Cooperating with Other Organizations

Community betterment is one of the chief aims of PTA endeavors. This can be brought about through cooperation with other agencies that are doing child welfare work in the community.

Unit, council, and district PTAs should not enter into permanent cooperation with any agency. PTAs may cooperate with an agency by publicizing and distributing information about an event at meetings and through newsletters.

PTAs may cooperate on special projects with any agency whose purposes and methods are consistent with PTA policies. If, for any reason, the project cannot be completed during the administration in which it was authorized, the new administration should review it before approval.

PTAs may cooperate with any agency through committees. They shall not set up a cooperating committee as a permanent or continuing committee. A cooperating committee continues only through the life of the special project upon which cooperation is advisable.

Co-sponsorship involves the development and planning of an event with other groups, agencies, or organizations. PTAs should participate actively in each cooperative undertaking to ensure that goals and procedures are consistent with the Purposes, basic policies and principles of the PTA. When an event requires the signing of contractual agreements, the responsibilities, financial obligations, and liabilities must be clearly defined, discussed, and authorized by the co-sponsoring PTA prior to the signing of such contracts. For protection in the event of an accident or lawsuit, each co-sponsoring group must have its own adequate liability insurance. Prior to the event, all printed information, handouts, and selection of speakers should be reviewed and approved by the co-sponsoring PTA’s executive board.

The right of members of California State PTA to be official representatives of California State PTA in public relationships (including the publishing of names on the stationery of other organizations) shall be conferred only by the Board of Managers or the California State PTA president. A person who renders service to another organization as a representative of California State PTA may accept an honorarium to be donated to California State PTA.

PTA funds shall not be used for expenses of those who have accepted appointments to term committees in outside agencies without approval of the California State PTA Board of Managers.

Coordinating with Community Groups

The policy of the National PTA encourages participation of PTAs in community groups. It is of paramount importance that PTAs be a part of community councils having goals similar to those of PTA.

The PTA unit, council or district shall make sure that the proposed rules of procedure or bylaws of the group do not conflict with the bylaws of the association.

Community groups with which the PTA may cooperate are those that are not set up as action groups nor to operate programs, but rather to pool information and develop resources for service to children, youth, and families in the community. The abilities and strengths of each organization can be used efficiently to solve problems that require combined influences and joint planning.

Each organization represented in the community group retains its own identity and is not committed to a course of action outside its own field of operation. The PTA unit does not “join” another organization. Participation in these groups should be through an official representative of the PTA. It is the responsibility of this representative to inform the PTA of activities of the community group, to vote on routine organizational business of the group, and to act on policy matters under the direction of the PTA being represented.

Many community groups have operating budgets to cover staff and other expenses. PTA policies concerning legitimate use of PTA funds should be strictly observed (Fiduciary Agreements and Gifts to Schools, Budget, Financing Programs at the School, Budget (Sample)). It is the responsibility of the district PTA to determine an equitable amount that may be budgeted toward the expenses of community groups. All contributions to these groups require the approval of the association.

Limits of Cooperation (Conditions Governing Sponsorship of Youth Groups)

California State PTA considers the work done by youth-serving organizations to be of tremendous value.

Conditions for Sponsorship

Reinforcement of the work of youth groups should be given through moral support and encouragement, helping to secure qualified and able adult leadership, helping to arrange for a meeting place, and providing opportunities for youth service. No obligation is assumed for, nor shall the PTA be responsible or liable for, the actions of any individual acting as a leader, a participant in, or in some other capacity for a sponsored group.

One member of the executive board of the sponsoring PTA shall serve as coordinator and representative of any PTA -sponsored youth groups. The local unit has certain responsibilities toward any group with purposes so closely related to its own program. It should seek to arouse interest in the need for youth groups and encourage formation of such groups and stimulate leadership.

The PTA assumes no obligation, expressly or otherwise, responsibility, or liability for the competence, the actions, or the omissions of any person or persons who may have been or may become active as a leader, participant, or otherwise, in any organization or group sponsored by the PTA.

The PTA assumes no obligation to give financial support to groups that it sponsors, including payment of individual dues or the purchase of uniforms or equipment. The PTA may help provide suitable fundraising opportunities for youth groups, giving publicity to their projects and recognition to their achievements.

In case of need, the unit may vote to hold a special fundraising project to provide such items as group equipment, handicraft supplies, or camperships.

To avoid misunderstandings and to facilitate harmonious relationships between the PTA sponsor and the youth group, a copy of the conditions governing sponsorship should be permanently attached to or be a part of every sponsorship agreement (Application for Youth Group Sponsorship or Renewal).

Boy Scout Groups

California State PTA continues to support scouting and the opportunities scouting provides for young people. However, the Boy Scouts of America seeks local organizations as sponsors (signing charters) and the Scouting Annual Charter Agreement includes the following responsibilities for that organization:

  • Conduct the scouting program according to its own policies as well as those of the Boy Scouts of America,
  • Include scouting as part of its overall program for youth and families,
  • Appoint a member of the organization to coordinate all scouting operations at the site. He or she will represent the organization to the scouting district and serve as a voting member of the local Boy Scout council,
  • Select a scouting committee (minimum of three) of parents and members of the organization who will screen and select local scouting leaders.

While an individual may choose to volunteer with Boy Scouts of America or other youth groups, California State PTA directs local PTA units, councils and districts: DO NOT SIGN ANY CHARTER OR YOUTH GROUP SPONSORSHIP OR RENEWAL FORM WITH THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA as:

  • A PTA representative may not commit the PTA to the bylaws and other regulations of Boy Scouts of America.
  • Local PTA leaders are generally not qualified to screen and select the local scouting leaders.
  • The California State PTA insurance program provides no coverage for a PTA leader sitting as a representative to the scouting council nor for sponsoring another organization.
  • The California State PTA insurance program provides no liability coverage for the actions of any individual acting as a leader, a participant in, or in some other capacity for another organization.
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