Considering starting a Massachusetts booster club? Starting a new business or anything for that matter, can be intimidating. You’re in luck, here at Boostr were looking out for you! We have created this article to help you with all of the information and paperwork you’ll need along the way. To ensure that legally your booster club is up to par, it is important to thoroughly consult all of the links and legal references provided below. The resources cited will provide you with the most up to date and reliable step by step information in the process of establishing your Massachusetts booster club.
The first step in creating your new Massachusetts booster club is of course – the name! The hardest part about choosing a name for your booster club is making sure you have a name that isn’t already being used by another organization. We suggest starting with a list of 10-15 different options for the name of your club. Once you have compiled a list, you can now consult the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website to access a corporate search engine that has the names of organizations (including booster clubs) registered in the state of Massachusetts. After you have settled on a name, you can begin to craft you mission statement.
The main focus of your Massachusetts booster club mission statement is to define who the organization is, why it exists, and who benefits from the existence of the organization. The mission statement is a great opportunity to partner with and/or use as a reference your affiliated Massachusetts school’s mission. Any supporter, volunteer or student should clearly understand the basics reasons the club exists after reading this short succinct summary.
Your Massachusetts booster club bylaws contain the rules and procedures your booster club corporation will follow. Your bylaws do not need to be filed with the state of Massachusetts but are important as they are your internal organizational operating manual. Before you file your articles of incorporation, you’ll need to have bylaws that insure your club is operating correctly under Massachusetts law.
Choosing the board members for your new booster club can be very exciting and a little nerve-wracking. These individuals can make or break your club, especially in the beginning stages. Our rule of thumb when it comes to picking booster club board members is as follows:
You can develop more criteria beyond these three. The reason we state these, is because you want a good mix of brain power on your board that can bring different skills and experiences. By members NOT having a child involved in the activity means they are interested in the non-profit itself and will not leave if their child quits the activity, graduates etc.
Another important aspect to note when choosing board members is that states differ in the number of directors they require on the club’s board of directors. We suggest keeping the board fairly small, typically 3 members (odd number is better to break tying votes). Having a small board is much easier to manage, making decision making a speedier process. Now that you have an established board or directors, they will then vote to determine who will be the club officers.
The officers of your club of your Massachusetts booster club will be in charge of handling the day to day activities of the different departments of the booster club. Because of this responsibility, it is important to choose individuals who have great communication skills as well as some management experience. You want to make sure that your club officers are appointed based on their expertise, interaction with parents and kids and their focus on the development and growth of the club. Creating a group of strong leaders now will pay off tenfold in the future.
Getting to the club’s first meet is a huge milestone for your Massachusetts booster club. The first meeting will get a lot of the legal tasks of the club out of the way. Approvals of the club’s bylaws should be the first task accomplished during the meeting. Once the bylaws have been approved, the group needs to determine the best accounting period and tax year would be best for the club. Your club’s fiscal year should coincide with the club’s activity season and if possible, the school’s fiscal year. Now it’s time for the officers are nominated for the approval of the board. Finally, if your organization is ready, your board can approve the opening of the booster club business bank account and approve any initial transactions.
After completing all of the state level paperwork for establishing your new Massachusetts booster club, it’s time to apply for an Employer Identification number. All of the information and forms you need regarding the EIN process are available on the IRS website. You might be asking yourself, why do I need and EIN? You will need an EIN later on to open a club bank account, most states require an EIN. Don’t forget to keep all of your EIN application documents in order because the paperwork will have to be submitted to the state of Massachusetts and also the IRS.
The application for non-profit status is fairly simple but does require jumping through some hoops. Your best resource and guide for the specific steps is going to be the IRS website. The IRS website contains all of the information needed in becoming a non-profit on the federal level as well as information around applying for non-profit status at the state level. Finally, IRS website also provides tax information for nonprofits, which will be helpful if you decide to make your booster club a tax exempt organization.
Filing for tax-exemption is a great way for your club and its members to save money! Although tax-exemption isn’t necessary, we highly suggest it. Who doesn’t want to save money? Tax-exemption means that your club is excluded from most sales tax and any donations or purchased made through a tax-exempt organization can be written off on personal and business taxes. It’s a win win win for everyone involved! To begin this process, all of the information and paperwork for become tax-exempt is available on the IRS website. The basic step-by-step process listed on the site is as follows:
The last step in this process is opening a bank account for your new Massachusetts booster club! Opening a bank account is the smartest and easiest way to manage your money. With a bank account it is easier to manage the money coming in and going out. Opening a bank account will decrease the potential for mismanagement of funds and maintain the trust of donors and supporters. With a bank account your club will now be able to hold online fundraisers as well! Your Massachusetts booster club bank account is critical to more easily collect donations, manage finances and in the long run, it will be much easier for future management to take over
Great job! You have worked hard to create your very own Massachusetts booster club! Before you go, there are a few things to keep in mind. It is important to keep up with current Massachusetts law, regarding booster club management. You also need to stay on top of yearly fees and dues that need to be paid to the state to maintain you Massachusetts booster club’s good legal standing. Lastly, don’t forget about us! Keep checking in on Booostr for further help managing, marketing or fundraising for your booster club!