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PTA Glossary of Terms

TVC PTA Glossary of Terms

  • 3-to-1 Rule: The nonprofit recommendation that there should be at least three non-fundraising programs aimed at helping parents or children or advocating for school improvements for every one fundraiser.


  • Advocacy: The act of mobilizing individuals to work with other parents in their unit, community, council, district, state and national PTA to spark changes in programs and policies that benefit children.
  • Amend: To change the wording of a motion by inserting, adding, striking out, and inserting, or by making a substitution.
  • Annual Report: (aka Historian or Unit Report) Every PTA is required to prepare an Annual Report, containing volunteer hours and brief descriptions about successful PTA program activities from July 1 and projected through June 30.
  • Annual Financial Report: The treasurer will report gross receipts and disbursements for the fiscal year. The report is distributed to the Executive Board and to the membership. Copies of these reports must also be forwarded to Council and District PTA, as required in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units.
  • Approval of Minutes: The secretary addresses the chairman and reads the minutes. Or with the approval of the group, the minutes may be posted, distributed in advance, or assigned to a committee of three or more for approval or correction, especially for the last association meeting.
  • Association: The voting body for all action taken, including: adopting bylaws, adopting the programs and budget for the year, electing the nominating committee, electing officers and approving all monies spent by the organization.
  • Auditor’s Report: A written Auditor’s Report must be presented semi-annually to the unit executive board and association after the books and financial records of the association have been audited. The association must adopt both the mid and end-of-year audits. An Audit Checklist is required for each account. If all is in order, the auditor or audit committee prepares a report, and the auditor or each member of the committee signs it.
  • Audit Schedule: All PTAs must conduct audits semi-annually or upon resignation of the treasurer, financial secretary, any check signer, or at any time deemed necessary by the Executive Board. The schedule for the semi-annual audit, and its presentation to the Executive Board, and the Association, are listed in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, ARTICLE VI – DUTIES OF OFFICERS, Section 6.a.


  • Budget: The budget is a financial representation of the activities and operations a PTA expects to conduct during a specified time period. The budget estimates income and expenses for the fiscal year and must be presented to the Association for approval and recorded in the association minutes. The budget should coincide with the association's fiscal year. Recommended budget line items can be found here.
  • Bylaws: The Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units. Specific rules that govern the operation of business for every PTA and non-profit organization. All PTA bylaws have specified sections in common. Any change in bylaws must be submitted through the appropriate channels to the California State PTA Parliamentarian for approval. After the bylaws have been returned to the unit, the proposed changes to the bylaws require a two-thirds vote of the association with thirty days prior written notice to the membership. Bylaws should to be reviewed every year and need to be revised and submitted to California State PTA for approval every three years at a minimum.


