You Do Not Have It Covered: 20 Tasks for Volunteers

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Sometimes a volunteer catches you flat footed. “You guys need anything? Can I help out?” There’s certainly a lot that you, a booster club leader, need to do. You could use some help. To-do lists are so tightly spooled in your head it feels like they’re going to start fluttering out. Yet it feels like more effort to train this volunteer than to do things yourself. You’re tempted to tell them that you have it covered, or that there’s nothing small enough for them to take on. Don’t give in. Do … [Read more...]

31 Life Lessons of Sports

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This summer I went to my college reunion and noted that 100% of the classmates I spoke with had participated in one or more extracurricular activities in high school. Every single person I spoke to credited those experiences with playing a role in their success, whether they were a magazine editor, an economist, or a stay-at-home home dad. Most of Boosterland’s readers will have a few reasons why they think extracurriculars are crucial for development. I’d like to compile them here as food for … [Read more...]

Booster News: Booster Club Loses Nonprofit Status

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Booster clubs can lose non-profit status with the IRS. A recent Forbes article brought this to our attention again, highlighting an IRS ruling from late August. “Capital Gymnastics operated in a manner that allowed substantial private inurement,” said the ruling. “[Capital Gymnastics] promoted private, non-public interests.” How did Capital Gymnastics ruin it’s 501(c)(3) status? Using a point system. Parents who didn’t want to fundraise paid, while other parents did collective fundraising … [Read more...]

Why Women Give

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I recently came across this study on Women’s Philanthropy. Despite the title, it talks about men as well. There’s a lot in it to synthesize into one blog post, but I encourage all of you to take a look at it. It has useful facts, figures, and graphics about how donors give. Technically, it’s about really big donors, but I think a lot of it is relevant in the world of booster club supporters. Female donors are more likely to support an organization that will make a difference, while male … [Read more...]

What is the Ideal Committee Size?

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C-O-M-M-I-T-T-E-E, double “M,” double “T,” double “E,”--even the word itself seems to have superfluous elements. Nine letters for a word that seems like it could get away with five or six. yet, “comite” doesn’t sound right, and “komity,” doesn’t look right. Luckily there’s an authoritative source--the dictionary--to prescribe the spelling of committee. There’s no authoritative source, however, which prescribes size of a committee. So we’re doing a study of our own. Boosterland needs your help … [Read more...]

Spend It This Year

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What should a booster club do with an unexpected surplus? I attended a booster club meeting this spring where board members discussed this desirable dilemma in the context of their own school’s athletics program.  Some members wanted to save the surplus as a safety. Others wanted to spend the funds on useful items--neither essential nor frivolous--such as tractors to cut grass on athletic fields and netting to protect track athletes from stray lacrosse balls. After listening attentively to … [Read more...]

Does your help hurt?

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Creating Dependency In developing countries, aid programs give things and services. They compensate for the state’s shortcomings in education, food, or shelter. I was reminded of this by a Forbes article which highlighted the failures of an NGO in Eastern Europe. By pursuing the classic charity model--giving locals things they didn’t have--the NGO created dependency on their services (mostly clothing and food programs). They choked development. Recognizing this, the NGO switched gears. Instead … [Read more...]

Booster Club Officers

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Chairperson? Officer? Here are booster club board member responsibilities. In this post, I take a look at the most basic and most specialized booster club officer positions. Maybe you are starting a booster club and you’re asking yourself “how many officers do I need?” Maybe you are joining a booster club, and you’re asking yourself “what do all of those titles mean?” Think of the booster club officer positions less as people and more as collections of responsibilities and skill-sets. They need … [Read more...]

Kill Bad Fundraisers

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Sometimes fundraisers stop generating value. Good booster clubs must know when to kill them. Behind the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory lies a peaceful graveyard of discontinued flavors. Marked by grey headstones, they sit memorialized on a windswept carpet of fallen leaves. These ideas were put to rest after they ran their course, buried but remembered. For Ben and Jerry’s, the graveyard’s humor suits their quirky brand image, a kind of anti-corporate, self-deprecating humor engraved in the … [Read more...]

Contest! Prizes! Booster Club!

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Boosterland is giving away $500 and an iPad mini. Here are the details: Spring is the time for booster club scholarships, but now is the time to start thinking about them. We’re hoping our contest gets students working on these types of projects now. Then, in the spring, they can recycle them for scholarships from their local booster clubs. Boosterland is looking for talented teens for our booster club arts contest. We’re awarding $100 prizes in each of the following … [Read more...]