A number of PA/PTAs ask parents to make donations in the form of dues. These are usually small requests, sometimes $10 per family, that take into account the demographics of the school and the district. At P.S. 26 in Brooklyn, for instance, the PA/PTA mentions dues in the welcome letter, attached below, that it gives to new parents each August at their orientation; the letter is also distributed at the first PA/PTA meeting in September. While some PA/PTAs prefer to secure donations from parents via a direct appeal campaign, those that include dues as part of their practice feel that they serve a purpose beyond fundraising: keeping parents invested in the PA/PTA and the board accountable to the membership.
The PTO at P.S. 282 in Brooklyn asks families to contribute to the PTA by promising to pay dues or help in non-monetary ways. They've created what they call their "20/20 Program," asking families to pledge PTO dues of $20 a month and/or volunteer 20 hours per year.
Keep in mind that the PA/PTA membership will need to vote on whether it will ask for dues and, significantly, that dues may be requested but never required. (CR A-660 states that while a PA/PTA may choose to solicit dues, payment cannot be a condition for participation or membership.) For that reason, request letters should make it clear that dues are strictly voluntary.