  • Call to Order: (on time, quorum met) The president stands, raps the gavel once and calls the meeting to order. “The meeting will please come to order.”
  • Carry-over Funds: Carry-over funds represent the amount set aside to begin operations at the beginning of the next PTA fiscal year, prior to the onset of fundraising activities.
  • Cash Verification Form: Used by two PTA members when counting monies to document and verify cash and checks received. Form and monies are then given to the financial secretary or treasurer.
  • Certificate of Insurance: Document issued by the insurance broker certifying that an insurance policy covering general liability is in force. A Certificate of Insurance is included in the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide mailed to all PTAs in good standing and on-line at
  • Channels: (a.k.a.: Up the Chain) The route of formal communications through the PTA. For Temecula Valley Council units, the chain is unit to council, council to district PTA, district PTA to California State PTA (CAPTA), CAPTA to National PTA.
  • Charitable Trust Number (CT#): This number is required for all PTAs as of December 2012, and is listed in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, ARTICLE XIV – IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS AND FISCAL YEAR, Section 5. This number is used to file an RRF-1 every year.
  • Commingling of Funds: PTA is a nonprofit, private organization and as such can handle only those funds over which it has full control. PTA monies and other physical assets are the property of the PTA and shall be administered through its own accounts. PTAs shall not deposit funds from other groups or organizations in the PTA account; deposit PTA funds in a personal account; or deposit PTA funds in school or school district accounts. Please see TVC PTA Financial F.A.Q. for more information.
  • Continuing Service Award (CSA): A Continuing Service Award may be given to an individual or organization in special recognition of continued service to children and youth. Typically the recipients are recognized at a Founders Day event. The recipient may or may not have received a previous Honorary Service Award. This award is available by a contribution in the name of the recipient. The award and pin is available from the CA State PTA store, the order form is also included in the “forms” section of the CA State PTA Toolkit. The term Continuing Service Award cannot be used if you are not registering the award by purchasing it through CAPTA.
  • Contract – A legally enforceable agreement between two or more persons or organizations. Contracts must be approved by the PTA membership before being signed by two elected officers, one of whom must be the president.
  • Contributions – Donations of money, property, or services received by the PTA from individuals or businesses. PTAs must follow Internal Revenue Service guidelines for receipts for contributions.
  • Convention: The annual California PTA business meeting; where representatives from local units elect state officers, amend bylaws, adopt resolutions, and attend workshops. It is usually held at the end of April or the first part of May. The unit should budget enough money to cover the cost of registration, hotel room, transportation and food for the allowed number of delegates based on the unit’s membership.
  • Council: A group of three or more local unit PTAs organized by the state PTA for the purposes of conference, leadership training and coordination of the efforts of local PTAs.


  • District: A geographic division of the state PTA established for convenience in administering PTA programs and projects. All units belonging to Temecula Valley Council of PTAs are also a part of 23rd District PTA. 
  • Diversity: PTAs must be reflective of their communities to assure we speak for every child with one voice. A PTA membership should reflect the cultures of the surrounding neighborhoods. PTA values and appreciates diversity, which enriches and strengthens the structure of our society within our state and nation.


  • EIN: Employer Identification Number. The EIN is necessary for a unit’s tax return. This number may be found Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, ARTICLE XIV – IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS AND FISCAL YEAR, Section 3. This number should be provided to all parties making donations to the unit.  
  • Embezzlement – Stealing of money entrusted into one’s care by means of fraud for one’s own use.
  • Executive Board a.k.a Executive Committee: PTA executive board consists of the elected and appointed officers, as listed in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA UnitsARTICLE V – OFFICERS AND THEIR ELECTION, Section 2 , chairmen of any Standing Committees as defined by the Unit Standing Rules, the school site principal or his/her designated representative, faculty representative(s), and student representatives (if applicable). 

    The executive board meets monthly to handle the transaction of necessary business and details between meetings of the association. The executive board is responsible for accepting and studying recommendations to be presented to the membership for approval. The responsibilities of the executive board, and its respective members, can be found in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, ARTICLE VI – DUTIES OF OFFICERS, as well as in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units Standing Rules.  


