Everything Booster Clubs Need to Know About the Fiscal Year

Calendar Pages

What is a fiscal year, in a nutshell? A fiscal year defines the start and end dates for an organization’s accounting. Annual and quarterly reports to donors, as well as tax filings, all flow from the fiscal year. So do budgeting and revenue goals. While the majority of U.S. companies’ fiscal year perfectly overlaps the calendar year (Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st), deviating from those dates is more common than you’d think. For example, check out the fiscal years for these organizations: Feb. 1st … [Read more...]

12 Food Fundraisers

Cute little baby boy is having a watermelon

The key to a good food fundraiser is offering something that you can’t get at your average restaurant or store. Booster clubs can add value to food in many ways, but the main avenues are quality and atmosphere. Which gourmet foods are only found in fancy restaurants? Which meals fit in community events? These food fundraisers can help you leverage the existing strengths of your club into a successful event, so keep your circumstances in mind. Do you have many vegetarian supporters in your area? … [Read more...]

Should Your Booster Club Buy Insurance?

Throwing a life preserver

It was a booster club’s worst nightmare: A referee at a charity volleyball game injured her ankle when the stand she was sitting on collapsed. The booster club turned to the school district for help, only to be told that the district’s insurance would not cover the referee’s worker’s compensation claim, and that they considered the club financially responsible. The ensuing legal wrangling led to the dissolution of the booster club under threats of a lawsuit. "I'm just a mom, you know," Karen … [Read more...]

Making Traditions (Whether You Mean To Or Not)

Memory Lane

We are the makers of memories! What are your best memories from high school? What stories do you retell when you go to a reunion or get together with your old classmates? Arguably, most booster clubs aim to make great memories, so I think it’s crucial that we try to put a finger on what made our own experiences stick with us over time. Sometimes experiences are memorable because of random events--spontaneous downpours, chance encounters, or the serendipity that sparks both romantic and … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Manage Booster Club Grants

Money

Just as there are different kinds of booster clubs and ways to raise funds, there are many ways for booster clubs to distribute grant funds they raise among different groups. I’ve observed numerous clubs take different roads in managing budgets to meet their individual needs. Understanding the five most common modes of funding allocation can help board members choose the system that will best benefit the club, school, and students. 1. Monthly: Booster clubs evaluate requests for funding and … [Read more...]

What Booster Officers Need to Know About Title IX

High School Girls on Track

As schools continue to face shrinking budgets, funding for extracurricular activities is often first on the chopping block. Administrators increasingly rely on the hard work of booster clubs to keep these programs open to the students who benefit from them so very much. But while generous, donations from booster clubs can cause problems for school officials who struggle to remain in compliance with Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in educational institutions, especially … [Read more...]

Booster News: Tax Alert!

time for taxes

While some booster club board members are focusing on recruitment, funding requests, and fundraisers, treasurers should take a minute right now to think about tax filings. Nonprofits are required to file a tax return, even if they don’t owe any taxes. Small organizations with under $50,000 in gross receipts have to file, too. However, they can use a 990-N “postcard,” which is more simple than regular nonprofit filing. Either way, it’s time to start gathering receipts and training new volunteers … [Read more...]

How to Write Booster Club Bylaws Like a Founding Father

iStock_000016442843Medium

If you’re drafting a set of bylaws for the first time, don’t worry.  Anyone who’s taken a high school civics class or worked for an institution intuitively understands bylaws. Like the U.S. constitution or an employee handbook, bylaws enumerate rights and responsibilities. The process of writing bylaws is like a structured conversation about what those responsibilities should be and how the club should conduct business. How to structure bylaws and what to include will vary depending on the club. … [Read more...]

11 Life Lessons of Theater

Shakespeare and goth man.

If “All the world's a stage, / And all the men and women merely players,” then there’s no better place to prepare for life than in the theater. I made this list of 11 theater lessons as a reminder of how much performance art can help the development of our young people. This post, like my 31 Life Lessons of Sports post, is designed to help booster club leaders articulate the value of extracurriculars. Sometimes we forget why we toil to support programs. Even when we do, it’s hard to articulate … [Read more...]

31 Life Lessons of Sports

BlueShirtBench1600

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...]