New York is one of the most densely populated states in the U.S. and, as such, has many booster clubs seeking to benefit the programs they support. Each New York booster club must abide by the regulations determined by the state of New York and the federal government. To found a booster club in New York, there are several steps you will have to take to ensure that your booster club is properly and legally established. We have put teogher a helpful guide for New York booster club creation below.
As you start to build a New York booster club, you will want to select a name for your organization and check its availability. It is possible that the first choice for your booster club name may already be taken or be too similar to the name of an organization already existing within New York.
The name of your booster club must be distinguishable from the names of other corporation already registered with the Department of State. Given that the state of New York is so populous, it is advisable to have a few name ideas in mind in case your first choice is already taken.
You can search for the availability of your booster club name on the New York Department of State website. However, this database may not be complete, so you may also want to consider writing to the Department of State, the address for which is as follows: Department of State, Division of Corporations, located at One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231. When writing, state that you want to determine the availability of a name (or names) to create a booster club and you also wish to have a list of names to be searched.
Different states have different laws for non-profit corporations such as booster clubs. This is true no matter if you seek to create an elementary booster club, a high school booster club, an athletics booster club, a drama booster club or any other kind of booster club. As such, you should make sure that you are abiding by state law when you create a booster club in New York. Read the Not-for-Profit Incorporation Guide and carefully to figure out your booster club “type” classification so that you are able to plan and act accordingly. This guide also speaks specifically about the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law in New York.
To become incorporated when you build a New York booster club, you will have to file your Certificate of Incorporation, the link to which can be accessed on the New York Department of State website. The certificate must include information such as:
When you create a New York booster club, you will want to make sure the corporate bylaws are concise and useful. There are no specific criteria for creating bylaws, other than the requirement set by state and federal law. It is not required to file the bylaws with the New York Secretary of State. However, the creation of bylaws is necessary for managing your organization, as they are the rules by which your booster club functions. Additionally, you ByLaws help you stay organized not only when you found a booster club in New York, but also after your booster club begins to officially function.
Once your ByLaws are written, they should be easily accessible for the booster club members as they carry out internal procedures. Having bylaws on hand will also help to clarify the rules for club meetings, the election of officers, and directors, and going about other corporate formalities.
Now that you have founded a booster club in New York, hold your first organizational meeting. Make sure to take minutes of the meeting, so that all decisions and discussions that take place are recorded for future reference. Regular club meetings are necessary to approve bylaws, appoint new members, set accounting periods, approve initial transactions, and open a booster club bank account. Make sure you have a records book to store important documents concerning the booster club. Some materials you may want to keep in your booster club records book may include: your Certificate of Incorporation, bylaws, and meeting minutes. Check the N.Y. N.P. (New York Non Profit) Corp. Law §621 for specific information about record-keeping under New York law.
The federal government and the state of New York both have requirements for non-profit corporations that wish to be tax-exempt. In order to become federally tax-exempt, you will have to file the 501(c)(3) tax exempt form through the IRS. Furthermore, you will need to take action to meet other IRS requirements to become tax-exempt, including a statement of purpose, statements that your booster club will not engage in prohibited political or legislative activity, and a dissolution of assets provision dedicating your assets to another 501(c)(3) organization upon dissolution.
Before applying for New York tax-exempt status, you will want to make sure you are registered with the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau. Requirements for becoming tax-exempt in the state of New York can be found on the New York Department of Taxation and Finance website. Additional information about applying for tax-exempt status in New York can be found on the Hurwit & Associates website, along with guidelines for other forms New York non-profit corporations may need to file.
Apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) through the IRS. The EIN may be necessary in the future when filing paperwork with the federal government.
Abide by State and Federal Law While Running Your Booster Club
Generally speaking most Federal and State Laws around running booster clubs are pretty standard. They mainly focus on management and fundraising issues, to help avoid impropriety. The following are a couple of rules that are commonly (and usually unknowingly) broken you should be aware of as you grow your booster club.
A major regulation is to avoid cooperative fundraising. This is a system that tends to give financial benefits to volunteers based on activities or contributions to the booster club. The IRS views cooperative fundraising as a private benefit and may not grant tax-exempt status to such organizations, except in some select cases where such practice accounts for a small amount of the clubs activities and students do not exercise use of the funds for their benefit.
Another area to be aware of is when accepting new booster club members, participants must be selected based on objective and non-discriminatory criteria. Every member must come for voluntary service for the booster club, since mandatory service is typically prohibited. Furthermore, all selected participants must be allowed to participate in booster club activities regardless of parental participation in fundraising.
Attentively abiding by the guidelines and laws put in place for New York booster clubs will help to increase the efficiency of your booster club. By keeping proper procedure in mind when you create a booster club in New York, rather than as an after thought after you’ve stumbled through all the paperwork needed for New York booster club creation, you and your fellow booster club members will have a better understanding of how to avoid trouble and better serve the community right from the beginning
Creating a booster club in New York may be tedious at times. There are many steps to remember to properly set up a booster club, as well as many rules and regulations to abide by once the booster club begins its club activities. However, the hard work that is required to properly manage a booster club is all worth it in the end, since the efforts of booster clubs directly benefit the programs and organizations they support. Once your New York Booster Club is up and running – be sure to add it to the Booostr Booster Club Index!