It’s a simple concept, but the back-to-school booster club checklist is the most effective strategy for arranging essential tasks. But how do you prioritize and delegate critical responsibilities?
It’s never too soon to start compiling a back-to-school checklist. Organizations that itemize all their booster club roles, responsibilities, and tasks get off to a strong start. A solid launch at the beginning of the school year lays the foundation for year-long success. Getting ahead in this way also installs confidence in the club’s leadership.
Your booster club checklist doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should be detailed. In this piece, we break your list down into seven organized categories. Of course, every club is different, especially new ones, so adjust list items to match your organization’s needs.
How to Start Your Booster Club Back-to-School Checklist
Booster club leadership transitions typically occur at the end of the spring semester. The outgoing officers help smooth the changeover so that the new team can hit the ground running. But this is your time to lead the organization your way. First, however, there are specific rules and regulations to adhere to. So, your initial job is to review the club’s bylaws and start the process of updating them if necessary.
#1 Bylaws Review, Update, and Enforce
Responsibility: General membership
Think of your bylaws as a roadmap for success. They contain the shared ideas and ways to conduct business as agreed by club members and the school. However, nothing is set in stone. As the new leaders, you will want to review and possibly update the current bylaws. And remember, successful booster clubs always refer to and enforce their bylaws.
|Consider making your bylaws public. Although it’s not a legal obligation, sharing access to this document increases your club’s transparency and accountability to administrators and community members. And that, in turn, instills trust in your supporters, potential contributors, and donors.|
Here’s a rundown of the typical items found in booster club bylaws.
Your bylaws include the organization’s name and its primary purpose. They should detail members’ roles, rules, voting rights and procedures, size and frequency of meetings, etc. Bylaws also outline financial controls and methods of dealing with conflicts of interest and indemnification.
Bylaws Booster Club Checklist
- Name and purpose of the organization
- Member voting rights
- Minimum attendees needed to constitute a meeting quorum
- Meeting schedules
- Executive board of directors
- Officer duties
- Financial controls
- Dealing with conflicts of interest
- Compensation against legal liability
- Approved amendments and procedures to change the bylaws
Point to Note: Always provide the school’s principal or designee with an updated copy of your bylaws, operating procedures, and best practices.
#2 Budget Review & Financial Updates
Responsibility: Audit committee independent from daily financial activities
Finances may be the least glamorous of all booster club checklists. Still, budget reviews and amendments are critical for your back-to-school program. The previous audit committee would have overseen an audit as part of the end-of-year procedures. Familiarizing yourself with earlier financial operations will help you budget for the year ahead.
Budget Review and Update Checklist
- Elect a treasurer to handle all monetary matters
- Verify the accuracy of financial reports
- Verify the accuracy of the cash balance
- Check that all physical and virtual transaction records are present and accurate
- Add state and federal filing due dates and reminders to the year’s calendar
- Adopt your budget for the forthcoming year
- Suggest changes/updates to financial controls and necessary
This is a typical budget checklist, but you may need to add other financial controls and planning.
#3 Membership Communication Planning
Responsibility: Club president and secretary
Effective communication helps attract potential volunteers and maintains good relations with existing members. But it’s also important to strike the right balance. Regular contact with club news and updates helps motivate people and makes them feel valued. But too much too often may be construed by some as an annoyance.
Booster Club Back-to-School Checklist for Communication Best Practices
- Discuss and set up reliable communication channels
- Invite all members to general meetings
- Encourage interested parties to sign up for your newsletter
- Ensure contact information is easy to find on and offline
- Send out text messages for critical updates
- Update and maintain member contact details (phone, email, address)
- Other communication methods, e.g., flyers, social media, email
Be consistent with communication, and encourage members and potential volunteers to contact the club anytime. Regular contact within your organization keeps everyone in the loop. And that makes them feel valued, which is great for motivation and member retention.
|Not even tight-knit communities are homogenous, which means there is no one channel to effectively reach every member and parent. Connect with members across multiple communication mediums to avoid excluding individuals that may otherwise become willing volunteers.|
#4 Calendar Review & Updates
Shareable calendars are invaluable tools for keeping club members in the loop. Several free apps are available, though Google Calendar is perhaps the most popular. Authorized members can access your calendar at any time from anywhere. Organized booster clubs use calendars for meeting times and places, updates, events, volunteer scheduling, etc.
|Need a face-to-face meeting?Google Calendar lets you add a video conference link to a calendar invite or event. The link takes you to Google Meet, which allows up to 100 participants.|
Calendar Review & Updates Checklist
- Choose the calendar app agreed by all members
- Update member logins for new officers
- Ensure all calendar entries are up-to-date
A shared calendar has other benefits. For example, it reinforces a more proactive culture and encourages member collaboration. It also aligns priorities and keeps your club transparent and accountable.
#5 Inventory of Club Property & Fundraising Supplies
Responsibility: Treasurer and accountant
Your club needs to maintain an updated log of purchased items, things sold, and what remains in inventory. You also need a plan of what to do with surplus stock. The inventory typically includes property, merchandise, fundraising supplies, etc.
