyone is on the same page, and that no one is taken advantage of or left out.

In summary, transparency and teamwork are essential for a successful Parent Teacher Association|Organization. By fostering an environment of open dialogue and collaboration, PTA|PTO's can work together to overcome challenges, increase involvement from members, and build trust with donors. With these tools in hand, any PTA|PTO is sure to achieve its goals! If you want to foster this environment of transparency and teamwork, then reach out to us! We would love to help you!

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