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A Comprehensive Guide to Running Effective Booster Club Fundraisers allYear Long

A Comprehensive Guide to Running Effective Booster Club Fundraisers allYear Long

Ifyou are a student or have a student living in your home, you’ve probably heardof the Booster Club. You’ve probably also heard the phrase “tight budget.” Nomatter where you live or what kind of educational institution you or yourstudent attend, budgets are limited for extracurricular activities. Whetherit’s football, tennis, art class, or choir, extracurriculars are expensive.There are uniforms to buy, meets to fund, and snack bars to stock-none of whichare cheap.

Thisis where the Booster Club comes in. This is where the Booster Club shines!

TheBooster Club is a nonprofit organization that’s all about helping athleticteams and clubs make those tight budgets work. They are usually run by theparents of the students they serve and a few generous community members. Byrunning snack bars and spirit-wear booths and organizing fundraisers, the Booster Club helpsstudents raise money for their extracurricular activities. Without them,students are left with limited or even non-existent funds and no direction forhow to obtain them.

Asyou can see, fundraising is the most important role of Booster Club members.Not only do they help organize fundraisers like wrapping paper sales, carwashes, and silent auctions, but they are probably the ones selling merchandiseat your events. They make sure everyone has a team sweatshirt and car decal.The Booster Club is the only entity standing in the way of your team or cluband the graveyard of clubs canceled due to budget cuts.

Why?Because they care about your team or club as much as you do.

So,if you need fundraising ideas, marketing strategies, or a plan for navigatingthose tricky IRS regulations, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going tohelp your Booster Club be as effective as possible this season with a fewsimple tricks you can implement right away.

Establishing Leadership: The Building Block ofSuccessful Booster Club Fundraisers 

Likeany club or team, not all Booster Clubs are the same. They will have varyingdegrees of participation, efficacy, and results. While you can’t necessarilycontrol the outcomes of your fundraisers or the number of volunteers you’llhave, there’s much you can do to make sure your Booster Club is thriving andeffective.

Oneof the most important aspects of an effective Booster Club is theorganizational structure. Filling each role and designating jobs will ensureyour meetings and events run smoothly and as planned. Designating roles alsohelps the workload to be evenly divided. Nothing sabotages a fundraisingcampaign faster than burnout.

Themain leadership roles you’ll need to fill for your Booster Club are:

President:The president is the leader of theBooster Club and is responsible for its success. He or she is expectedto attend every meeting and fundraiser, set the club's tone and ethicalfoundation, and fill volunteer vacancies. The president also acts as a liaisonbetween the Booster Club and school administrators.

VicePresident: As with all good teams, the president needs a VP. The vice president helps to reducethe workload of other executive members by taking on some of theirresponsibilities. They may also be responsible for planningactivities and programs for students and parents, and helping the presidentplan the school year's event calendar.

Secretary: The secretary is a member of the executive board andrecords the club's official business. This includes preparing agendas for meetingsand taking minutes of board meetings.

Treasurer: When money is involved, it’s crucial to have a trustedtreasurer. The treasurer is responsible for the Booster Club's financialaccounting, including maintaining bank accounts, providing financial reports,and collecting dues. A co-treasurer may also be involved, working with thetreasurer to process reimbursements.

Booster Club leadership roles aretypically filled by election or appointment. If you have an established BoosterClub, you can fill an open slot by allowing members and volunteers to castvotes. If your Booster Club is just starting out, you’ll want to appointsomeone as president to get the ball rolling.

The Booster Club president can be thefounder of the club or someone the founder deems worthy of the task, butremember, this is possibly the most important role of all. The candidate shouldhave a firm understanding of the Booster Club’s bylaws, the mission of theorganization, and familiarity with organizing fundraising events.

Once you fill the role of president, youmay find it easier to appoint or elect candidates for other leadership roles.Then, with your managers in place, you’ll be ready to support the clubs andteams of your community properly and effectively.

Innovative Fundraising Ideas for BoosterClubs 

Nowthat your Booster Club is established, you’re ready for the fun part:fundraising! You’re probably familiar with the classics like wrapping papersales and car washes, but don’t let the familiar (and boring) dampen yourcreativity. There are plenty of fundraiser ideas that will motivate your teamto raise those crucial funds. We’re going to share a few of our favoritesbelow.

