With my three children each making their way through Elementary School I spent most of those years on the PTA Board. In 2006, bridging my software design background with my experience on the PTA, I began designing a website for PTAs that would offer more than just a place to display information for their parents.
It had to be so easy to use that any parent would feel comfortable taking on the Website Administrator position. Easy enough that no web experience and even no creativity would be necessary to maintain a beautifully organized and aesthetically pleasing site. Easy enough that the site could be passed on from one Administrator to the next over time and the PTA would never miss a beat.
The next issue we wanted to help PTAs overcome was the cost. I know first hand that PTAs work hard for every dollar that they make and how they strive to make sure that every dime possible is given back to the kids in one way or another. Of course, with any Organization there are required administration costs associated, and although our website would prove to be an invaluable tool, it was important to us that we provide supplemental revenue for the Organization to offset any costs associated with our product. From this conviction the website Ads were born. While other website companies rely on Ad revenue to fill their own pockets, we decided to give away the majority of the site's Ad space to the Organization allowing them to set their own price and terms and keep 100% of their profits.
The next order of business was to incorporate as many tools into the site as we could to make the Board's jobs easier. And what better way to do this than to offer online Volunteering, online Purchasing and online RSVPs and Parent Polling. Parents could fill Volunteer slots and Donation requests online, pay for event tickets and such, RSVP to non-ticketed events and weigh in their opinion in the latest poll. Then the associated board or committee member could monitor signups, fill orders, and check their inventory right there online as well. And now that all of their past and present information would be stored in one central location it would be simple to pass the torch from one Board to the next.
So now that we had provided the tools and the means and made it easy for the Organization to create and maintain a site that they were proud of we needed a better way to make sure the parents, teachers, and students came to see their site on a regular basis so that they didn't miss any pertinent information. To overcome this issue we created the Automated Email Blasts which would be routinely sent to all users and would include a list of every volunteer opportunity, news article, or event advertisement that had been added to the site since the last Blast. Each listing would have a direct link to the site, consequently keeping them always up to date!
In 2008 my friends at Discovery Key Elementary were excited to give MyVLink a test run. After receiving rave reviews, in March of that school year we began offering the site to other schools in our area. Quickly the word was out and our MyVLink family spread throughout Florida. Then in the 2010-11 school year we were excited to break out of the state with members in both California and Pennsylvania.
Each year we continue to add new features to MyVLink making it even better than before. And many of these features have originated from MyVLink family member suggestions. We have several more ideas for the upcoming year and can't wait to roll them out.
We appreciate the time you've taken to read Our Story and do hope that you will become our next MyVLink member. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions that our site has been unable to answer for you.