  • Facilities Use Permit: A permit required by most school districts that, when approved, authorizes the PTA to use school site facilities. For more information, please see here.
  • Fiduciary Agreement: An agreement between a PTA and school/school district that defines a donation from a PTA to a school/school district and its intended use. When making gifts, a Fiduciary Agreement should be completed by the PTA and signed by all involved so that all parties acknowledge and agree to gift restrictions. If a Fiduciary Agreement is not completed, gifts to the school that are accepted by the school district become the property of that district and can be moved or used at any school within the school district. More information is available in the financial section of the Toolkit.
  • Fiduciary Responsibility: Every PTA Executive Board member has a personal responsibility to:
    • 1) protect the assets of the organization,
    • 2) ensure compliance with all laws,
    • 3) ensure the assets are used to meet the needs of the children and members served by the PTA,
    • 4) ensure continuity of the association by preserving assets for the future and not encumbering future boards,
    • 5) ensure that all members are given the opportunity to participate in decision making and to view financial reports; and
    • 6) ensure the association is carrying out the purposes of PTA.
  • Fiscal Year – The financial accounting period established by the PTA; identified in the Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, ARTICLE XIV – IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS AND FISCAL YEAR, Section 6, as a time for the association to close its financial books and records for the past 12-month period. The IRS is notified of the fiscal year at the time of organization when IRS Form SS-4 is submitted.
  • Founders Day: Each year in February, PTA honors the three founders of PTA: Phoebe Apperson Hearst, Alice McLellan Birney, and Selena Sloan Butler, as well as past and present PTA leaders. Through special programs and events, PTA also attempts to increase the awareness of its members and the community by highlighting achievements, activities, projects and goals. Founders Day is officially February 17th, and can be celebrated at the local unit, council, district and state levels. The job description for the Founders Day Chairman can be found here. Founders Day awards and pins are available from the CA State PTA store, found online at
  • Founders Day Freewill Offering: Contributions commemorating the founders of PTA. Contributions are forwarded through channels to the California State PTA and serve to assist District, State, and National PTA in continuing their support and training efforts for all levels of PTA. The contributions must be remitted separately, and and have a separate line item on the Unit Remittance Form.
  • Fundraising: Fundraising is the method of raising money to finance PTA programs and projects. The fundraising project must support the goals of PTA and be related to the educational, charitable and philanthropic purposes as a tax-exempt organization. When planning the year’s activities, PTAs should use the 3-to-1 Rule: There should be at least three non-fundraising programs aimed at helping parents or children or advocating for school improvements, for every one fundraiser. Fundraising income is the gross income from fundraisers. The expenses for conducting each fundraiser should be listed under "Expenses" individually by fundraiser. Best practices for PTA fundraising may be found in the Toolkit.


  • Gifts to Individuals – A personal gift to a PTA member or school staff. Gifts to individuals cannot be paid for with PTA funds. Personal gifts include: gift cards, gifts for baby showers, Administrative Professional's Day, bereavements, weddings, or birthdays. If the unit wishes to recognize an individual, donations must be collected as freewill offerings and the money maintained separately from PTA funds.
  • Gifts to Schools – Gifts to the school that benefit the largest number of students possible. Be sure to check with the school district before purchasing any materials for the school. Gifts should be in the form of a donation, presented and accepted by the school board at a school board meeting, and recorded in the school board minutes. Always use a fiduciary agreement.
  • Golden Oak Service Award (GOSA): The most prestigious PTA award in California. This award may be given to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the welfare of children and youth in the school or community. This award is available by making a contribution in the name of the recipient. A Golden Oak Service pin is available at an additional cost. The Golden Oak Service award and pin are available from the CA State PTA, the order form is included in the “forms” section of the CA State PTA Toolkit. This term cannot be used if you are not registering the award by purchasing it through CAPTA.
  • Good Standing – The term applies to units, councils and districts that have met all requirements specified in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, which includes remittance of insurance premiums and membership per capita to the California State PTA by the established due dates.
  • Grants: Specific funds given to an organization to perform specific functions. CAPTA has grants for local units under categories of:
    • 1) Parent Education,
    • 2) Outreach Translation,
    • 3) Cultural Arts,
    • 4) Healthy Lifestyles and
    • 5) Leadership Development (to go to convention). Check the site for specific CAPTA deadlines.
  • Gross Receipts – The total amount of receip before any deductions are taken or expenses are paid. For the purpose of completing the IRS Form 990, monies forwarded through channels to the California State PTA office are not considered gross receipts. This includes membership per capita, Founders Day Freewill Offerings, and insurance premiums.


  • Hold Harmless Agreement – An agreement in which the signing party assumes responsibility for all acts and all liability for any injuries that occur related to an event. PTA MUST NOT SIGN A HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT. California State PTA insurance does not cover vendors, concessionaires, or service providers; these entities must provide Evidence of Insurance to each PTA unless annual Evidence of Insurance has been filed with the California State PTA Insurance Broker. A Hold Harmless Agreement may be found in the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide.
  • Honorary Service Awards (HSA): An Honorary Service Award may be given to an individual or organization in special recognition of outstanding service to children and youth. This award is available by making a contribution in the name of the recipient. An HSA pin is available at an additional cost. The HSA and pin are available from the CA State PTA. The term Honorary Service Award cannot be used if you are not registering the award by purchasing it through CAPTA.
  • Honorary Service Awards Program: This program recognizes the service and dedication of both individuals and organizations. The HSA Program includes: Very Special Person Award, the Honorary Service Award, the Continuing Service Award, the Golden Oak Service Award, and donations to the HSA Program. A person may receive more than one of any of these awards and in any order.


