Innovation in Fundraising: Overhead, Risk, and Pancakes

Booster clubs I speak with tell me that they have to raise more money than ever before. More than ever, school districts depend on booster clubs to fill the ever-growing gap between after-school budgets and actual student need. How can booster clubs radically increase revenues? Does reducing overhead mean more money for programs? When does fundraising clash with a club’s mission? Experts address these questions in very different ways. In this post I borrow points from Dan Pallotta’s TED talk … [Read more...]

Facebook for Booster Clubs

In many ways, Facebook is a lot like Google: an agglomeration of distinct social media services offered under the same big name. Facebook rebranded tools like websites, forums, blogs, and Twitter, incorporating them into one massive site. The end result is some slightly confusing vocabulary.   The Internet, With a Different Name Both Pages and Groups can be used as a platform to share basic information, documents, and photos. They also act as web forums; a place for supporters to … [Read more...]

Locker Room Technology in a Post-Shower Era

Socially Awkward? Decades ago, showers were a required part of PE. Now, they’re an afterthought. Most athletes leave the locker room covered in their sweat—and others’—all the way home or, worse, all the way through class. "In all the years I've played football, I've never seen anyone shower in the locker room," said high school football player Joe Eason, in an interview with the Sun Sentinel. "I just don't feel comfortable around all of those people.” While locker room showering has … [Read more...]


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...]

How to Write Booster Club Bylaws Like a Founding Father

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...]

Mission to Metrics 2: Cooperation, Theater, and Auditing

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

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...]