Notebooks help parent-teacher groups of all shapes and sizes document processes, events, and more to build upon what worked while avoiding what quite didn’t.
Now, there are procedures books that document leadership roles, and then there are notebooks for events and committee chair processes (back-to-school BBQ, winter fundraiser gala, etc.).
However, notebooks could be used for parliamentarian processes such as “How-To: Schedule, Organize, Document Member Meetings” or even weekly volunteer tasks like “Friday Homeroom Ice Cream Floats.”
We outline the items to include so that processes aren’t lost to the whim of a new member or leadership with likely turnover each year.
The example we’ll use to complete the sections below is a “Back to School BBQ”
Things To Include
Cover/Summary & Notes
Being able to summarize and segment notes about your processes and events means that you can detail specifically what’s needed to make it a success. For example, we’d suggest an easily identifiable title (In this case “Back to School BBQ”).
The summary should clearly and concisely describe the event itself, as well as, the main items to be addressed in the notebook.
Example: On the first Friday during back to school week we hold the BBQ on the school’s grassy knoll outside the gymnasium. A ‘welcome back’ mixer to familiarize the students and families, we collect membership fees, begin accepting general donations and fundraise for the ‘winter dunk tank event’. Food (hamburgers, hot dogs, and chips) are provided with lemonade, water, and juice drink stations, compliments of the local Piggly Wiggly. We will have activities inside the gymnasium (sack races, art station). There are a total of 20 volunteers needed for the three (3) hour event (grill, drink stand, activities, fundraising booth, monitors).
Having a detailed budget complete with costs and revenues from fundraisers or events means that you know exactly what to buy and how much it will cost the next year.
Separately, you will want to track:
The people or organizations that support your events should be tracked for two big reasons: You want to know who gives what, and you need to plan a way to recognize them and give ‘thanks’ in return. Also, just because you know these people doesn’t mean next year’s group will know who to reach and how much heads up to give them.
Just like the revenue and expense breakdown, you’ll want to include:
Note Example: Piggly Wiggly needs 2 weeks heads up on the order amounts, and donates half the costs. Please cc: firstname.lastname@example.org when placing an order and include the 501(c)(3) paperwork with your request for tax purposes*
Appropriate items you can attach to both print and digital notebooks are the following (Back-to-School BBQ as an example):
- Table and Tent setup (word document)
- BBQ Flyers (.pdf, .png or .jpeg)
- Email listserv (word document or excel spreadsheet)
- School security & janitorial staff contact information (excel spreadsheet)
Task name: (EX: Rent chairs, empty trash, activity setup, grill and juice stand workers, send ‘thank yous’ to sponsors, etc.)
Description: (EX: 100 chairs total from Dixie’s Chair Emporium, 5 trash cans on location, etc.)
Status (In Progress, Complete, Overdue, etc.)
Owner (name of member or volunteer)
Item/Position: (EX: Food delivery, griller, sack race manager, etc.)
Help Provided: Job description
How PTOffice Keeps Digital Notebooks
We recently updated our Notebooks feature to include the aforementioned sections all in one place.
We’ve all heard the excuses when it comes to finding notes from last year’s events. Maybe they’re lost, or maybe someone just left the organization without doing a proper turnover. Dedicated notebooks will ensure you have the information needed to make important decisions on your organization’s events and processes.