Boosterwashing

Kid Whitewashing a Wall

How Companies and Charities “Colorwash” Ever notice how every major cause today gets a color? Pink for breast cancer, green for the environment, red for AIDS--causes cover the rainbow and beyond. This kind of branding is effective, raising millions of dollars in the name of various organizations. Yet like most branding, the color codes have a great potential for abuse. With no clear standards for what counts as pink, green, or red products, fundraisers inevitably find themselves in conflict … [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...]

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...]

Why Booster Clubs Need Metrics

KPI_wordcloud

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...]