A well-run Booster Club has organization at its core at the start and end of the school year. But as your charity grows, cleaning house can become a sizable challenge. So, can working from a Booster Club Checklist be your solution to keeping organized?
The humble to-do list is still a useful and relevant tool today despite advances in technology. Booster Club leaders who work by an end-of-school checklist leave no stone unturned. It’s impossible to skip a task when everything is documented on paper, waiting for a check by its side. Indeed, it’s the simplest and most effective way to reduce errors as you close out the school year.
This guide presents the practical reasons your club should welcome the checklist as part of your end-of-the-year process. There’s a sample list further down for your reference. Also included, is a section on the pros and cons of using a physical vs. digital checklist at the bottom of the page.
|Psychology Behind the To-Do List|
Studies show that people tend to perform much better by writing down what they must do. Psychologist and bestselling author Dr. David Cohen says to-do lists reduce anxiety and give structured plans people can stick to .
How the Booster Club Checklist Helps
An annual end-of-the-year checklist for your organization does two things. First, you get to assess where your group stands financially. You can then compare your current financial situation to previous years and plan future projects. Also, your end-of-school term review can help tie up any outstanding administrative issues.
Second, use your to-do list to review all your physical inventory. Another plus for checking off end-of-year procedures is to give you a clean slate for the Fall semester. Striking all items from a year-end to-do list brings confidence that all your organization’s needs have been addressed and you’re ready for summer.
Before Closing the Books on 2021-2022
Make sure you have a plan for how to distribute any remaining event fundraising dollars at the end of the school year. For example, some organizations carry funds over. Alternatively, you could transfer the money to the program it supports. Surplus, unaccounted funds can leave the door open to embezzlement.
Below are the six priority must-dos of a Booster Club Checklist. Of course, you may choose to reorder the priority, but the duties remain the same.
#1 Form the New Audit Committee
Elect a new audit committee at the year-end. The ideal size is 2–3 people. However, Booster Club best practices suggest one committee member should not have check-signing authority. The role of your new audit committee is to conduct a thorough annual review of revenues and expenditures.
Why You Need to Audit
The audit is necessary to verify the accuracy of financial reports and cash balances. It also checks to ensure the correct processes and procedures have been followed. If not, the audit team can suggest changes if it finds any lapses in handling funds and revenues.
Moreover, failure to do the end-of-year audit makes it easier for embezzlement to occur. Not only that, but you risk failing to file the required annual federal/state forms to the authorities.
#2 Get Organized from the Outset
The trick here is to start writing things down without overthinking. You can always add, delete, rearrange, and modify list items later.
|Be Careful Who You Ask|
Choose your volunteers wisely and only accept help from those with the skills to carry out the specific tasks, no matter how keen they might be. Delegating the right person for the task ensures the job gets done correctly and on time.
Prepare Your Booster Club Checklist
The earlier you prepare your end-of-year tasks, the better. It’s even more critical if you plan to share the responsibilities with other community members so time isn’t wasted waiting on instructions. Additionally, early preparation avoids stressful last-minute scrambling and consequent oversights. The idea is to break the list down into systematic categories, goals, and individual steps for clarity.
Out with the Old
Start with a complete document clean-up of the past year. That typically includes proper disposal of outdated or no longer needed forms and files, paper and digital. For paper documents, consider scanning them for archiving purposes before disposal.
Create a folder named Old Files [Year] for digital documents and move them there. Consider a second backup on the cloud or an external hard drive in a separate location as an extra precaution. Duplicating archived files protects your group against accidental deletion of files, hard drive failure, theft, and destruction, as by fire.
Next, get rid of expired or perishable food and drinks, and throw away old, no-longer-needed decorations. And lastly, write a new inventory for the remaining stocks.
|Data Loss — An Avoidable Headache|
Did you know that 62% of computer users lose critical data? The typical causes are accidentally deleting files, hard drive crashes, security incidents, and forgetting usernames and passwords .
#3 Gather, Sort, and Store all Critical Documents
Booster clubs tend to generate a lot of official physical and or digital documents. Searching for lost files and or folders is a major headache. Do you have records strewn all over? Now is an excellent time to get better organized with your filing system and agree to maintain the filing from then on. Also, consider making digital copies of all your paper documents.
#4 Arrange Elections for Next Year’s Officers
New elections are necessary, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated procedure. A simple online form is ideal for those who can’t get in to vote for nominees in person. Whether you use a majority vote or a secret ballot is up to the organizers.
#5 Update Officer Security
Although leadership positions stay the same, the people don’t. Therefore, ensure your Booster Club guidelines include updating the login details for newly elected officers. Login security should include changing all usernames as well as passwords. And don’t forget to remove account access for exiting officers.
#6 Final Checks
The last checks on your list run through all the must-dos. The size of your booster, the parent group involvement, projects, etc., will shape how the list looks. All tasks should cover audits, adjusted budgets, and any insurance plans your booster needs. Also, review volunteer roles, availability status, and ensure all contact details are current.
