Often Asked Questions...

Can our PTA have a savings account and how much can we have in it?

Many financial institutions require a minimum amount in a savings account to hold a checking account at their institution.  This is perfectly acceptable.  The amount and any interest should be shown as part of the budget on a separate line.

Any amount is acceptable to have in the account and if a PTA would like to build up their reserve, in case of a bad fundraising year, the reserve can be put into a savings account and used the next year.

There is no need for a PTA to have more than one fiscal year’s budget in their reserve and if that is starting to occur, fundraising efforts should be scaled back.  There is no reason to continue to raise money just to raise money.  PTAs raise funds to exist; PTAs do not exist to raise funds.

The other risk in having so much money is that your school will start to request more and more money from the PTA.  PTA funds are to be primarily used for PTA programs.  There are opportunities, however, for a PTA to grant money to a school, but again, this is not the main purpose for the PTA.  If you have enough money in your accounts to run your PTA programs, then don’t try to continue to raise money.

PTAs CAN use their wonderful volunteer efforts to help raise money for the school’s needs, but other than providing our amazing and powerful manpower efforts, the money should not ever be “run through” the PTA accounts.

Please see the Utah PTA Treasurer Handbook for more details.

Can our PTA do a Raffle?

The definition of a raffle is: a lottery in which each participant buys a chance or chances to win a prize.  Chances are considered gambling in the state of Utah so the answer is No, your PTA can not hold a raffle.

PTAs can hold drawings for prizes.  One example includes when a parent purchases a PTA membership, their name goes into a drawing.  This means that they have purchased the rights to be a member and get discounts from PTA partners and such.   Another example would be if there is a purchase involved and they receive something for that purchase, such as xx.xx amount in carnival tickets purchased; their name goes into a drawing.

PTAs need to stay as far away from the gray area as possible.  We do not want a PTA to lose their tax-exempt status nor good standing with the Division of Consumer Protection for the state of Utah by holding a “raffle”.  

If you have had a lot of items donated for a carnival or other event, consider doing a silent auction.  This also brings in a good deal of money for PTAs that have participated in them.

 

Please see the Utah PTA Treasurer Handbook for more details.