August 3, 2020

Building a Virtual Membership Campaign

The best membership campaigns for 2020-2021 will be the ones that don’t require paper forms and payment to be collected at school. Virtual membership campaigns will do three things for your PTA: reduce face-to-face contact, reduce the time processing memberships, make it simple for members to start enjoying member benefits right away.

Selling memberships online is not brand new. Many PTAs have used online membership as a perk for the past few years. “Paying all your start of school fees online?  Do the same with your PTA membership!”  So, how do the remaining PTAs get on the virtual membership bandwagon? Simply follow the steps outlined below.

  • If you have not yet set up online join in memberplanet, start by watching the webinar that will orient you to how online join works. Online join is a free service already included with your memberplanet account.
  • Use the “Washington State PTA Checklist for Online Membership Setup,” available on the WSPTA Success Site as a guide to set up online join and update your PTA online membership packet materials in memberplanet. Download the checklist here.
  • Send personalized invitation emails to last year’s members asking them to rejoin your PTA. These emails can be sent through memberplanet.
  • Run a promotion to get people excited about joining right now! Your PTA might offer a gift drawing for one member out of all members by a set time and date. The prize can be announced on the first day of classes or at your PTA’s first membership meeting (whether it is virtual or in-person).
  • Create a communication plan to promote all the benefits of joining your PTA. Determine a timeline for what will be shared in social media and through direct emails. If your school is sending home a paper packet to families, ask to include a PTA information flyer with a link to join your PTA. See the sample below.

Membership Communications Plan 2020-2021

  • Don’t forget the teachers. If your President normally speaks at the staff back to school meeting each year, find out if there will be a virtual meeting this year.  Can your PTA share a short video about what they will be doing this year? Then send special emails to the teachers outlining how PTA will be helping them this year. Include the link to join and remember to ask them to become a member to show support for your great work.
  • Don’t stop in September! Membership work happens year-round. Remember to keep sharing the great work your PTA is doing and ask potential members to show support for that work by joining your PTA.

Additional reading: Membership Strategies in the Time of COVID-19.

Tips for helping potential members with no way to pay online and/or no printer:

  1. Offer membership scholarships. Refer to the Membership Handbook to set this up if your PTA does not have a budget line for scholarships.
  2. Offer to mail a paper membership form with an envelope with the PTA’s address and a stamp to the potential member.
  3. For now, membership scholarship donations can only be collected via memberplanet if the local PTA has paid for extra features.
  4. Memberships via scholarships or paper forms must be entered manually into memberplanet.
Category: Membership

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