End-of-School Booster Club Checklist Sample
The sample checklist below pulls everything we’ve discussed together. Of course, you will need to modify it for your own group, but it serves as an excellent foundation.
|FORM THE NEW AUDIT COMMITTEE|
|DUE DATE: MM/DD/YYYY|
Typical duties carried out by the new audit committee include:
– Verify bank reconciliations
– Verify deposit calculations
– Examine checks/verify authorized signers
– Review fundraiser’s profit & loss
– Confirm filing of State taxes
– Confirm filing of Federal taxes
– Confirm filing of sales/use tax (sales tax permit holders only)
|ORGANIZE THE CHECKLIST|
|DUE DATE: MM/DD/YYYY|
– Clean up all forms & files
– Dispose of expired or perishable food & drink
– Throw out any no-longer-needed decorationsWrite a new inventory for the remaining stock
|CLEAN & SAFELY STORE CRITICAL DOCUMENTS|
|DUE DATE: MM/DD/YYYY|
– Organize all the official records
– Make digital records of paper files for safekeeping
– Make copies of digital records and save them to external media for safekeeping
– Compile year-end reports for committees & projects
|ARRANGE NEW LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS|
|DUE DATE: MM/DD/YYYY|
– Prepare an online form for those who can’t vote in person
– Confirm audit committee has updated authorized bank signatories
|UPDATE OFFICER SECURITY|
|DUE DATE: MM/DD/YYYY|
– Remove login access for outgoing officers
– Create logins for newly elected officers
|SUMMARY OF FINAL CHECKS|
|DUE DATE: MM/DD/YYYY|
Add tasks as they apply to your end-of-school Booster Club checklist. You may want to categorize them further with separate due dates:
– Form the new audit committee and begin the audit
– Clean up, store, and backup critical documents
– Prepare for leadership elections
– Welcome new officers and update security logins
– Acknowledge all volunteers for the past year
– Recognize any members retiring from service
– Start the recruiting process for next year’s volunteers
– Conduct a meeting for end-of-year planning
– Discuss and prepare the budget for the forthcoming year
– Create a list of what your booster club can pay for
– Look to expand on past successes and or introduce new fundraising ideas
– Anything else as it/they pertain to your organization
Your final Booster Club checklist could look different from the first draft. The point is to make a start and tweak tasks, order of priority, and due dates as needed.
AIM Embezzlement Insurance for Booster Clubs
AIM embezzlement coverage protects the funds your group works so hard to raise. Experience shows that embezzlement is the most common claim made by US charitable organizations. AIM insurance replaces funds embezzled by bad actors.
Next, physical vs. digital checklists and why you may want to choose one over the other.
Physical Vs. Digital Booster Club Checklist
There is no right or wrong checklist. Whatever works best for organizing the end of the school clean-up is the best choice—for you.
PROS OF A PHYSICAL (PAPER) CHECKLIST:
- Easy to take or display anywhere in the real-world
- It doesn’t rely on technology or power to view
- Simple layout, easy to scan
CONS OF A PHYSICAL BOOSTER CLUB CHECKLIST:
- Paper is easily damaged
- May get lost or misplaced in error
- No real-time visibility
- Shared paper lists can be awkward to update and maintain
|Frontline Employee Workplace Survey, 2021|
Did you know that 73% of frontline workers in Canada, the US, and the UK still use paper forms ?
PROS OF A DIGITAL (COMPUTER) CHECKLIST:
- Accessible 24/7 from any internet-connected device
- Simpler to update
- Add reminder alarms
- Built-in consistency
- Easy to add extra notes and data
CONS OF A DIGITAL (COMPUTER) CHECKLIST:
- Forget file name and or location (office-generated files)
- Computer files can become corrupted
- No access with a dead battery (mobile devices)
- No access during a power outage (home computers)
- Users may accidentally uncheck, delete, or modify digital checklists
- Forget to save changes when exiting
- Some users may not have the program required to open the digital files
Not all Volunteers Are Comfortable with Technology
Consider your group as a whole when deciding to go all-digital for your group’s management. Not everyone has access to current software, computers, or mobile devices. Additionally, about 16% of US adults are digitally illiterate, translating to 31.8 million Americans. The problem is more widespread among older populations. But it’s important to note that digital illiteracy and intelligence have no relationship .
AIM Booster Club Insurance
AIM Insurance offers tailored, economical insurance packages that protect your Booster Club’s property and stored items over the summer months. That includes property theft, and damage caused by natural or deliberate destruction.
Closing Comments on Booster Club Checklists
Despite its simplicity, the End-of-school Checklist is a remarkably effective strategy for ensuring accurate task completion. Your Booster Club checklist helps to make those otherwise hectic end-of-the-school-year procedures a seamless operation. It’s why practically every successful for-profit and non-profit organization works from them.