This week we received our PTO Today January edition, one of the most helpful resources for PTO leaders and parent organizations. Last year we developed a whole new fundraiser promotion zone with targeted online tips so we were delighted to see that PTO Today featured Facebook tips, social media tips and other applications that can facilitate PTO leaders’ jobs. Social media is extraordinarily helpful for organizing parent groups and school fundraisers but we also understand that it can be confusing and overwhelming. We think it’s great that publications like PTO Today are offering helpful tips and suggestions to organizations to help them take advantage of the technology that’s readily available to anyone with a smartphone or Internet access.
This list takes social media for fundraising one step further and examines the most helpful apps for PTOs and parent groups (apps are short for applications). The best part? All of these apps are free! So thanks to PTO Today, their readership and a few of our staff’s “don’t leave home without it” applications.
1. Dropbox for Sharing Files
This group-sharing file cabinet app takes center stage for small groups and teams that are working together and don’t want to send a lot of emails with files attached. It also is great if you are working with people who don’t have the same email provider since anyone can sign up and share a folder using an email address (unlike Google Docs).
2. Evernote for Recording Meetings
This sharing app also lets members record and send meeting minutes with a click! Forget tape recorders, just open this app in your device and you can start recording a meeting right away. Evernote then makes it easy to share with a controlled group (your team members or organization board members, for example).
3. Square for Mobile Cashiers
The favorite app among small business orders and independent contractors can be easily adapted to PTO and parent groups’ needs. More and more people are leaving cash in the bank and walking around with credit cards. You no longer have to turn these potential customers away if you install the Square App to your mobile device (iOS and Android friendly!). The Square application comes with a mobile card reader that slips into your smartphone or tablet and handles the transaction as if it was a regular cash register. It automatically puts the money into the desired bank account and charges a small percentage of each purchase to the account. Simple, easy to use and customer-friendly. Ka-ching!
4. Evite for Organizing Attendees
Evite is not just for parties, you can use it to create invitations and track RSVPs from your computer or your phone. You can also sell tickets to an upcoming fundraiser using Evite thanks to a recent partnership with PayPal (this is only available on Evite.com, not the app. Still, it makes invites and organizating events a breeze!
From PTO Today’s January 2013 edition: see more at ptotoday.com