For most PTA members, the annual back-to-school fundraiser isn’t a walk on the beach. Whether you’re campaigning for back-to-school season, the next holiday around the corner, or the book drive, coordinating time and resources to stay atop the minds of your supporters shouldn’t take over your life (or the lives of your volunteers). Since you’ve teamed up with memberplanet, offering your donors electronic payment options is super easy to do on the platform. Here are some other tips to save time so you can pass on the frustration and double up on the fun.
1. Don’t start from scratch – use a template
With each new year and transition in PTA leaders, the history (excel sheets) from previous fundraisers can get lost in the shift. Also learning a new position takes time. We’re here to make it easy. Since PTA fundraisers are often annual, you can save time by managing your event online. We even offer Donation Site templates. These pre-populated templates will help you set up your donation campaign. Our campaign feature also has the ability to save donation campaigns for future use, so the next event will practically take care of itself. By building upon past successes and the work that was already done, you will take the headache out of organizing the campaign, and have more time to focus on member engagement.
2. Take advantage of the gift of gab: social media
Planning your fundraiser is only half the battle – you must promote it too! The good news is that promoting your event doesn’t have to be stressful. Use your campaign URL in as many places as you can, including your website, email, and social media. Through social media, you can get people talking about your event with just a few clicks. Picture word-of-mouth sharing – but amplified! Our Donation Sites were designed to be shared on your PTA social media channels. Ask your PTA members to share the event too. Everyone has a unique circle of friends, so the more people who share, the broader your reach gets. More awareness for your campaign and way less time spent making promotion calls or passing out flyers! We like to call that a win-win.
3. Cut out the stress: set and forget
Engaging with your members and donors is the bread and butter of being a successful PTA leader. But there are only so many hours in a day, and as a leader, there is only so much time you can dedicate to PTA admin tasks. That’s what inspired us to build in automated features in our platform. Writing thank-you cards (the kind that’s sent through snail mail) take forever! To save time, admins can add a thank-you message to the automated confirmation email that is sent once someone donates to your online fundraiser. We highly recommend adding a thank-you message to the confirmation email as well as encouraging donors to spread the word about the campaign. If you’re really feeling like you’re in an automating mood, you can also include the info donors need to file their taxes. PTAs are 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, and contributions to them are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You should include the full name of your PTA unit, the EIN number, and your PTA’s location.
Whether you’re a seasoned PTA fundraising pro or just getting started, you can’t go wrong with these three steps – they’re fail proof, and most importantly, they’ll save you time. (So you can engage with your members and make a difference in your community.)
Log in and see for yourself.
memberplanet continues to define the member management space by offering the best software to manage and engage members. To finish off the summer, we’re turning up the heat on your favorite features. We’ve developed new enhancements for the mobile app, membership cards, recurring payments, reporting, and more. Check out our exciting additions:
Improved search for membership cards
Offline access to membership cards through the mobile app
Recurring payment enhancements
New member level history report
New Member Circle member list and Member Circle custom fields report
Improved search for membership cards
Digital membership cards are one of our most used features, and we’ve made them even easier to access! As most members know, cards can be accessed through a desktop or can be downloaded via our mobile app. Admins can now search for a member card by member instead of going through the whole member directory. This will save time accessing member cards for both admins and members at meetings and events. Learn more: How to download membership cards.
Offline access to membership cards through the mobile app
Need to access your membership card on the go but don’t have Wi-Fi? We’ve got good news -- you can now access your member card offline. Once you download your member card via mobile app, it will automatically save to your phone. Easily access your card, with or without internet! Learn more: How to download membership cards via the mobile app.
Recurring payment enhancements
Recurring payments is an essential set-it-and-forget-it feature for all member-based organizations. When it comes time for your members to renew their membership, they shouldn’t have to think about writing another check or pulling out cash from their wallet. Recurring payments allows for a more frictionless experience. We’ve streamlined our recurring payments functionality to make it easier for users to opt in and select the frequency, as well as stop recurring payments.
