How one elementary school raised $50,000 using their PTOffice website and stores

THE STORY

Two annual fundraisers. One big result.

Just north of Atlanta, GA, the suburban community of Alpharetta is home to Lake Windward Elementary School. Their K-6 PTO, serving a student population of 700+, needed a cost-efficient and paperless member management tool that made the end of year transition easy.

A new PTO president tasked with researching options.

In 2016, newly appointed PTO president, Ashlee Few, was tasked with replacing the organization’s archaic website atop the manual (paper-driven) processes they had relied upon for years. With a limited budget, and a community that was evenly split between the tech-savvy and the technically-challenged, she began as most would: an online search.

Beyond that, she asked herself “What are other schools using?” In their small town, word travels quickly and referrals carry weight when you’re making big decisions. The process eventually boiled down to a comparison between PTOffice and Membership Toolkit which, incentivized group pricing for schools who paired up together. After careful consideration, and one timely demo with founder, Brent LaFoley, Ashlee made the decision to on-board PTOffice.

Building a user-friendly website with secure online payments.

Although an engineer herself, Ashlee needed a website that was easy for all members, volunteers, and donors to use. “Brent talked me through the entire setup and remains a big help,” she says. “Although, everything is usually spot-on and we never really needed help after the initial setup.

It just kind of runs itself.

Using Stripe attached to the Lake Windward PTO bank accounts, the payment portal would become their tool for securing a variety of online transactions. By collecting money digitally, her team was able to clear much of the hassle of tracking in-person payments which, led to her curiosity for evolving the online stores to accommodate all of their events and fundraisers.

Allowing day-of sales to beat the hassle of in-person, deadline selling.

For instance, take the Lake Windward school dances into consideration. As a parent, you’re often times dealing with a variety of things at once, and of course, no one is perfect. For those who are required to submit payments in-person by a certain day, it’s a welcomed option to be able to purchase a ticket for your child the day-of the dance, even at the door if you forgot to that point.

After building a spirit store and others, Ashlee and her organization adapted the online stores to raise funds for their two largest annual events. A fall sponsorship and spring fundraiser are great opportunities to target families and donors all the way up to the date of the event, and became a go-to solution for turning over to the next year’s board and admins.

01. On-boarding Contacts

We pride ourselves on unparalleled, personal customer service. Working closely with Ashlee’s team and the school’s data clerk, we ensured a quick contact upload that would become the foundation for the rest of their application features.

02. Dedicated Parent Portal

Beyond the initial adding of contacts at the beginning of the year, Ashlee wanted to have an easy way for current families to update their information while having new ones join the system and automatically updating groups and directories.

03. Notebooks

Building upon the wins and losses of the year, and ensuring the system could auto-update without skipping a beat, the notebooks feature allowed their PTO to have a seamless end-of-year transition with everything saved in one place.

We let their numbers do the talking

1,200

Number of active users

2

One sponsorship + One Fundraiser

50,000

Annual average for fundraisers
PTOffice_casestudy_lakewindward
The results

What they gained

Autonomy

Bucking trends takes confidence, but the reward is a system that works specifically for you.

Efficiency

A system that runs itself, saves you time to be a better PTA or PTO leader.

Organization

The difference between chasing down spread sheets and having a digital copy of everything.

Confidence

Knowing customer support remains the same three years into using the application as it did on day one.

One word: invaluable.

PTOffice has saved us countless hours.

Ashlee Few, PTO President