GoFundMe.This probably isn’t the most creative fundraiser, but GoFundMe works for areason. It’s great for teams, clubs, or even individuals. If you have a goodcause that needs money, GoFundMe is for you. All you have to do is set up anaccount, tell your story, add a few pictures, and go live! This is a greatvirtual fundraiser for organizations that have out of town supporters whoaren’t able to attend live events.

Virtualgalas. If you’re looking for an interactive online fundraiser that doesmore than just ask for donations, a virtual gala is an excellent option. With aresource like PayBee, you can host an online event that’s accessible for alldonors, no matter their location. Schedule a demo today to see how PayBee canhelp you raise money for your team or club.

Playball. Your athletes aren’t the only ones who enjoy playing a pickup game ofbaseball or football. You could host a ball-game fundraiser that anyone with aticket can participate in. It could be parents vs. students, parents vs.faculty, or whatever mashup would get your team excited!

Challengefundraiser. Remember those ice bucket challenges that took the internet bystorm? You can apply that to any type of challenge to raise money. All you haveto do is pick a challenge (like dumping cold water over your head), make itpublic, and take up pledges with the challenge as an incentive. People will beexcited to support your team and watch you do something funny or uncomfortable.

Garagesale. We all have junk lying around. Why not sell it for a good cause?Invite the team’s families and community members to bring their items to theschoolyard and sell as much as you can. All proceeds go to your team or club,and people get to declutter their homes. It’s a win-win!

Restaurantnight. Restaurant nights are a great way to raise money while supportinglocal businesses. Find a restaurant in town that will sponsor your team, inviteyour friends on the designated night, and a portion of all sales will go toyour cause.

Trivianight. Who doesn’t love to show off their knowledge? Trivia night is a funway to get families together and show off your skills. Sell tickets to theevent and have a bake sale or snack bar to bring in additional revenue.

Cooking/bakingcompetition. Anyone can host a bake sale, but how about a cook-off? Invitethe cooks and bakers in your life to make their best pie, bread, barbecue, orchili, and sell tickets to the event. The winner gets bragging rights and youget funding for your team!

Hosta dance. Times may change, but kids still love dances. Booster Clubs oftenhost proms and homecomings, but you can have a dance any time of year to raisemoney. Pick a theme, string up some decorations, and kids will be excited tobuy a ticket.

Digital and Social Media Strategies for BoosterClub Fundraising 

Onceyou’ve chosen your fundraiser, it’s time to start advertising. While newspaperads and street signs are good ways to spread the word, there’s a better way toraise awareness for your event: social media.

Yes,social media isn’t just for posting pictures of your vacation. It’s a greatplace to share about fundraisers and events so you get the most out of yourcampaigns. Plus, it’s fast, reaches a wider audience than traditionaladvertising, and it’s free! A couple of our favorite social mediaplatforms are Facebook and Instagram because most community members use atleast one of them and you can sync the accounts. That means you don’t have tospend extra time posting on each account-you can kill two birds with one stone!

Youdon’t have to be a tech wizard to utilize these platforms. You probably havesomeone in your club who knows their way around a computer. Pinpoint thisperson and all they have to do is:

  1. Make an account. You’re going to be hosting a lot of events, so your Booster Club should have its own Facebook and     Instagram page (remember to sync your accounts!).
  2. Share about the event. In the weeks and months leading up to the event, make sure to share, share, share. Include as many     details as possible to get people excited. If your event is virtual, make     sure to share the link on the day of.
  3. Add photos. Sharing photos from your event     will make people excited for your next fundraiser. Bonus points if you can     share what the money was used for. People are interested in what your team     is doing!

Inaddition to social media, email chains are an effective way to keep in touchwith donors. When you host an event or fundraiser, collect attendees' emailaddresses at check-in. Then, recruit someone to write a monthly newsletter tokeep everyone in the loop.

Engaging the Local Community 

BoosterClubs are some of the oldest nonprofit clubs still in practice today, and forgood reason. They exist to serve the community, support athletes and clubs, andbring value to their supporters. For this reason, they are beloved by theircommunities, and communities love to support them. So, when you start lookingfor donors, volunteers, and club members, you don’t have to look much furtherthan your backyard.

