Membership Story Winner & Submit for November

 El Carmelo Elementary:

We are excited to share our Membership Success Story at El Carmelo Elementary!

At El Carmelo, while we have experienced a decrease in student enrollment, we have experienced an increase in PTA Membership. In fact, we are on track to double our membership vs. last year. Why? Glad you asked! 🙂

Redefinition of What a PTA Membership Is

We believed that there were some perceptions about what a PTA member was that were inhibiting membership, such as that PTA is only for parents or one membership per family is enough or you will have to attend 1 million meetings once becoming a member. In the spirit of being inclusive, in our President’s Letter and our forms, we state that “the El Carmelo PTA is open to anyone – staff, parents, extended family, friends, and community members – who care about our El Carmelo kids, their education and their future. Being a PTA member gives YOU a vote on all PTA events, budget, and school support. The membership does not oblige you to participate in anything; it helps fund the many programs PTA runs.”

Adoption of Electronic Membership Option

After learning more about TOTEM at the 2019 CAPTA Convention in Monterrey, we decided to become the first Palo Alto Unified School District school to adopt TOTEM as part of their Membership Enrollment option. We continue to run a hybrid system, where PTA Membership sign-ups are still received off-line via our PTA Contributions Form. That said, our online membership is estimated to be over 70% of the memberships we have received so far. 

Fun Contests to Encourage Online Membership 

Now that we have online membership, we have created contests like “Family with the Farthest Family Membership” and, thus, have some international members now. We are also rewarding the “Most PTA Members in a Family” and have a family or two approaching double-digit memberships in their family. Finally, we are rewarding the grade with the “Highest % of PTA Memberships” with a Party!

New Staff PTA Sponsorship Program

Again, thanks to a conversation at the 2019 CAPTA Convention with the Fremont PTA President Diana Keeney, we learned about the ability to sponsor a staff member’s PTA membership. We consider it a Staff Appreciation activity that both parents and staff seem to like. We have close to half of our staff receiving a sponsorship and plenty of sponsorship gifts to match to them! This was a true win-win on both the PTA Membership side and the Staff Appreciation side as well. 

We love being an example of a school that is defying the odds with a significant increase in PTA Members despite a decrease in enrollment by innovating in the area of Membership! So thankful to our dedicated Parent Leaders on our PTA Board who are driving the success of our Membership efforts!


What are you doing at your School to increase Membership?

What is your success story?

What did you try that worked for you?

We would like to hear your success story through our “Share your Success Story” contest.

Send your stories to Sixth District PTA at [email protected] to enter

 the Story contest and to share your story with the PTA community.Even if you have submitted in September and you didn’t get picked resubmit it to win in November.

Every other month, one PTA will win a personalized banner for their PTA.

We can’t wait to hear your stories! Last day of Submission is November 30th .