Congratulations to the winners of the Illinois PTA 2016 Membership Recruitment, Retention, Engagement Awards!

This year’s award focused not only on increase in membership, but considered the programs and activities each school utilized to reach success in membership recruitment, retention and engagement. Read below to learn what each school did…

Outstanding Recruitment Retention Engagement Award recipient, Lakeview Elementary PTA in Hoffman Estates

Distinguished Recruitment Retention Engagement Award recipient, Lincoln PTA in Palatine


Membership Card Template

This is for PTAs that hand write the names on the cards. Instructions for use:

  1. Open the Word File. Check that font is Verdana and font size is 8. Using the Replace command (upper right on the screen), replace all “local unit number” with your school’s unit number.
  2. Using the Replace command, replace “local unit name” with your PTA name.
  3. CAUTION: Check alignment with your printer by making a photocopy of a sheet of cards and loading it into your printer’s paper bin. Print a sheet and see if everything aligns before moving to the next step. [If it doesn’t align well with your printer, you can make slight adjustments by changing the font size of a paragraph return character or adding or removing a paragraph return character. To see paragraph return characters, on the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Show/Hide button (looks like a backwards P). Remember to make the same adjustments in the left and right columns.]
  4. Set printer to print only one copy, and then print one on the cardstock. Make sure everything looks perfect.
  5. Set number of copies to number of sheets of cards you want to print. You may want to print only a few at a time, just in case your printer jams with the heavier cardstock. Best results will be obtained by setting your printer controls to manual paper and feeding one page at a time because the cardstock may not feed well through twists and turns of some printers.

Mail Merge Template

Here is a membership card template for those who need a mail merge version. Instructions for use:
  1. This mail merge will use a database (Excel Spreadsheet, Word Table, or Access Database) that has at least the following two column headings (fields), which must be named exactly (including underscore characters):
    a. Member_First_Name
    b. Member_Last_Name
  2. Note: If your Database has only a single column (field) that contains both first and last name, change the heading of that column to Member_First_Name and add another column for Member_Last_Name and leave the newly created column blank. (You can delete the extra column and change the name back after printing the cards.)
  3. Open the Word File. It will indicate that it wants to connect to a database. Reply NO.
  4. Click on the mailings tab, then indicate you want to Select Recipients Using an Existing Database.
  5. Browse to the source document (database) for your membership information, then click OK.
  6. Check that font is Verdana and font size is 8.
  7. Replace “local unit number” with your school’s unit number using Word’s Replace command.
  8. Replace “local unit name” with your PTA name using Word’s Replace command.
  9. Click on the mailings tab, Preview Results. A single page of cards will show up.
  10. CAUTION: Check alignment with your printer by making a photocopy of a sheet of cards and loading it into your printer’s paper bin. Note whether the photocopy needs to be face up or face down (so that when you load your cards you don’t print on the wrong side). Print the preview sheet on the photocopy and see if everything aligns before moving to the next step. You can make slight adjustments by changing the font size or adding or removing a paragraph return character.
  11. After all is aligned OK, on the mailings tab, click Finish and Merge, Edit Individual Documents.
  12. Check the resulting document that pops up to see if it has all the cards you need. For example, if your database has 252 members, then the document should be 26 pages long—25 of the pages will have a member name on each card, the final page will have names on only two cards. (The number of pages should be number of members divided by 10, plus one page. The number of cards on the final sheet is the remainder from dividing by 10.) If you don’t see that, check for problems such as blank lines in your database or a bad title on your last name, first name columns (fields).
  13. Load your cards into the printer. Set your printer to Manual Feed so that you can watch the cards print and fix problems if they occur. The heavier cardstock might cause a printer jam and you don’t want to spoil all your cards.

See more at: PTA Membership Resources

For some excellent downloadable fliers to use in your membership recruitment see: PTA Membership Fliers

Recruitment-Engagement-Retention Award Application

Membership Recruitment Manual

The Role of a Membership Marketing Chairman

Why Be a PTA?

Why Join a PTA?

Illinois PTA Membership Benefits

The Value of PTA

Los Valores del PTA

Dues Remittance Form

Request for Additional Cards

Membership Card Return Transmittal

Membership Record Keeping

Business Member Window Cling Order Form

Today's PTA Marketing Materials

PTA and the Community

PTA and Principals