Inventory Back-to-School Checklist
- Get rid of old, expired, and no longer valuable items
- Create a purchase plan for new and replacement items for the new school year
- Inventory record is correct; stock lists updated
|Use the 80/20 Pareto principal for analysis.On average, 80% of your club profits come from 20% of your inventory. So, hold on to your most profitable stock and reduce or discard the least valuable inventory.|
Review Current Club Insurance
Booster clubs are not required to acquire insurance coverage. However, protection is affordable and wise to protect your group and assets against disaster. For example, unexpected costs due to accidents, fire, theft, or lawsuits. AIM provides four non-profit insurance coverages specifically for booster clubs, including:
- General Liability Insurance for events
- Embezzlement Insurance for funds
- Directors and Officers Liability for group officers
- Business Personal Property for fundraising and auction items, raffle merchandise, and equipment
Learn More About Booster Club Insurance
Back-to-School Checklist of Insurance Needs
- Discuss: potential risks and unforeseen circumstances with the board of directors
- Discuss: Could your organization sustain a considerable incident without coverage
- Discuss: insurance options available and the cover that best suits your needs
- Renew or purchase additional coverage as needed
AIM Embezzlement Insurance
How AIM embezzlement insurance works: It covers your funds against blatant theft from those you trust to handle your group’s money. Responsible insurance policies instill trust in leadership from other members. Additionally, club benefactors are more likely to increase donations knowing their contributions are protected.
More Here on Affordable Booster Club Embezzlement Cover
#6 Prepare for the First Club Meeting of the School Year
One tip to preparing for your first general booster club meeting of the year is to schedule a pre-meeting with your club’s officers and school representatives (coaches, teachers, principal, etc.). In this important meeting, you should present the club’s plans for the school year, gain buy-in from the school, and discuss other critical booster business.
Holding a meeting with school officials will ensure that the plan you present to the general membership of your group is already pre-approved by the school and won’t need to be scrapped later.
Planning Your Back-to-School Meeting Checklist
Well-prepared general member meetings run the smoothest, and the best tool for that is a dependable pre-meeting checklist. You can break the preparation stages down into two sections: specifics, and agenda.
Meeting specifics typically include:
- Name of the chair (person in charge) and organization
- Meeting title
- Meeting agenda (see next)
- When? Include the day, date, and time
- Where? Location address, building, and room
- Parking instructions if needed
- Extras: Anything else that needs mention here
Remember, meetings need a structure to maintain forward momentum and finish on or close to the agreed time. The best way to approach this is to decide how long the meeting should last and then partition the time slots. If it’s your first time, seek previous board members for guidance.
- Start Time (0:00 minutes)
- Formal introductions (0:00 minutes)
- Approve the minutes (0:00 minutes)
- Present guests if applicable (0:00 minutes)
- Committee Reports (0:00 minutes)
- Treasurer Report (0:00 minutes)
- Discuss any old, outstanding business (0:00 minutes)
- Discuss new ideas and proposals (0:00 minutes)
- Wrapping up (0:00 minutes)
- Total meeting time:(0:00 minutes)
Once you have the meeting preparation in place, contact all relevant parties ahead of the assembly with a list of the specifics.
- Notified all parties of the time, date, and location of the meeting
- Minutes presented to members and school attendees
- Copies of minutes filed by the secretary
- Relevant parties signed an acknowledgment form for receipt of guidelines.
- Bylaws and yearly plans approved by the principal or their designee
Point to Note: The school principal has final authority regarding all proposed activities of your booster club. They must also approve all publications–promotional or otherwise—that your organization sends to parents or the wider community.
#7 Back-to-School Membership Drive
Your group’s membership drive has few limits other than imagination. Booster club volunteers have plenty of creative ideas when it comes to fundraising. So, think of your membership drive in the same way. For instance, you may want to ask local business owners to join your organization in return for promotional opportunities. An open house or back-to-school night are two more opportunities to pick up new members.
Lapsed member outreach can also be a great way to re-engage previous club members. In addition to parents, consider getting in touch with your high school alums. Here are a few other ideas to get you thinking.
Membership Drive Ideas – Back-to-School Checklist
- Send out membership forms
- Encourage peer referrals
- Invite and pitch parents and other volunteers at club meetings
- Run a recruitment drive on social media
- Give away a free promotional item or raffle ticket with every new membership
- Host and promote the club community events
You get the idea. Whatever form of membership drive you decide to pursue, have your pitch ready. And prepare by having answers ready for those common WH questions, i.e., who, what, where, when, and why.
Affordable Property Insurance for Booster Clubs
AIM offers affordable tailored insurance packages to protect booster club property. Enjoy peace of mind knowing your fundraising supplies, equipment(owned or rented), and facilities have full coverage. AIM property coverage includes damage, defacement, fire, and theft of school store supplies, PA systems, popcorn makers, and much more.
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Back-to-School Checklist Summary
Checklists provide essential details for every step in your back-to-school process. Not only do they keep everything orderly, but they also act as a visual aid to fall back on that reminds you what tasks still need to be completed. Once you’ve worked through all your booster club checklists and updates, it’s time to act. You are then ready to run with the fun and put your fundraising ideas into action for the year ahead.