  • Inclusive: To provide maximum opportunities to achieve the broadest representation of, and participation by, all families and individuals. Inclusion is a commitment to involve the entire school community in planning, as well as enjoying, PTA programs and activities. Bringing in many different views is the key to building a robust and meaningful PTA presence in your community. Some communities your PTA can reach out to include cultural and ethnic groups, non-English speakers, single parents, working parents, stepparents, foster parents, grandparents, students, teachers, school staff, school administrators, peace officers, government agencies, and businesses.
  • Insurance: Participation in the California State PTA insurance program is required of all PTAs in California. Units are notified of the premium amounts in September. The premium must be forwarded through PTA channels to be received in California State PTA office by the specified due date, or a late fee of $25 will be assessed by CAPTA.


  • Letter of Determination (LOD): Proof that a PTA is a constituent organization of the California State PTA. This document consists of:
    • A Letter dated 1943 from the Internal Revenue Service
    • A Letter from the California Franchise Tax Board
    • A Current cover letter from the California State PTA office indicating the specific unit is a constituent unit in good standing. The unit EIN will be identified in the letter.

This document should be filed with the PTA’s permanent financial records.

  • Loss Prevention Guide: The annual insurance guide provided to units. This guide assists units in selecting appropriate fundraising activities, sponsored programs, and events. It outlines the risks associated with planned activities, and include the Red, Yellow, and Green guidance sheets regarding permitted activities. This guide is mailed to Unit, Council and District PTAs annually, and is available online via the insurance provider. It is the responsibility of each PTA President to review the Insurance Guide and its contents with the unit Executive Board and all other relevant parties annually. 


  • Majority Vote: One more than half of the votes cast.
  • Member: Any individual who subscribes to the Purposes and basic policies of the PTA becomes a member upon payment of dues to a PTA or PTSA unit. A person, by joining a local PTA, becomes a member of both National and State PTAs.
  • Membership Dues: Membership dues may differ in amount in each PTA unit. Each unit's respective dues are listed in  Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA UnitsARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP AND DUES, Section 4. Membership dues may only be changed by revising the unit bylaws and submitting them through channels for approval by the California State PTA parliamentarian. The dues change may not take effect until the bylaws have been returned  to the unit and the proposed changes have been adopted by the Association.. Membership dues include per capita dues. The remaining portion stays in the unit.
  • Membership List: Each PTA membership chairman is required to maintain a list of the PTA's current members, including dates of membership and contact information. A current list of members shall be kept on file with the president, secretary, and membership chair. The membership list should be available at association meetings from the secretary to determine who is eligible to vote, and a copy should also be provided to the nominating committee when it convenes. The membership list of the association shall be for the exclusive use of the PTA associations and shall not be available for distribution or purchase by any other organization or commercial entity. Membership lists are kept for 3 years, while the envelopes of forms can be disposed of after 1 year.
  • Membership Card: Each member receives an official membership card from the unit PTA to which dues have been paid. All units who come under the purview of 23rd District PTA may only use paper membership cards. The membership card issued shows that the dues paid to the unit also include membership in the California State PTA and National PTA. The same PTA membership card is used by all PTAs. The cards are provided to your unit through Temecula Valley Council of PTAs (TVC PTA), via 23rd District PTA, and may not be copied. The expiration date is October 31 of the following year.
  • Membership Per Capita – The amount of money that must be forwarded through channels for each membership received in the unit in order to be considered a unit in good standing by the California State PTA.
  • Membership Year: The California State PTA membership year ends on October 31 of each year.
  • Minutes – The permanent legal record of all action taken by the association and the executive board. All financial reports become a part of the minutes.
  • Motion: A formal proposal made to bring a subject before an assembly for its consideration and action.