Installments, which we’ve also streamlined, are a great way to increase your fundraising dollars. Some people are more willing to donate a higher amount if they can pay in installments – and it’s a best practice to always give them the option. Learn more: Manage recurring payments on a Donation Site.
New membership levels history report
Our reporting features are great for keeping a bird’s-eye view on your group and to target and track member activity. With our new membership levels history report, admins can look at the history of each member level. The membership levels report can be found under the membership tab on the left navigation sidebar. On the levels tab, admins can click on the gear icon that corresponds with the membership level they want to view, then select View Members in the dropdown menu.
Admins can also level history by member. On the Members tab, select the gear icon next to the member name you wish to see the history for, then select Level History in the dropdown menu.
New Member Circle member list and Member Circle custom fields report
In addition to the member levels report, we’ve added new reports for Member Circles, which serves to give admins a more in-depth look at data collected for each subgroup. The Member Circles feature is an easy way to create a small grouping of individuals in your organization, and is a type of membership level that allows one person to manage the membership account for a group of people (such as a family or company account). Circle Member reports will list each Member Circle by members. The Member Circle custom fields report allows for the admin to view each response. These reports can be found under the members tab on the left navigation sidebar. Learn more about Member Circles.
What other features would help you simplify your life? Email us and let us know at
The rise of online fundraising into our zeitgeist is unmistakable, from Kickstarter projects that have generated millions for otherwise market-less products to the thousands of people and charities GoFundMe has helped with a variety of needs; the frontier is rampant with raising money online. The question bears asking: if everyone else is reaping online fundraiser rewards, should my PTA unit also? The answer is a resounding, all caps YES.
Time isn’t just a limited resource for leaders, but also for potential donors. They often aren’t carrying cash, or don’t have their checkbook handy. Online fundraising gives donors the ability to pay quickly and securely via credit card. One digital swipe and they’re one their way, while your unit is one cha-ching closer to reaching your goal.
It’s true – handling loads of cash and stacks of checks costs your leaders time. Beyond time, there’s accounting to worry about. Then there’s creating manual receipts, balancing spreadsheets, and all the other organizational work related to tracking donations. That wasted time adds up quickly. Online fundraisers allow leaders to record, track, and manage campaigns in a fraction of the time.
There was a time when printing flyers and designing donation posters was the only means of spreading the word for fundraisers. That’s no longer the case; one of the primary benefits of launching an online fundraising campaign is its potential to go viral. This takes you out of the typical sphere of donors and opens you up to supporters you wouldn’t reach with traditional methods. This can help you reach your monetary goals faster and even surpass them.
Increase PTA funds
The benefits of online fundraising and digital payments starts with the money, which makes sense. Online fundraising increases overall money raised; that’s fact, not opinion. Some studies have shown that percentage to be anywhere from 30-100% more (Visa International). Sure, you’re thinking, that’s a nice bump in funds, but PTAs need every dollar they raise, so how much will we lose in processing fees? Fees can vary, and if your state already has a partnership with memberplanet, those fees are easily offset by the increased donations. For an example of how one school used online fundraising to increase membership funds by 75%, take a look at our case study.
Ready to win at online fundraising? Log in to memberplanet to get started.
It’s summer movie season and blockbusters abound. memberplanet brings you the movie trailer you’ve been waiting for! Grab some popcorn and a cold drink, and get ready for a future dystopian world without member management services.
Life is full of opportunity and endless options for new experiences. A bucket list is the perfect way to log and catalog all the stuff you want to do before you, well, kick the bucket. Along with getting in all the fun things, it is a good idea to make a list of things you want to accomplish for your group. We created a memberplanet bucket list challenge to inspire you to make the most of our platform and take your organization to new heights. Can you complete them all? We think so!
