Money Saving Ideas For Ohio School PTA / PTO Groups
Many Ohio school PTA / PTO groups from Columbus to Toledo are struggling to maintain activities, projects, and enrichment assemblies and programs at their schools, while working with shrinking budgets. There are some easy ways that Ohio schools and PTA / PTO groups can save money that are often overlooked by committees.
Form a PTA / PTO Co-Op With Other Ohio Schools In Your District
Teaming up with other schools in your Ohio school district to form a buying co-op is one of the easiest and most effective ways to cut your costs. Having a co-op allows you to contract services and make purchases in “bulk”, which gives you more negotiating power for a lower per unit price.
PTA / PTO co-ops work great for organizing school assemblies in Ohio and family night enrichment programs, as many Ohio school assembly shows offer “block booking” discounts for shows at multiple schools booked on the same day or consecutive days.
Here is an example of how “block booking” savings may work for booking an assembly program at your Ohio school:
Let’s say your school is interested in booking an anti-bullying assembly program for your Ohio elementary students. The normal fee for such this no bullying assembly program may be $850 for performances at your school. If you were to have two other Ohio schools interested in the same program, however, the assembly presenter could now perform a program at your school in the morning, another school in the afternoon, and the final school the next day. The presenter can now offer a discounted fee to all the schools because they are doing more shows and only have to travel to your area one time. The new “block booking” fee for this Ohio no bullying assembly show may now be $650 per school. That means all three schools just saved $200 off their anti-bulling program.
PTA / PTO buying co-ops also work well for equipment purchases, contractor services, and buying supplies / food for family nights.
Have Flexibility on Dates For Your PTA / PTO Event or Activity
Children’s entertainers, DJ’s, assembly presenters, caterers, and other businesses that provide services to Ohio schools are more likely to be negotiable on the prices for their services if your school event is during a “slow time”. Friday nights, weekends, and holidays are prime days for most Ohio event services providers, and you should expect to pay full price for a school event on those days. Early and mid-week, however, can be slower times, and providers may be willing to offer discounts to “fill in” their schedule.
Many Ohio schools think that they need to have their PTO / PTA family night activities on a Friday night. But in reality, a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night event can be even more successful because the event is not competing with other activities families may have planned for the weekend.
Get A Local Sponsor
Ask local Ohio businesses to donate money or products towards a school family night, school assembly program, or improvement project. In exchange for the donation, offer to feature the business in your Ohio school PTA / PTO newsletter, display a sign from the business at the event, and list the business as a sponsor in all fliers and posters for the school event. Chances are you will not have to look too far for a sponsor, as many of your existing PTA/ PTO members are probably small business owners.
Look for School Grants Wherever you Can
There are many state, local and national grants and financial assistance programs available to Ohio schools who wish to bring in enrichment programs to their schools.
-Police / DARE organizations often provide funding for anti-drug and red ribbon week programs and activities.
-Funding for student banking projects and assembly programs about money responsibility are often available through local banks and credit unions. Check with your school district credit union first!
-Arts and humanities grants are often available through agencies such as the Ohio Arts Council for schools that are looking to bring a touring arts program to their students.
-School assembly presenter agencies such as Midwest School Assembly Presenters often list available Ohio school assembly grants on their website. These grants can save schools $100 or more off the cost of an assembly program at their Ohio elementary school.
Getting a grant for a PTA / PTO program at your Ohio school can often require filling out applications and submitting proposals. It is best if you can get one volunteer from your PTA / PTO group, who is good at composition and business writing, to be in charge of all grant program applications.
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