  • Nominating Committee: The nominating committee is the only PTA committee that is not appointed by the president. This committee is elected by the membership at least two months prior to the election of officers. Determining when to elect the committee and how many people to elect is outlined in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units. The protocol fpor for nominating committees may be found in ARTICLE V - OFFICERS AND THEIR ELECTION, Section 3 of Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units. Don’t forget to elect alternates, in the event an elected committee member cannot attend a committee meeting! More information on nominating committees may be found in the Toolkit. 



  • Parliamentary Procedure: The consistent set of rules governing deliberative assemblies and designed to maintain order, expedite business and fair and impartial treatment for all. PTA uses Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised 11th Edition as a guide to parliamentary procedure, which may be purchased online via the store.
  • Payment Authorization/Request for Reimbursement Form: A written request for an expenditure or reimbursement. All forms must be completely fill out, in ink, with appropriate documentation attached.
  • Presentation of Bills: Since the approval of the budget does not authorize the expenditure of funds, bills must be presented, and their payment voted upon at association meetings. Bills should be itemized as to amount, whom to pay, and what payment covers. Any association bills authorized and paid by the executive board must be ratified and recorded in the association minutes. Ratified bills should be itemized as to amount, who was paid, and what the payment covers.
  • Procedure Book: Materials necessary to the work of a particular office or committee that should be compiled for their own use during their term and passed on to their successors. Procedure books are not the personal property of individuals. A procedure book can be maintained electronically.
  • Pro-tem: Refers to any person temporarily acting in place of the presiding or other officer.
  • PTA and PTSA (NOT P.T.A. or P.T.S.A.): Parent Teacher Association and Parent Teacher Student Association are registered service marks entities of the National Parent Teacher Association or National PTA. No periods separate the letters. Only organizations chartered by PTA may use its name.
  • PTAEZ: A web-based accounting and organizational utility developed specifically for PTA. This utility also includes a section to input Executive Board contact information and a section to input annual tax information as a courtesy to units. Financial and general Membership portions of the software are available for use for an annual fee. PTAez may be accessed


  • Quorum: The minimum number of qualified voting members that must be present at a meeting to legally conduct business. The quorum for an Executive Board meeting may be found in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA UnitsARTICLE VIII – EXECUTIVE BOARD, Section 7.b. The quorum for a General Association meeting may be found in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA UnitsARTICLE VII – ASSOCIATION MEETINGS, Section 5.b. Quorum totals will vary from unit to unit. 


  • Ratification:  The approval by the membership of an action taken by the PTA executive board as specified in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, ARTICLE VIII – EXECUTIVE BOARD, Section 2c.
  • Reconciliation of Funds – The process of bringing into agreement the bank balance as shown on the bank statement, the checkbook ledger, and the check register. The purpose is to ensure that the bank records and the association’s financial records are correct, to identify outstanding checks, and to determine the actual balance against which future checks may be drawn.
  • Red Ribbon Week: A week-long drug awareness program held on school campuses.
  • Reflections: The longest running National PTA program, this arts recognition and achievement program for students begins at the local unit level and progresses through Councils, Districts, and State PTA to the National PTA. The Reflections program provides opportunities for students to express themselves creatively and to receive positive recognition for original works of art inspired by a pre-selected theme, while increasing community awareness on the importance of the arts in education. The job description for the Reflections chairman can be found here. The general rules for the Reflections program can be found here.
  • Reimbursement of Expenses – Allowable out-of-pocket officers’ expenses shown as a line item on the budget adopted by the association are reimbursable. Reimbursement is made upon the submission of an expense statement and/or receipts.
  • Release of Funds: Authorization vote by the association to spend up to a certain amount of money for an agreed upon purpose.
  • Remittance Form: Finance form that accompanies the per capita dues, insurance premiums, freewill offerings and other payments submitted through channels.
  • RRF-1: This is the Annual Registration Renewal Report; every non-profit organization must file annually declaring the most current information of the group. More information on tax filing charitable trust can be found here
  • Resolution (Convention): New business is brought before the convention by resolutions. When adopted by the California State PTA convention delegates, a resolution becomes an official PTA position that provides authority and direction for action by the California State PTA and its constituent associations.
  • Restricted Reserve: It is permissible for PTAs to have a savings account to hold undistributed funds for more than one year. An example of why a PTA might have a large sum of undistributed funds is a PTA is financing a long-term projects or programs, i.e.: playground project.
  • Robert’s Rules Of Order, Newly Revised: A book of parliamentary procedure used as the basis for conducting meetings. The rules contained in the current edition shall govern the National PTA and its constituent organizations when they are not in conflict with the bylaws of California PTA, National PTA or articles of incorporation. 
  • Roster: A listing of all current PTA officers’ names and contact information.


