Messaging & Objections


Messaging & Objections

 

At the heart of PTA's mission are families and communities - people who become champions for our children. This is what sets us apart from other school-parent organizations.

To effectively communicate why PTA membership is important:
Ask yourself: WHY do I want to make every child's potential a reality?
  • Why do I think parents, teachers and other family and community members are key to helping kids learn and grow into positive, productive citizens?
  • Why do I believe PTA helps achieve that?

Messaging and Objections

Establish Your Own Why

Whether I am attracting new members or retaining existing ones, it all starts with ME: why I care about PTA and how I communicate my PTA story to others and embody the PTA mission in my actions.

 

Think About PTA's Value to Students, Teachers, Families and Communities

People will respond to your personal story. But in the end, they will join your PTA if they find value in what your PTA does. And those who join will renew their membership when that value is delivered.

Think about your PTA. What does your PTA do—or aim to do—to:

  • Engage and empower families to support their child's learning, health or safety?
  • Support teachers and school administrators?
  • Improve your school or community?
  • Connect families, teachers, and community partners?

People like to join organizations that make a difference and provides them with an opportunity to network with like-minded people. Talk about how PTA membership extends beyond your school building or community. Connect your members to your state PTA's and National PTA's advocacy efforts, parent education tools, and programs.

And of course, don't forget the benefits offered to all PTA members by National PTA:


Now Talk About It.
Everywhere, Often and All Year!

It doesn't have to be Membership Monday to talk about how PTA makes a difference to you—and to the students, teachers and families PTA serves. Every program, event, activity, advocacy win should be communicated and celebrated. Show the results, and thank the people who helped make it happen. Be transparent, especially about what was raised and spent financially. People want their PTA to focus on outcomes, to value time given, and be transparent in its work.

 

Overcoming Objections

Most objections to joining PTA fall into the areas of time, impact and perceived value.


OBJECTION #1: "I Don't Have Time"

RESPONSE: Time is not required as a PTA member. Your membership shows you support the work PTA does for students, teachers and our school or community. You want the best for your kids and we help to make that happen.

Parents often say, "I don't have time." But they also say:

  • "I want the best for my kids – they are my priority."
  • "Being present helps my child to stay on track – and I want my face to be known to the principal, teachers and other kids."
  • "It's fun to be with my child at school and get to know other families."

When parents say they don't have time to join PTA, what they are probably saying is that they do not want to volunteer dozens of hours each week. Therefore, it is important to separate the membership join ask from the volunteer ask. PTA needs all kinds of members. People who what to pay dues and do nothing else. All the way to people who want to run for a position on the National PTA board.

If someone says they do not want to volunteer, respect the "no time" answer but make sure you continue to communicate with these members about the impact your PTA is having on their child and school or community. Follow-up with those who have expressed interest in volunteering or leading on a committee and match their interests, skills and talents with a PTA responsibility that is meaningful and values the time they give.

OBJECTION #2: "I don't like to fundraise"

RESPONSE: You do not have to fundraise as a PTA member. When you join PTA, you are helping us to accomplish our mission—to make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families to advocate for all children. This year, we are:

  • Supporting students and teachers by...
  • We are improving our school or community by...

Your PTA membership helps to make that happen — and you don't have to commit time or anything more when you join PTA — unless you want to! We always welcome the ways you feel you can help!

Many people have the perception that PTA is a fundraising organization. Reflect on that. Is that all they see from your PTA? To grow membership, you have to prove that your PTA is more than a fundraising machine—what makes PTA different than other parent-teacher organizations is that we are advocates for our students, teachers, families and schools and communities.

You will hear this objection less frequently when parents, families and teachers understand what PTA does with the money you raise. Start to shift the "PTA only fundraises" perception by:

  • Developing a focused goal that families will feel passionate about supporting and describe the two to three milestones that will help you achieve that goal. What are you raising money for? Example: "We are focused on supporting literacy at our school. To do that, we will X, Y and Z."
  • Being transparent about your budget. At least monthly, promote funds raised and communicate how the funds helped to achieve your PTA's goals. Make your financial reports accessible to all members.
  • Planning smart. Ask your PTA members about your current mix of fundraising tactics. Is it too much? Are there ways you could do less and make more? Check out our Fundraising tips for more ideas.
  • Using the membership marketing campaign resources proved by National PTA.
  • Tooting PTA's horn every step of the way! Communicate about your progress at events, in your newsletter, on social media and in your Annual Report. Give your Board Members and school staff talking points to get the word out!

OBJECTION #3: "I don't know what PTA does"

RESPONSE: Oh! I'd love to tell you about PTA — but first, what do you think the kids of our school and community need most to succeed in school and life?

NOW LISTEN, ASK MORE QUESTIONS, THEN MATCH PTA TO WHAT THEY SAY...
You make such great points. That's why, this year, PTA is on a mission to support students and teachers by... Also, we are.... Your PTA membership helps to make that happen. It's so easy to join—and no time commitment is needed—unless of course you want to help! We always welcome you to join us as we fulfill our mission to make sure every child has what they need to succeed in school and life.

The key point is to listen and to align what you hear with what your PTA is focused on achieving. The best sales people—and leaders—listen. When you understand the concerns and perspectives of your families, you'll make a plan that they want to support. You'll show them you are focused, you care, and you value them and their time.

Other Tips for Handling Objections

And of course, don't forget the benefits offered to all PTA members by National PTA: