5 Ways to Help Your Booster Club—After the Fundraiser

iStock_000000169775XSmallHow 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 of money on charter buses. They don’t have to, though. Carpooling with volunteers is one substitute, but coordinating drivers and securing vehicles can be a logistical nightmare. One tactic is to rent or buy 10-passenger vans, either outright or in cooperation with your school (you’ll want the school to store and insure it). If you want to be a real hero to your booster club, spend a couple of hours to get a commercial or bus driving license (depending on the state you may need one for a 10-passenger van). You might be tempted to get a larger van.  Understand the risks of 15-passenger vans before you try them.

2) Help your Director: from trip prep to materials shopping, coaches, directors, and conductors have responsibilities that reduce face time with the kids. It’s a shame to raise money for professional educators’ salaries, only to watch them spend all of their time pushing paper or closing up locker rooms. A volunteer assistant helps program leaders by completing logistical and administrative tasks. In turn, they help prevent burnout that can lead to recruiting new coaches or advisers. Helping your Director means the Director can offer more instruction, more team building, and more impromptu moments for life advice for the students.

3)  Help your Board: of course being an executive on the booster club board is a great help, but did you know that there are more jobs that might not show up in their titles? For example, some secretaries are in charge of meeting notes, member communication, and maintaining the booster club’s website. That’s a lot of work, and if you can take a slice of it off the shoulders of an acting board member, they’ll be eternally grateful.

4) Work the Show: from costume seamstresses to line judges, there are dozens of jobs needed to make events happen for your booster clubs. They can be fun, too, breaking the monotony of meetings with hands-on work and interaction with students.

5) Film Events: well shot, well edited film clips help students review their work, preserve memories, and build a reel of clips to use in college admission applications. Your school district might already fund filming, editing, or both. If so, you can do it yourself and ask to redirect the funds to the programs your club supports. You can also get student volunteers involved, especially at the editing stage.

Volunteering for these “jobs” doesn’t generate money, so they’re often underrated. However, they do create enormous value, and often save money for the club. To measure this, it’s a good idea to track volunteer hours, and include them along with your revenue when you sit down for a yearly fiscal review. What creative ways has your booster club directed volunteers? Let me know what worked and what didn’t.

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