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

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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...]

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...]

Why Women Give

Dollar currency in hand

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?

Teamwork

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...]

Booster Club Officers

Leadership Road Sign

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...]