Booster club tips to get ready for next school year.

Booster club tips to get ready for next school year.

Start recruiting now for volunteers

You have a month or so left of this school year! Seniors and their parents are getting ready to celebrate the next step in their journey. Some parents will still have kids involved in high school activities, but some will be leaving the volunteer nest as their kids head off for their next adventure. How are you going to fill the volunteer void?  Reach out this spring to the parent groups at the middle schools or junior highs that will feed into your school. Do an event to welcome the incoming freshman class and their parents to the high school experience. If the school is having a freshman orientation, make sure you have a fun presence. Maybe a scavenger hunt at the campus?

Use each volunteer’s gifts and talents

What is each person good at contributing? Try to take the tasks of the booster club and break them down into small jobs. For example, someone may not have time for a lot of in-person volunteering, but can be in charge of communications from their home, on their own time.  Involve (and even better “train”) the next generation of volunteers. Don’t lose the “tribal knowledge” that your current leadership has worked hard to establish. Sometimes the booster club can be viewed as an elite club at a school. Avoid that pitfall, make sure you reach out to as many people as possible to make them feel welcome in the booster club. Not just as a volunteer, but all the things they represent. That is to say, everyone wants to support the youth in whatever activity they are involved in at the school.

Set the goals for the next year

It is smart to work with the school administration to try to get everyone on the same page. What changes may be happening in the next year in terms of staff or protocols? What would the school like your booster club goals to be, what are you specifically raising money for in the next year?  Recognize that there may be other booster clubs at your school that you could partner with on certain events to make even more of an impact. There is an opportunity to grow the parent base across other groups. Help each group grow in their goals and you might be surprised how everyone benefits. Most importantly, all the booster clubs in your school should work in harmony. You don’t want to be planning multiple fundraisers on top of each other that diminish the efforts of your group or anyone else’s group.

Mission/vision statement

This can create a collective “ugh” in many groups. However, take this time over the summer to make sure that your overall goals and a vision statement are in good shape. The best way to get good help is to set a tone of being organized and on track for success. People hesitate to get involved if they think there is no clear direction on the board. It takes a little effort on the front end, but you will have a far more successful year if you take the time to do this before the new school year.

Make sure all of your booster club policies and procedures are in order

There are a large number of booster clubs that have never established policies and procedures, in writing, or formalize the processes that have been put in place over the years. This leads to a lot of needless trial and error because a new board will have to reinvent the wheel when they get started each year. Here are key issues that need to be worked on in the “off season”

  • Tax forms – Has your club filed all of the proper tax forms for the year? There are some accounting programs, like Quickbooks, that have features related to non-profits and can help your group.
  • Sales tax status – depending on your state, you make be able to buy items and not pay sales tax. Make sure that you have that document updated and available for the members of your team that may need access to that form.
  • Tax Exempt status 501(c)(3) – Surprisingly, most booster clubs have not pursued the proper status for their non-profit. If your group has not gotten this status, it is time to do so. An attorney or an accountant will likely be willing to help get the ball rolling for this status.  Also, this will allow you to potentially create additional revenue from some big donors who will want the credit for their donor contribution. Don’t miss the opportunity to raise some big funds for your group!
  • Accounting processes – Over and over again, we see non-profits that don’t have processes in place to deter theft in their organizations. Non-profits are easy targets because everyone is volunteering and there ends up being large gaps in the accounting. Lots of hands in the pot, so to speak. Best practice is to eliminate cash exchanges and minimize the access to the bank account. You can keep your accounting simple so as to make it harder for money to disappear. Have more than one person check the account each month. You may even consider asking that volunteer accountant that helped you with the 501(c)(3) to audit your accounts regularly.

 

Set up your marketing network

Remember when we talked about those volunteer parents and seniors leaving the nest? Just because they are not on the board or sitting in the stands at every game anymore all of those people can end up being big supporters of your booster club in the future. Take the time to set up communications with those people. Remember those volunteers that don’t have a lot of in person time to contribute, but can do work on a computer? Have them use social media to reach out to alums, friends and business supporters in your community and beyond. Create promotions for them to come back to the school and see what is happening. Social media is a great way to reach out to everyone whether they are friends, alums or just business that have historically supported your program.

How can Blitz Concessions help?

Blitz Concessions has document management, volunteer management and inventory management. We can help keep your information organized and available for all of the volunteers that help. Inventory management will reduce theft and set up tracking for sales and balance your money. Better accounting means more profits. Pre-order and online ordering will increase your sales by up to 20%.

Let us show you how Blitz Concessions works to help your organization. Contact us for a demo today.

 

 

Leslie Harrell developed the Blitz Concessions platform with parent volunteers in mind, because she IS a volunteer parent. Not only does it have preordering capabilities (perfect for these times!), but it also helps you with managing inventory, scheduling volunteers, and staying organized. We know those binders and excel sheets can be a bear, so consider using Blitz Concessions to make your job easier and continue supporting your school.