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November 2016 Newsletter

Greetings! This October marked three years since we launched PTAlink. We're excited to report on our growth:

  • We now have over 800 subscribers to our newsletter.

  • Hundreds of parent leaders and others have attended our workshops at Brooklyn Borough Hall on topics such as determining the best role for your PA/PTA in your school, grants and fundraising, conducting needs assessments, and engaging parents. 

  • We’ve provided over two hundred PA/PTAs with Jean Joachim’s fundraising book, Beyond the Bake Sale.

  • We've worked with and learned from parent leaders from all 5 boroughs, allowing us to share information and best practices to help improve schools across the city.

  • We’ve collaborated with nonprofits, including New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), Advocates for Children, Citizens Committee for New York City, and ioby, to connect parents with resources they need.

  • And DOE, recognizing our value to parent leaders, has linked to us on its website and newsletters. 

We’re proud to be supporting such amazing parent leaders. And glad both for the impact we’ve had and the growing recognition of the need to provide better support to PA/PTAs. 


Building a Stronger PA/PTA

In September, NYLPI's Pro Bono Clearinghouse hosted an event for nonprofit board members on board involvement and improving fundraising outcomes. The most useful takeaways for PA/PTAs reinforced a topic we covered last year –the need to focus on your organization’s mission. Whether your PA/PTA's emphasis is community-building, fundraising to support enrichment activities, parent education, or classroom support, articulating your mission and making sure your board’s work is guided by it can help keep your board unified, energized and effective.

Conveying your PA/PTA’s work to your membership through the lens of your mission is also critical: let your members know what the PA/PTA does, the impact it’s had on the school, how parents have made that happen, and your plans for continuing on that path.    

In that vein, former PS 133K PTA president Kevin Ryan-Young describes how his PTA increased its success in 7 Steps to Creating an Effective PA/PTA Executive Board.



In September, PTAlink and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’s office held another workshop in its series, “Building a Better PA/PTA.” We were joined by Ethany Uttech from the nonprofit crowdfunding platform ioby who explained how to use online fundraising campaigns – also known as crowdfunding – to raise money for school projects, and how ioby’s process, which includes one-on-one coaching to help plan, fundraise and implement projects, works. For more information, sign up for ioby's free crowdfunding webinar. To start an ioby campaign, share your project idea at

On October 27, Community Education Council 15 held a workshop on grants and other funding opportunities available to support schools and children. Speakers included representatives from City Councilmember Brad Lander’s office and Brooklyn Borough President’s office, a grant officer from DOE, a successful grantwriter/PA leader, and PTAlink. The organizers did a fantastic job putting together the event, which covered the multiple ways schools and PA/PTAs can access funding; they also distributed a folder to each attendee containing information on tax-exemption, grantwriting tips, and lists of relevant potential grants. If your CEC or Presidents’ Council is interested in creating a similar workshop and would like advice from the organizers, Camille Casaretti and Jiin Wen, you can reach them at or (718) 935-4267.

Keep PTAlink in mind as resource if you're contemplating applying for grants. Our Events of Interest section lists webinars and classes on finding grants opportunities and writing grants. We also include a guide on the grant writing process written by a public school parent/grantwriter. Plus, you can find numerous grant opportunities for PA/PTAs on our updated Grants Resource page.


Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council

Have you wanted to learn more about what happens at CPAC meetings? In an effort to provide all interested parents with information from its monthly meetings, the CPAC executive board has begun to generate notes from each meeting. PTAlink will be posting these notes on the website going forward. Read the September and October versions here.


PTA in the News

Manhattan’s PS 87’s PTA was profiled in a piece in Time magazine about their School2Schoool campaign, which helps to raise money for school projects in the South Bronx. 



We'd love to hear from you! 

Please share your ideas for how we can improve PTAlink and let us know how we can help. Email us at