  • Scholarships: The California PTA offers the following scholarships to PTA members:
    • 1) Graduating High School Senior Scholarship (due to CAPTA) ,
    • 2) Continuing Education Scholarship for Credentialed Teachers and Counselors
    • 3) Continuing Education Scholarships for PTA volunteers and
    • 4) Continuing Education Scholarship for School Nurses. Check for applications, guidelines and due dates
  • Scrip – A coupon which may be redeemed in lieu of using cash at the store that issued the scrip. Scrip is purchased, usually from grocery stores, in large amounts for a discount off the face value. The PTA sells the scrip at the full value, raising funds for the unit. Per 23rd District Standing Rules, no unit in Temecula Valley Council (TVC) PTA may use Scrip. 
  • Special Committee: Committee appointed as the need arises to perform a specific task, then is dissolved. These are different than Standing Committees, as defined in Standing Rule 10 of the unit bylaws. Special committee chairmen do not sit, or have voting privileges, on the Executive Board, unless already a member of the Executive Board outside of the committee.
  • Sponsorship – Financial support received from a business. The law permits a PTA to receive corporate sponsorship income tax free, if the sponsorship is linked to a specific event and the event is held once per year. The PTA gives the corporate sponsor an acknowledgment of thanks in return for the sponsorship.
  • Spotlight Award Program: Award recognition program of CAPTA that recognizes the achievements of local units in specific categories. Categories are:
    •  1) Leadership Development,
    • 2) Student Support and Achievement,
    • 3) Environmental,
    • 4) Family Involvement,
    • 5) Membership and Outreach
    • 6) Collaboration and Advocacy.

There is one application that allows applicants to qualify for consideration in multiple categories. To be eligible for the PTA Unit Spotlight Award, a unit must qualify for the Ready, Set … Remit! Award in the year in which it applies for the award, and its bylaws must be current.

  • Staff/Teacher Appreciation: PTA resources may be used for hospitality for staff/volunteer appreciation as long as it does not represent a significant amount. “Not of a significant amount” is defined by the IRS as an amount that does not exceed 5 percent of the nonprofit organization’s annual budget. PTA funds cannot be used to purchase personal gifts for staff or volunteers, nor may they be used to purchase gift cards.
  • Standing Committee: As defined in Standing Rule 10 of the unit bylaws, Standing Committees are committees where the work of the committee continues throughout the year. These committees are permanent committees created to perform a continuing function, and are included in the unit Standing Rules. Chairmen of Standing Committees are considered members of the Executive Board, and do have voting privileges therein..
  • Standing Rules: The details of administration of an association. They are adopted as needs arise by the body they govern. Standing rules outline the procedures of the organization that are not included in the bylaws and may not restate or conflict with the bylaws. Standing Rules are the details of monthly PTA work that may be changed from administration to administration or from meeting to meeting.


