With a common goal: to work for the welfare and improvement of school communities and student experiences, the difference between a PTA and a PTO has been a topic for debate over a past few decades. Looking closely and understanding the organizational differences, we came up with the basic contrast between these two Parent Teacher Groups.


PTA- Parent Teacher Association is a group of parents and teachers working on enrichment of schools and students. Operational under the state and national PTA, school PTAs pay dues to be a part of the larger organization and have a voice in the Nation wide PTA decisions. School PTAs have major benefits such as grants and various learnings, etc. with a cost and a condition to abide by the rules of the state and national PTA.
National PTA currently charges $2.25 per member, but states and sometimes PTA county councils can charge a couple of dollars.

PTO- Parent Teacher Organization is a generic term that is used to refer to councils of parents, teachers and other administration members who work for the enrichment of schools and students but without any dependencies on state or national laws. PTOs have various synonyms like PTCO (Parent Teacher Counselor Organization), HSA (Home School Association), PPC (Parent Communication Council), etc.
Popularity of PTOs has been increasing as the parent groups are not dependent on any superior PTO.
Now-a-days, with the help of internet, PTOs are not even alone. All the assistance required by them is available on the world wide web.

Political Involvement:

PTA- National PTA, earlier known as the National Congress of Mothers, is a trademark of the political involvement in schools and student lives. Undoubtedly, it is a group that works for the welfare of schools but involves advocacy.
Being a member of National PTA will help you with the insurance of your group, any embezzlement cases, and gives you a voice regarding the school budgets, grants and many more resourceful decision making.

PTO- A PTO can be as politically involved as it wants. If the group wants to get involved in jurisdiction, they can manage their group hierarchy accordingly. There is no such requirement for a PTO to give their budgets for approval or take cases to any higher authority.


PTA- Parent Teacher Groups ending with an 'A' (PTA, PTSA, etc.) will have benefits of grants, special giveaways, carefully crafted courses and manuals, and a predesigned set of bylaws. Other than this, the major benefit that a PTA gets is a voice that is heard nationwide. All the PTAs, and PTA Members have the right to speak for their child and the school.
With a motto, Every child, One voice, National PTA has the power to advocate every associated PTA and judge their actions and expenses. All the schools associated with National PTA have to justify their expenses and only then can they raise funds as per their requirements.

PTO- Parent Teacher Organizations are independent of any jurisdictions and advocacies. They do not give a decent share of their funds to any organization for a voice in the decisions. They are free to make their budget and raise funds as per their requirements and requisites.
With the rise of Internet, various PTOs have came together to discuss their issues and find solutions together. PTO Today is there to help with the manuals and help with the smooth functioning of the groups. Thus, PTOs are not alone but just not involved with advocacy.

Give or take, PTOs and PTAs are more or less same with just the difference of few dollars and cents. As given by PTO Today, put 1,000 PTA members in a room with 1,000 PTOers and you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Committed, generous volunteers are the common denominator. Whether it’s through a PTA, a PTO, or another mechanism, as long as those volunteers continue to support their schools, then children—all children—will be the winners.

Who are we?

PTSA Fundraiser is a Digital School Fundraising platform using which you can create a customized fundraising campaign for your PTO absolutely for free. You get a

  • Campaign page with a subdomain of your choice
  • Student Fundraising pages with Goal splitting capability
  • Parents can share the student pages on all social platforms, Invite friends & family via emails

PTOs can track donations/pledges in real time. The tool can save valuable volunteer hours that can be invested elsewhere.

With minimum platform fees, this platform has many features and provides you a one stop solution for all your fundraising issues.

So, request for demo or get in touch with our team at info@ptsafundraiser.com.