Forstarters, be sure to include community members in the club and encourage themto run for a leadership position. No one will be more excited to host an eventthan someone who will benefit from the proceeds! Plus, community members knowwhat the needs are. They know which team is short on funds, who needs newequipment or uniforms, and which facilities need a good spruce.

Localbusiness owners are also very generous. So, if a team needs sponsoring, ask alocal restaurant or store to supply jerseys. If someone needs a new piece ofequipment, you may not need a fundraiser. You might just need the rightbusiness owner! They’ll be happy to provide the need in exchange for a plaqueor banner advertising their business. And don’t forget the restaurant nights wetalked about earlier. Local restaurants will be excited to host a team night inexchange for new patrons.

WhenBooster Clubs partner with the people around them, the community feels a littlestronger. A little closer. There’s nothing like pouring back into the communitythat shaped you, and you might be surprised how eager your neighbors are tosupport your cause.

Legal and Financial Considerations for BoosterClubs 

Perhaps the most intimidating aspect of any organization is navigating thelegal landscape of your finances. What kind of paperwork do you need to filewith the IRS? Do you pay taxes? What exactly is tax-exempt status, and do youqualify? Don’t worry, we know it can be confusing and we’re here to help.

The good news is that Booster Clubs qualify for 501(c)(3) (tax-exempt)status with the IRS. All you have to do is file paperwork with the IRSdetailing your club's mission. Because you exist to enrich your community andwill receive no personal gain from any money earned, you will be exempt fromall state and federal taxes. That means more money for the teams and clubs yousupport!

You will still, however, have to file paperwork with the IRS at the end of the year showing exactly what money you earned and how you used it. The best way to ensure financial transparency and protect your tax-exempt status is to keep detailed records of everything your Booster Club does. Keep records foreach fundraiser you hold, each dollar you earned, how you spent your money, and every single receipt. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to an accountant or financial advisor. They are trained to navigate IRS regulation sand will keep your organization running smoothly.

FAQS 

     
  1. What  are some effective ways to recruit and retain volunteers for Booster Club      activities?

Probablythe easiest way to find enthusiastic and reliable volunteers is to look forpeople who have a stake in the outcome of the Booster Club’s efforts: parents.Parent volunteers have long since acted as the backbone of these organizationsbecause their families have the most to gain from its success. Send a BoosterClub representative to all the kick-off meetings for teams and clubs, pitchyour mission and plans, and you’ll be sure to gain at least a couple of newmembers each time.

     
  1. How  can Booster Clubs use social media to increase visibility and fundraising      results?

Socialmedia is a great way to advertise your events and fundraisers. The reach iswider than typical advertising campaigns like signs and newspapers, plus it’sfree! All you have to do is make an account for your Booster Club, post somepictures, and start sharing about your events.

     
  1. What  are the best practices for managing and reporting Booster Club finances?

Keepingthorough records of every dollar raised and spent will make end-of-yearreporting a breeze. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the legal obligations ofmaintaining a 501(c)(3), don’t hesitate to employ the help of a tax advisor orfinancial expert.

     
  1. What  digital tools are most effective for Booster Club fundraising and why?

Socialmedia platforms like Facebook and Instagram are a great way to advertiseupcoming events. If you’re looking for a fundraising platform to reachout-of-town supporters, Paybeehas you covered.

     
  1. How  can Booster Clubs create partnerships with local businesses to enhance      fundraising?

BoosterClub fundraisers are the perfect opportunity to deepen community ties. Don’t beafraid to approach local business owners and ask for sponsorships, donations,or to host a fundraising night. They’ll be happy to pour into their community,plus they’ll get valuable advertising for their business.

Don't Hesitate to Join or Start a Booster Club

Ifyou’re considering starting or joining a Booster Club in your community, you’realready on your way to success! The Booster Club has a long-standing reputationfor engaging the community and supporting valuable teams and clubs. WithoutBooster Clubs, students would miss out on the opportunity to build theirconfidence and be a part of something bigger than themselves. By being a partof the Booster Club, you’re part of that too! So, don’t be afraid to jump in,run for office, connect with local businesses, and run a killer fundraiser.

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