  • Tax Exemption: PTAs are exempt from taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. To retain the tax-exempt status, PTAs must pay attention that fundraising does not become the primary focus. While PTAs are exempt from paying taxes, all PTAs are required by the IRS to annually file taxes (some version of a 990 and some version of a 199) by 5 and ½ months after the end of their fiscal year.
  • Toolkit: The California State PTA Toolkit provides guidance, instruction, and ideas for ensuring a successsful term as a PTA officer or chairman. One copy of the publication is sent to each PTA president in California when published (every other summer). The Toolkit is designed to be shared and is available on the California State PTA website,
  • Treasurer's Report: Report that includes balances at the beginning and end of the period covered; amounts credited to the general fund and any special funds; and receipts and disbursements with separate sections for amounts belonging to the PTA and amounts NOT belonging to the PTA with a detailed written report posted and/or distributed. Copies of the report must be provided to the president and secretary and added to the treasurer’s file. Treasurer’s reports are not approved by the board or association, but rather are “filed for audit.”


  • Unallocated Reserve: The amount remaining after making allocations for budgeted programs and activities, and may be used to cover any unexpected or unplanned expenses in the current fiscal year. The association must adopt a budget amendment to transfer funds from Unallocated Reserves to a specific budget category prior to disbursing funds.
  • Unit: A self-governing PTA unit, usually associated with a school, that plans programs and activities to meet the needs of children and youth. The local unit is required to observe the policies and procedures of the California State PTA and/or National PTA.
  • Unit In Good Standing: Defined as a local unit that:
    • 1) Adheres to the Purposes and basic policies of the PTA;
    • 2) Has a minimum of 15 members including three officers:
      • President,
      • Secretary and
      • Treasurer;
    • 3) Submits per capita dues, insurance premiums and member names and addresses by the California State PTA deadlines; and
    • 4) Has bylaws approved according to the procedures of the California State PTA. California PTA will notify Units Not In Good Standing (NGS) in writing by April 30. NGS units risk having their charter withdrawn.


  • Very Special Person Award (VSP): The Very Special Person Award may be given to individuals or PTA constituent organizations to recognize having contributed to the school community in a special way. This award is available by making a contribution (however a certificate to present to the recipient is not included). A VSP pin is available at an additional cost, the order form is included in the “forms” section of the CA State PTA Toolkit.
  • Volunteer Hours: Collection of volunteer hours is important to maintain PTA federal tax exemption. An organization granted nonprofit charitable status must receive one-third of its support from the general public. Valuation of service hours expended in carrying out the purposes for which it was formed will also positively affect the public support and leverage of PTA. The Historian generally collects and tallies the volunteer hours (rounded up to nearest hour) and reports in the Annual Report. Volunteer hours must be collected and totaled before the end of the PTA term in order for information to be forwarded to California State PTA to process the information in a timely fashion. Unit volunteers and/or the unit historian should be asked to project ahead and estimate as closely as possible the number of hours that will be spent in PTA activities through the end of the term (June 30).
    • What types of activities should be counted as volunteer hours? If it's about PTA – count it toward your volunteer hours!
      • Attending: National PTA convention, California State PTA Convention, District training opportunities, Council training opportunities.
      • Traveling to and from PTA activities
      • Preparing and sending correspondence regarding PTA business (e-mail and/or print)
      • Preparing and/or creating: agendas, minutes, newsletters, reports (financial, chairman, etc.)
      • Preparation for: meetings, events, phone calls, e-mails, set-up/clean-upPreparation for: meetings, events, phone calls, e-mails, set-up/clean-up
      • Advocacy/legislation activities and/or conferences
      • Conversations regarding PTA business
      • Attending meetings: association meetings, executive board meetings, committee meetings, and/or any other meetings attended for PTA purposes
      • Participation in PTA programs and events
      • Participation in school, community service, and/or activities benefitting children as a representative of PTA
      • Promoting PTA
      • Shopping for event/activities
      • Thinking PTA (It counts! It's how amazing ideas are born!)
  • Voting Member: To be qualified to vote, a member must have paid annual per capita dues to the Association, and must have been a member of the Association for at least 30 days.