1. Define your group's aesthetic and personalize your page
Photos, videos, and other visual images are a key element to your group site. However, creating the visual tone for your group site can be a challenge. Start by thinking of what makes your group unique and what aspects you want to highlight. Think of your Facebook newsfeed -- what catches your eye? Try to use a mix of photos and images that are visually pleasing and fun. Listing group events will help highlight the culture of your group and entice new members to join and greater engagement from existing members. Also, adding personalized touches like group logos and photos also gives your group a sense of professionalism and credibility.
2. Phone it in with cash and check payments
Our mobile app is free and can help when you or your group are on the go. Through the app, group members can take and upload photos to a shared event album, making it easy to capture important memories. Member cards can be accessed through the app and used for entry to group-sponsored events. Payments can also be accepted through the app -- no extra hardware required. This means never missing out on a donation or merchandise sale if a member or donor isn’t carrying cash. Finally, if you want to shoot out a quick Broadcast you can easily send a message to your group. Reach your members through the app anywhere, anytime.
3. Life’s a celebration! Create an event that’s worthy of it
Planning a group event can often be a hassle, and we bet you aren’t using our event features to their full potential. Emailing event invitations alone is not enough to reach your attendees. Facebook is another useful tool, however it lacks more robust functionalities, such as syncing to your member database. Our event module allows you to send invitations, set up an event site, sell tickets or merchandise, and track RSVPs. Once you have created an event, you can share it to your members – both through email and social media – directly from the platform. Have your members share it on social media to spread awareness through their network. We challenge you to use as many items in our event feature as you can and plan your groups best event yet!
4. Keep your members in the loop
Our lives are always changing; we move, we get married, etc. To keep on top of important member information, and to make sure your members are receiving your group’s communication updates, we recommend sending profile updates requests from your group at least twice a year.
5. Finally, we challenge you to make your group the best it can be!
Use another feature not mentioned here. Some of the best ones include creating a donation campaign, email newsletter, and survey. Here at memberplanet, we are passionate about helping groups reach their full potential. This bucket list will help take your group to the next level, and hopefully have a bit of fun in the process.
So, think you can finish the bucket list challenge?
Part of leading your PTA is raising the funds necessary to make a difference in your unit. Unfortunately, orchestrating a computer drive to give your school a tech upgrade, a jump-a-thon to save at-risk student programs, or any other type of fundraiser can feel like a full-time undertaking. Lucky for you, memberplanet makes it easy. And if you need proof that launching an online fundraiser really makes a difference, check out how Wittmann Elementary School increased its membership funds by 75 percent. Here’s how to set up a donation campaign on memberplanet, which will get your PTA a couple steps closer to crushing your fundraising goal.
Create a fundraiser for your PTA
1. Hover over Donation Sites on the left navigation sidebar and click Create Donation Site in the submenu
2. Choose to raise funds for your own group on memberplanet
3. Select one of the following choices:
4. Finish creating a campaign by filling in the required information: Campaign Title, Category, Why Are You Fundraising?, Campaign Goal, End Date, and Default Donation.
5. Click Save & Continue
Customize the look of your donation campaign
These next steps allow PTA admins to customize their Donation Sites. Use a memorable custom URL, choose specific colors, and upload a banner -- key identifiers for brand recognition and consistency. You can also upload a photo album that you’ve created on the platform; images are a great way to strengthen the connection between your cause and your donors. For example, including pictures of who will benefit from the funds raised or showing how the funds will be put to use is an effective way to convey your donors’ impact. You can go all out in customizing your fundraiser, or you can breeze through this section and hit Save & Publish Now.
To customize, hover over any of the page sections and click the Edit icon that appears on the top right of the section.
You can always come back and make changes to this page if you decide to navigate away from it.
Get the word out
As soon as you publish your Donation Site, your campaign page link will be provided, and you can share your campaign to social media directly from the platform, mobile app, or the page itself. We recommend sharing your fundraiser on as many channels as possible – through email, your website, text message and more.
Use our built-in URL shortener if you’re on a character limit, or customize the full URL.
To customize the URL or get the short URL, click on the campaign you want to manage. Select the Copy or Customize the Campaign Page URL feature.
