February 16, 2021

It’s Time to Form the Budget Committee

Governance. Powered by PTA.

The budget committee is chaired by the current treasurer and is responsible for developing the budget for the next fiscal year (July 1-June 30.) Who else should be on the budget committee? Good choices are often the incoming president and treasurer, and outgoing president because they understand your PTA’s past and future needs. This composition also provides a more seamless financial transition for the incoming board.

For most PTAs, 2020-21 has been a very unusual year, so some aspects of budget development may need special consideration this year.

  • What are the PTA goals for next year? Your PTA probably ran different events this year than it usually does. Have you surveyed your school community to see what their needs are? Also, ask your committee chairs for their feedback and Committee Program Evaluation forms (available under the President and Vice President tab on the Leadership Guides webpage)
  • Have you talked to the school principal about what school might look like in the Fall? In some areas, some students may still be remote. What needs will the school have that the PTA can help support? Will PTA volunteers be permitted to enter buildings and reserve space for events? The budget committee may need to develop more than one budget to present to the board of directors and members due to this uncertainty.
  • Once the PTA has determined its goals and objectives for next year, the budget committee assigns estimated costs to them. Include costs to maintain your administrative and training needs (insurance, WSPTA Convention, WSPTA Legislative Assembly, corporate renewal, etc.)
  • Add revenue sources to cover those costs (donations, fundraisers, grants, matching funds, etc.)
  • Make sure you have enough income and/or cash on hand to cover initial expenses.
  • It is recommended that PTAs have a prudent reserve of 6-12 months of operating expenses set aside. Does your PTA have required reserves named in its standing rules? Did your PTA have to tap into them this year? Make a plan to build back any reserves that were used.
  • Present your budget draft to your board of directors, then to your members for approval before June 30, 2021. Without an approved budget, your PTA does not have the authority to spend money.
  • It’s a good idea to revisit and vote on this budget again at the first membership meeting in the Fall because things may have changed. Budgets are fluid and can be amended by a vote of the membership throughout the year.

Guest post by Nancy Chamberlain, WSPTA Finance Officer

Category: Governance

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