Below are the FAQs, copied from the Washington State PTA website document. We will be switching over to PT-Avenue, which is be a cloud-based interface. DO NOT ENTER NEXT YEAR'S MEMBERS UNTIL YOU ARE TOLD TO!! There is also an upgrade option with extra features, which allows you to do financials, volunteer tracking, documents, etc. There is a 60-day trial offer, if you want to test drive before deciding whether to use the system for your PTA for next year.
Database Conversion FAQ
WSPTA will be undertaking a database conversion from our
current database, iMIS, to a cloud service called PT-Avenue. The largest reason for this conversion is
that the current system is over ten years old and does not provide the features
PTA leadership has been requesting, including but not limited to the following:
oAbility to self-register online oAbility to import memberships oAbility to input memberships more easily oAbility to track participation by member oSimplified dues billing/payment process oBetter email communication functionality oBetter officer tracking and communication
Our database team, in partnership with the WSPTA board of
directors, the WSPTA membership committee, and a task force of PTA leaders, after
conducting a search of potential database solutions, found PT-Avenue, a cloud
database solution which we feel more thoroughly meets the needs of our
members. This system was designed with PTAs in mind! As a
result, it is set up to meet our unique needs!
Through this platform, in combination with our accounting database, we
are able to provide each of the above listed items to our members along with
direct email technical assistance from the PT-Avenue team. This solution will be provided at no charge
to our local PTAs and at a nominal cost to the Association. Upgraded platforms (shown below) are
available to PTAs who wish to subscribe to them at their own cost.
Our plan is to roll out this new solution this fall. The detailed timeline of the roll out is still being constructed. Stay tuned to your weekly Leadership News for updates to the project and more detailed timing information as it becomes available.
Below are questions that our team felt you might have about this change. It is by no means an exhaustive list. We look forward to adding to it as new questions come in from our members.
Will the new database require us to re-enter all of our membership data for the new membership year? One of the most attractive features in PT-Avenue to our team was the ability to upload data. From within the system, you are able to download an Excel template to use in the upload. Another feature we love is the helpful learning blurbs and videos to help guide you through the tasks you need to complete.
How do we access our membership site? We will have a link from our website to take you to your PTAs personal membership site. You can also access it from the PT-Avenue website.
Does my PTA have to use the new system? Because this is replacing our current membership website, each PTA will be required to enter/upload their membership data into their PT-Avenue account. The state office will set up your account for you in PT-Avenue and your login credentials will be given to you by your region leadership team as in years past.
How do we learn more about this new membership site? We will be putting together a video with more information which will be posted to our website after Convention. We will, in addition, be putting together training materials which will be distributed at region conferences. We will be utilizing Leadership News as well to give updated information on the process as well as the timeline for roll out.
Can I give input into the process? How do I give input? You most certainly will be given opportunities to give input through a variety of means including, but not limited to, conversations with your region team, email/phone contact with the state office, a roundtable to be held on Saturday night of Convention. In addition, Kirk Miller, will have a table by the registration area at Convention to answer questions.
How do we pay for our members? Billing will not change. You will be invoiced at the end of each month and each invoice will be due within 30 days.
What kind of reports are available? You will have access to not only reports similar to the ones that you have right now, but have the ability to design your own reports using PT-Avenue’s very easy to use report function.
Who has access to our members’ information? Your members’ data will only be accessible by you and to a limited extent WSPTA as is currently the case with our current database.
Who do we contact with our questions? During the setup phase, you may contact your region/council team or the state office with any questions you might have. Once you have started using PT-Avenue database, you will be able to contact them directly for support with the product.
How hard is it for my PTA to set up our account? It will not be hard at all. Your state office team will be setting up your account for you and your region/council team will be giving you your login information.
How do I get the link on my website? You will be able to work with your webmaster to post the link to the PT-Avenue site to your website. It is a fairly easy process.
Why is PT-Avenue the best database solution for WSPTA? The WSPTA board of directors, state office, and region/council/membership team feel that this is the best solution for WSPTA because it provides all the features our member leaders have requested in a membership site which is both user friendly and cost efficient. We also feel that this solution has the ability to grow along with us throughout the years.
Should we wait until this is online to enter new members? Within the weeks following Convention, we will be providing information as to the timeline and how PTAs should proceed with entering their members for the 2015-2016 year. As in previous years, however, we request that you not enter members for the new membership year into the current system until we have set up the solution for the new year. This will avoid your PTA being charged for the new members in the current year. We instead suggest that you maintain a spreadsheet listing the memberships you receive before the end of the current year that are for the next year.
If we upgrade, will PT-Avenue take a personal check? PT-Avenue does have upgraded packages to which your PTA may subscribe at your own cost. Because PT-Avenue was designed with PTAs in mind, they are able to take checks in payment for upgraded services. The representatives from PT-Avenue will be able to discuss the details of each of the packages while onsite at Convention. In addition, however, below is a snapshot of what the upgraded packages offer as far as options.
How does this change our year end process? Instead of WSPTA state office resetting our database each year as we currently do, each PTA will be resetting their database for the new year by following a few simple steps clearly laid out in PT-Avenue for this purpose. WSPTA will provide information to help you out with this as year-end approaches.
Will the rapid renew button work? At the end of the year, PT-Avenue runs a script which moves all your current membership from “Paid” to “Unpaid.” In order to renew someone, you will simply mark them as having paid you and update any of their demographic information that has changed.
Will we still be able to get our electronic membership card? Most definitely! We are committed to continuing to provide that service!
Is there an app for my PT-Avenue account? As of right now, there is not. Fortunately, however, the website is mobile device friendly.
Do I have to redo my membership form? We recommend that you update your form each year to meet the changing needs of your demographics. As far as the change in database, while you do not have to change your form, you might want to consider changing your form to match the fields contained within the database so that you are making sure to capture all the data that you will need.
Will members be able to pay online? We will have a special portal through the WSPTA website through which people may join their local PTA and use their credit card to pay.
Will I have the ability to edit my own membership list? This is one of the features about which we are most excited. PTAs will now be able to edit their own membership lists. If you find a duplicate, you may delete it yourself. Because we are pulling down numbers for billing purposes, we do request that you review your membership list frequently for duplicates so that they can be deleted within the month in which they were entered.
Do I have to enter each member separately? With PT-Avenue you are able to upload your members into the database using an Excel template.
How does this affect my budget? Because the basic portal is being provided by WSPTA, there should be no need to adjust your budget unless you wish to upgrade to the higher platform.
How does this change my membership campaign? This should not change the way that you run your membership campaign except for the fact that you are now able to offer members a way to join your PTA online through the WSPTA website.
MEMBERSHIP FEES 2015 (for local PTA dues, contact your PTA)
Membership fees due to Washington State PTA Council Fee - $1.50 per member State Fee - $5.75 National Fee - $2.25 Total due to State = $9.50 per member Membership fees (including Council fee) due to Washington State PTA
PTAs will be billed monthly after they reach 25 members.