Click Customize or Copy to Clipboard for the URL you desire.
Mobilize your PTA supporters – create Supporter Pages
What’s a Supporter Page, you ask? It’s an individual’s fundraising page created in support of your PTA’s donation campaign. Supporter Pages are more effective in helping you reach your fundraising goal for these reasons:
Here’s how your PTA members (or anyone, really) can create a Supporter Page:
1. From your Donation Site, click Support this Campaign
2. Users will be prompted to log in to memberplanet or create an account if they don’t have one
3. After logging in or creating an account, a new browser window will appear in which supporters can set their own goal and add their own reason why they’re supporting the campaign
4. When finished, click Publish
5. The Supporter Page URL will be provided, and you can share it to social media directly from the platform, mobile app, or the page itself
If you haven’t already, set up a bank account to receive funds. Our platform features were created to help you build a great campaign and maximize PTA donations – without creating a ton of paper work in the process. Follow these steps to set yourself on a clear path to crushing your fundraising goal.
It’s not about bragging rights, but it sure does feel good to be noticed. In addition to stacking up stellar reviews on Capterra, we’ve now been noticed as a market leader by SoftwareAdvice.com. Its annual Frontrunners Hub is a 100% data-driven assessment of the most capable and valuable products for small businesses, and the scores are largely based on end-user reviews of software. This year, memberplanet was recognized as a quadrant leader.
We’re incredibly excited to be included in this year’s hub. Our philosophy of simplifying life for our clients remains our goal. We are equally proud of not only our software, but the reviews from customers who need it for their group or organization to thrive. However, the work is not done. We continue our mission to be the absolute best software platform for groups of any size to manage their members, process payments, and communicate.
Ready to take your organization to the next level?
Congrats! You’re on your way to managing your PTA online and offering your members a convenient way to pay membership dues. When you’re finished, your members can make payments online in addition to cash and check. They can also access their own membership cards anytime online and via the mobile app.
Before starting on the checklist, you must first join your unit’s group on memberplanet as an admin. You probably received an email invite from your State if it teamed up with memberplanet. You’ll need to click the link in the email invite to gain access to your memberplanet account. Once you’ve completed the join process on memberplanet, select Go to My Home page. While logged in, click Go to My Group Portal to access admin tools.
If you need assistance gaining access to your account, email use at @email@example.com
Now you’re ready to follow the guide below! Every time you check off a box, you’re one step closer to life.simplified.
1. Set up your PTA membership dues form online
Create a PTA membership dues form. On the left nav, click Payment Forms > Create a Payment Form.
Choose the ready-for-use PTA template. Click Use this Template for the PTA Membership form.
Modify the PTA template to reflect your unit’s membership dues. Scroll to the bottom and click Next. On the following page, hover over the $5 dues amount and click Edit. Enter the correct amount of your membership dues.
Save and publish. Scroll to the bottom of your payment form and click Save & Publish Now.
If you haven’t yet, set up your bank account to receive membership funds.
2. Share your PTA membership dues form
First, get link of your PTA membership dues form. Once you have the link, you can start promoting PTA membership online – an easy way to broaden your reach and boost membership. In the features list, click Copy or Customize the Form URL > Copy to Clipboard.
Promote your membership dues form on your PTA website. Let your site visitors know that they can sign up and pay for PTA membership right then and there!
Email the membership dues form to potential members. Use email marketing to recruit more members. From your last PTA event, use a list of attendees’ email addresses to send out your membership dues form. Ask members to sign up online and forward the email to others who’d be interested in signing up. memberplanet’s email features include tracking opens and clicks!
Get the word out on social media. Use the shortened URL to save space on characters if needed, and post to the social platforms your potential members are most active. memberplanet has awesome social media tools to share your membership dues form directly from the platform.
3. Give members access to their membership cards
Export the list of members who made a payment. On the left nav, click Payment Forms. Select the gear icon next to PTA Membership Form > Form Responses > Choose Columns > select last name, first name, and email > click Save > Export Table.
