5 Ways to Help Your Booster Club—After the Fundraiser

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How do you help a booster club aside from fundraising? If there isn't a fundraiser or a concessions shift open, what are you supposed to do? These 5 tips are for booster club supporters who are not sure how to help. Board members will have no problem finding work for themselves (see #3). But I hope they can pass some of these suggestions on for that volunteer who doesn't have a role yet. 1) Drive Students: I know school budgets often don’t cover transportation. Many clubs end up spending a lot … [Read more...]

How Good Record-Keeping Saves Nonprofits from High-Turnover

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Watching the 2000 film Memento again, I realized that high-turnover volunteer organizations such as booster clubs suffer from serious amnesia. In the film, 30-something Leonard can’t create new memories because of brain trauma suffered during an assault. Imagine a person who can’t remember the lessons of the past, or the opportunities set to present themselves in the future. Lacking a system of good record-keeping, that’s the situation of most booster clubs. In Memento, Leonard compensates for … [Read more...]

Robert’s Rules of Order for Booster Clubs

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Why Most Meetings Suck... ... And How Robert Can Help Open the unabridged Robert’s Rules of Order (RRO) and you might feel intimidated. With 75 sections and over 600 pages, it’s a monster. Written in the 1870s by a general named Henry Robert, it’s a time-tested tome of organization and efficiency. It’s kind of like the dictionary of meetings. But like a dictionary, you don’t have to memorize every definition to be conversant in this language of efficiency. Also like a dictionary, you’ll never … [Read more...]

Mission to Metrics 5: Band Boosters’ Moral & Financial Support

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Pulaski’s neat rows of musical performers make me think of the massive logistical effort needed to get them to the Rose Bowl. Seasons of training. Coordination of plane flights. Sacrifices from teachers and volunteers. But that’s just what we see on the surface. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3pKYo5CNeE Behind the successful marching band and their strong booster club stands a solid structure: a meaningful mission and guiding bylaws. Pulaski’s bylaws emphasize cultivating “enthusiastic … [Read more...]

Mission to Metrics 4: Promote Interest in Academics

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Academic booster clubs seek to inspire more than high grades. The booster club I’m profiling in this post is more concerned with promoting interest among their participants than a perfect GPA. Grades aren't even mentioned in their mission statement. As with the other posts in the Mission to Metrics series, I show how booster club officers can develop appropriate metrics to measure the goals outlined in their mission statements. (See the intro post to metrics, and links to the other posts in … [Read more...]

Mission to Metrics 3: Beyond GPA & Winning (Sports)

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Athletic booster clubs value winning on the field and in the classroom. How can they show it? I sometimes question why extracurriculars, particularly athletic programs, feel the need to justify their existence based on participants’ grades. After all, sports teach us how to work with teammates, make friends, adjust strategy on the fly, lose gracefully, and win gracefully. Perhaps that’s why some schools are actually lowering GPA standards for athletes, so as not to alienate struggling … [Read more...]

Mission to Metrics 2: Cooperation, Theater, and Auditing

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A closer look at metrics, for a theater booster club that values cooperation. (The introduction to this series is called “Why Booster Clubs Need Metrics”.) Most booster clubs have non-financial goals such as creating cooperation or community involvement. Since non-financial goals require an accounting alien to the standard budget report, relevant metrics may not be intuitive. In this post, I take the mission statement of a theater club and show how to translate it into core objectives like … [Read more...]

Why Booster Clubs Need Metrics

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Compensating for budget cuts, but struggling to fundraise? Check your metrics. (This is the introduction to a series on metrics. Subsequent posts will be listed at the bottom of this page.) Schools are struggling. They've cut programs. They've cut staff. And what do schools cut first? Every booster club officer I talk to tells me that schools are cutting extracurricular programs. Less coaches. Less band instructors. Even activities like student government are being removed by schools who've … [Read more...]

Live Audio Broadcasting

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Smith, number 10, fakes. Breaks. He’s closing in on the end zone. Touchdown! Broadcasting high school sports games is a great idea. I've been in touch with booster clubs that are planning live audio broadcasts of their football games this fall. It’s fun to set up and do the actual commenting. Then family members can listen to the game anywhere, whether from a university on the other side of the country or a military outpost on the other side of the world. Other booster clubs might find audio … [Read more...]

6 Tips for Recruiting Booster Volunteers

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In late spring and summer, recruitment dominates booster club agendas. Extracurriculars rely on booster club support, which in turn rely on a rich pool of volunteers. Both general and board member volunteer recruitment is a challenge, leaving booster clubs vulnerable. Booster club meetings I’ve attended at election time often include brainstorms about which person to ask to do what job. Frantic texts get sent to potential volunteers in the middle of meetings, and candidate lists are compiled … [Read more...]