A booster club can usually be defined as nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that strives to provide support to departments, programs and/or organizations that are typically associated with school environments. To start and maintain successful booster club operations, it’s necessary to be familiar with booster club structures and organization. Not only do booster clubs demand a certain amount of volunteers and participants, but they also require financial stability and organization. Below, we’ve outlined the major components of how booster clubs work!
Booster Club Volunteers and Participants
To build and manage successful booster club operations, it takes a village. It’s near impossible to run any kind of nonprofit organization without having a number of people to depend on. Booster clubs, as all volunteer non-profits, can at times be even more strenuous to run than typical non-profit organizations because they require a close collaboration with pre-existing schools or professional organizations, departments and programs. Furthermore the money that is raised by Booster Clubs is rarely used to pay full or part time staff, and instead it all goes to the program it is supporting. With no salaried employees, it becomes more imperative torecruit volunteers that allow the booster club to divvy up tasks allowing for a smoother and more efficient working environment.
The best way to gain initial volunteers, is to try reaching out to members of your direct community, such as parents, students, and administration who are already active in the program your booster club is supporting. People already active in the department will have had the opportunity to become comfortable with donating their money and efforts towards the program already. This means that they’ll be more receptive to hearing your booster clubs ‘pitch’ for soliciting volunteers. After you’ve exhausted your efforts within your direct community, you can begin to reach out to audiences through other platforms such as social media.
Booster Clubs as Nonprofits
Before a booster club can be considered a legitimate organization, there’s a hefty amount of paperwork that needs to be filed through the state and the IRS. Booostr has compiled a number of articles on the Booostr Blog that give a thorough outline of what needs to be accomplished depending on what state your booster club is active in.
Along with state, there are a number of federal regulations that are applicable to any booster club. To get the process started, first, your organization should register with the Secretary of State in your area in order to proceed with booster club operations. The internal details of your club should then be hashed out, meaning that you should assign positions to consistent volunteers and participants. Then, have your booster club apply for a FederalEIN and fill out all the necessary paperwork attached with registering as a charitable or nonprofit organization within your state. Finally, take steps to ensure the tax exempt status of your booster club organization to avoid paying taxes on revenue collected through the club.
Advertising Your Booster Club
We have noted that it’s crucial that your booster club have a solid number of volunteers and participants. Even more important, is the booster club’s ability to solicit donations through fundraisers and charity events that may be organized by your volunteers and members. In order to make these fundraisers a success, you want to market or promote them to your direct community. This could be through advertising, setting up booths at events, and/or encouraging students to spread word of fundraisers to their parents and peers.
If possible, build your fundraising events around the work of the department. For instance, if your booster club organization primarily supports a music department, establish a booth at a choir concert or plan an open mic night for members of the program to participate in. Additionally, take advantage of social media to spread the reach of your booster club operation! Use platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to let others in your community of events your booster club might be planning or how they can get involved. For more information on how social media might benefit your organization, check out Booostr’s article Is Social Media Important For My Booster Club?
Keeping Track of Your Booster Club Operations
Depending on the size of your booster club, it can be difficult to keep track of all of the important documentation you would have had to fill out in order to become a legitimate and legal organization. Having a consistent method for tracking the clubs financials and paperwork is crucial in the maintenance of your booster club organization. Not only does the IRS do annual checks on whether documentation is up-to-date, but having an efficient way of tracking the booster club’s financial comings and goings will ensure the stability of your booster club’s structure and avoid confusion further down the road.
Creating and maintaining a booster club is a rewarding experience that provides a valuable resource to music programs, drama programs, athletic programs, and more. However, the process of creating a booster club is extensive. Booster clubs as nonprofits are legitimate and legally recognized organizations, meaning that it is crucial to be familiar with how a booster club works. Having a detailed understanding of the basic operations and structure of a booster club will ensure that your organization will run not only efficiently, but effectively!