Save this list on your computer.
Upload the list to the membership module. On the left nav, click Members > Add People button > Add New Members > Browse for your file > Check the box to Ignore the First Row of My File > Click Upload > Select dropdown menus above columns to only map or label first name, last name, and email address > Click Add Members button.
Invite your members to view their cards. To give your paid PTA members access to view their digital membership cards, they first need to join your PTA group on memberplanet. On the left nav, click Members > Send Invitations. You can edit the subject and body of the email by clicking on them. Here’s text that you can copy and paste into the body:
Welcome to the PTA! Click the Join Now button below to access your membership card!
Click the Send Now button. Once a member has followed the steps in the email, they will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to access the member card.
Members can join memberplanet > log in to their member portal > click My Profile on the left nav > click Member Card in the submenu > select gear icon > View Card.
From the mobile app: Log in using the same email and password used when joining > tap the menu icon in the top left > My Member Card > tap group name.
If you’ve completed these 3 steps, you’re off to a great start for the school year! And don’t worry, if you get stuck or need a helping hand, here are a couple cheat-sheet resources:
Support team: Support@memberplanet.com
Strategy advice: Successteam@memberplanet.com
The days of cash carrying are over. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple decades, you’ve noticed the societal shift toward electronic payments. What does this mean for you and your PTA? Let’s get schooled on payment methods. The reality is that ignoring this trend can seriously hurt the future growth of your unit. The benefits are enough to outweigh whatever costs are incurred – and we have proof. Check out these five payoffs of accepting electronic payments.
1. Grow your membership
Studies indicate more than 70% of Americans have at least one credit card. Even more compelling is that 60% of consumers pay with credit cards instead of cash. This means that accepting credit card payments increases your ability to attract potential PTA members who find electronic payments more convenient. You can connect with a larger audience to recruit members, reach more donors for your campaigns, and increase ticket sales for your events. It’s simple math – when you broaden your reach, you also increase your chances of boosting membership.
2. Increase school and PTA revenue
Research shows that people are willing to spend more on their credit cards than when making cash purchases. This has obvious benefits for fundraising campaigns, as it can lead to bigger donations from individuals. The New York Times sites several studies that demonstrate the increase in spending with credit versus cash of at least 5-10%. In one study, graduate students paid nearly double the price for a sporting event ticket when paying with a credit card!
3. Ease the burden of holding on to large sums of cash and checks
Unit leaders don’t need to be carrying members’ cash and check payments with them. By accepting electronic payments, you make it more convenient for your members to pay by their own method of preference, and you’re likely to save yourself a trip to the bank. Direct deposit also removes the inconvenience of paying out of pocket. Accepting electronic payments increases cash flow by limiting the time it takes for money to appear in your account. Instead of waiting for PTA members or donors to mail a check, then depositing the check, and waiting for it to clear, funds are deposited directly into your account.
4. Simplify recurring payments and donations
Unit members and donors can set up recurring membership payments and donations. memberplanet’s electronic payment feature is built in, easy to use, and features advanced encryption to ensure payments are securely processed and deposited directly into your designated account. Simplifying the payment process makes it easier to collect membership dues and retain current members, and is beneficial when collecting donations during fundraisers.
5. Build credibility with credit cards
Accepting credit cards is particularly helpful because it adds credibility to a PTA’s operation. When your members and potential members see that you’re accepting credit cards it increases the legitimacy of your unit. Furthermore, limiting your PTA to cash transactions can seem unprofessional given the rise of electronic payment options.
Accepting electronic payments facilitates the exchange of money for you and anyone you collect payments from. This is beneficial and convenient for collecting membership fees, receiving donations, and selling event tickets or any other PTA product or service your offer. With an evident shift from cash to credit, it is essential to offer a variety of payment methods to retain members, grow your organization, and maximize PTA contributions.
Ready to get started? Log in to memberplanet and set up your account to collect electronic payments.