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What’s the Best Way to Collect PTA Payments?

What’s the Best Way to Collect PTA Payments?

Ask any PTA officer about the most difficult part of running their organization, and you’ll likely get the same response: choosing the best way to collect PTA payments is not easy.

Since PTAs are essential for enhancing children’s educational experience, keeping them funded is a top priority for parents and schools. With in-person payments being phased out by convenient online payment platforms like DoJiggy, finding the most suitable choice for their PTA’s unique needs ultimately comes down to budget, preferences, and operational requirements.

Continue reading to learn more about why PTAs collect payments, the types of payments they accept, and how DoJiggy can simplify your PTA payment needs.

Why Do PTAs Collect Payments?

PTAs need to collect payments for various reasons. Each collection category—whether dues, fundraising, events, or capital projects—serves to enhance the school’s educational environment and community spirit. Through these financial efforts, PTAs contribute significantly to the quality of education and overall school experience.

  • Membership Dues and FeesFor operational costs and member benefits
  • Fundraising InitiativesTo support school programs and activities
  • Field Trips or Special Events – For experiential learning and community engagement
  • Capital ProjectsTo improve school infrastructure and facilities

Let’s take a further look at each category and understand how they play a crucial role in supporting and enriching the school environment:

Membership Dues and Fees

Membership dues are a key source of funding for all PTAs. Usually collected at the start of each school year, membership dues typically cover the day-to-day operating costs of the PTA. These annual expenses include:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Buying communication tools needed for planning and organizing
  • Getting the necessary supplies for meetings and events

Additionally, these dues often offer members certain perks, like discounts on event tickets and access to special resources that are only available to members.

Fundraising Initiatives

Beyond membership dues, fundraising is another vital activity for PTAs to meet their budgets. PTA fundraising can be wildly successful and takes plenty of forms. Here are a few of the most common examples that we support:

  • Selling items that boost school spirit, like branded clothing
  • Organizing large-scale school events such as carnivals or Fun Runs
  • Creating scholarships for eligible students at private schools
  • Holding raffles, charity auctions, lotteries, and other prize-related events
DoJiggy Simple Stores work for PTA fundraising

The money raised from these activities is often set aside for specific purposes within the school, such as funding new educational programs, buying learning materials, or making improvements to school facilities that the regular school budget doesn’t cover.

As an added benefit, fundraising also highlights the importance of PTAs through its own visibility, showcasing the PTA’s role and contributions to encourage more participation and support from parents and local businesses.

Field Trips and Special Events

Field trips and special events are integral to a child’s education. They offer opportunities to learn and discover outside the classroom and foster a shared sense of community among students, parents, and teachers. From trips to museums, local attractions, Broadway shows, and even tourism in other countries, PTAs collect payments to cover transportation, entry fees, and other associated costs.

Capital Projects

Capital Projects are important for schools and PTOs

Like fundraising efforts, capital projects are substantial investments that focus on improving the school’s buildings and learning spaces. These projects are important because they ensure the school has the right facilities to meet modern education needs and create a comfortable learning environment.

Examples of capital projects that PTAs fund include:

  • Building New Facilities: This might involve the construction of new classrooms, libraries, science labs, or sports facilities.
  • Upgrading Play Areas: Enhancing outdoor play areas with safer, more engaging equipment or creating more inclusive spaces that accommodate a variety of age groups and abilities.
  • Renovating Classrooms: Modernizing classrooms with new furniture, smart boards, or improved lighting and ventilation to create a more comfortable and effective learning environment.
  • Tech Upgrades: Implementing advanced technological infrastructure like high-speed internet, digital whiteboards, and computer labs to keep pace with ever-evolving educational needs.
  • Improving Accessibility: Ensuring that school facilities are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities, by adding ramps, elevators, or other necessary modifications.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Applying eco-friendly practices, such as solar panels, to promote a sustainable and healthy environment.
  • Safety Enhancements: Upgrading security systems, lockdown/fire alarms, and emergency exits to enhance the safety and security of the school premises.

Want to learn more about funding your PTA? Read more about PTA fundraising ideas.

Online vs. In-Person PTA Payments

Online vs. In-Person PTO and School Payments

Now that you understand why PTA payments are important, it’s time to examine best practices for collecting money. How are PTA payments most easily and securely collected? 

Generally speaking, there are only two ways that PTAs can collect funds:

  • Online Payments
  • In-Person Payments

To help weigh which payment option is better for your PTA, the following breakdown offers a comprehensive comparison:

  • Advantages
  • Challenges
  • Who It’s Right For
  • Scenarios/Use-Cases
  • Deal breakers

Online PTA Payments

Online PTA payments involve using digital platforms such as credit and debit cards, electronic bank transfers, and services like PayPal or Venmo. They also include options like mobile payment apps, making payments through the school’s website or a dedicated PTA portal, and utilizing online fundraising platforms.

Advantages

  • Convenience – Online payments can be made anytime and anywhere, making it easier for busy parents and teachers.
  • Speed – Transactions are processed instantly, which is efficient for time-sensitive activities like event registrations.
  • Record-Keeping – Online payments provide an automatic record, simplifying accounting and tracking for the PTA.

Challenges

  • Security Concerns – Ensuring the security of online payment systems is crucial to protect personal and financial information.
  • Transaction Fees – Online payment platforms may charge fees, which can add to the cost for the PTA or the payers.

Who It’s Right For

  • PTAs in school districts where most parents and teachers are comfortable with digital transactions.
  • Larger PTAs that handle a significant volume of transactions, where efficiency and quick processing are paramount.

Use Cases

  • A PTA with tech-savvy parents prefers online payments for collecting dues and fundraising. For PTA members, online payments streamline the process, allowing for easy tracking and management of funds for transparency.
  • For a PTA organizing a major fundraising event, online payments facilitate easy ticket sales and donations, making the process smooth for a large number of participants.

In-Person PTA Payments

In-Person Payments for PTOs

In-person PTA payments are generally made by cash or check (cheque) during PTA meetings, school events, or through the mail. As the name implies, they are collected by a treasurer, board members, event coordinators, and volunteers.

The labor-intensive nature of managing cash or check payments and the potential for errors in record-keeping are major drawbacks for PTAs that have limited resources (including volunteers).

Advantages

  • Personal Interaction – In-person payments offer a chance for direct engagement with PTA members, fostering community relations.
  • Cash Options – They allow for cash payments, which can be beneficial for those who prefer or need to pay in cash.

Challenges

  • Time Consumption – Collecting and managing cash or checks can be more labor-intensive and time-consuming.
  • Limited Record-Keeping – Keeping track of cash payments requires accurate record-keeping. Receipts may need to be manually written with each donation.

Who It’s Right For

  • Smaller PTAs where personal interaction is highly valued and where the volume of transactions is manageable manually.
  • School communities with limited access to technology or a preference for cash transactions.

Use Cases

  • A small-town PTA finds in-person payments effective during meetings and events, as they strengthen community bonds and allow for immediate financial resolution.
  • In areas with inconsistent internet access or where parents prefer cash transactions, in-person payments can be more practical and inclusive.

What’s the Best Option for PTA Payments?

Choosing the right method for handling PTA payments is a critical decision that depends on each school community’s unique requirements and context.

While both online and in-person payment methods have merits, online payments generally offer greater advantages in terms of convenience, efficiency, and modern record-keeping practices. After all, parents and teachers are busy. Having the ability to handle another school-related “bill” from the convenience of a smartphone or computer is greatly appreciated by most PTA members.

To enhance PTA payments and fundraising, DoJiggy stands out as a top choice for nonprofits, schools, and other charitable organizations. Offering a comprehensive, donor-friendly platform at no cost, DoJiggy is the go-to solution for those seeking innovative ways to expand their fundraising efforts.

How DoJiggy Can Help with PTA Payments

DoJiggy offers a specialized peer-to-peer peer-to-peer fundraising platform platform tailored for PTAs. Our websites enable secure, easy-to-manage online payments for various events and activities.

DoJiggy is a game-changer in how PTAs handle their financial transactions, offering features like:

  • Customizable donation pages
  • Free eCommerce stores
  • Mobile giving and text to donate
  • Live streaming capabilities for events

Best of all, DoJiggy is budget-friendly. Enjoy the free pricing model with optional donor tips, eliminating start-up and monthly fees. Additionally, Stripe integration ensures secure and smooth transactions with money deposited directly into your PTA’s bank account.

Ideal for PTAs seeking an effective yet affordable solution to collect PTA payments. Discover the benefits and revolutionize your PTA’s financial management with DoJiggy today.


Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

See other posts from Lisa Bennett

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