Your booster club’s success is primarily down to its leadership team and the president who presides over it. So, how does someone take on booster club president duties and responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed and in over your head?
What do booster clubs do to avoid a chaotic first semester or year? They start by electing a competent president and other booster club officers. A president who knows what they’re doing sets a high bar. Moreover, putting the right people in place means less time playing catch-up. And that sows the seeds for maximizing the club’s potential.
How prepared are your new booster club president and other executive board members? This piece outlines the most-important presidential duties and offers valuable tips and suggestions to get new club leaders started off on the right foot. But first, an overview on choosing the right person for the job.
Selecting Your New Club President
How your organization starts the new semester is critical. And remember, your club’s success depends heavily on who you choose to lead it. An enthusiastic founder is often a natural choice for the first president when starting a new booster club. But with pre-existing boosters, presidents are elected according to the club’s bylaws in an annual election.
What to Look For in Your New President?
Whether you’re looking to choose the best replacement for an existing president or building your club’s leadership team for the very first time, you need to ask yourself, what traits make a great president for your organization? What qualities does a competent volunteer leader possess?
Leaders Have Vision & Sense of Duty
Being a competent administrator is not enough in and of itself. Some things a president will need to learn on the job. But they must have a sound knowledge of how the club operates and how their position enables the club to run smoothly and effectively. Likewise, your club president needs a clear vision. That means having ambition, setting goals and constructing a plan to follow them through.
Presidents are also responsible for ensuring the booster club insurance needs are covered to protect your events, property, and serving officers.
A president knows how to get things done. That doesn’t simply mean someone who delegates by barking orders. Instead, they inspire, energize, and motivate those around them. If a leader lacks people skills, they may have difficulty motivating volunteers and being able to make the most of their #1 resource, club members.
So remember, when it’s time to choose a new president, try not to choose someone just because they’re pleasant and willing to do the job. This is why group consensus is often the best path to choosing your next president. Ideally, you should seek to nominate more than one potential candidate to help ensure the best possible person is being chosen for the role.
Introduce Your Presidential Candidates
If you haven’t already done it, decide which members have the right to vote on elected members. You must also agree on the best process to cast those member votes.
The only way your club’s electorate can make an informed decision is if they know about the candidates, their capabilities, and ambitions for the position. Of course, this is not an issue with smaller organizations. But for larger clubs, you will want to distribute the names and bios of all your presidential contenders one or two weeks before election day.
Think Person Over Personality
A popular, highly likable, and enthusiastic volunteer is not always the best person to fulfill the president’s duties. Therefore, it’s better to remind voters to think about the most capable person for president rather than a candidate’s personality alone. Once you’ve selected your new chief executive, it’s time to get down to the important business.
Your New Booster Club’s Presidential Duties & Roles
If this is a new club, the president’s first job is to choose or elect the leadership team (see below). The team size will naturally vary between clubs, but it should have at least four persons and roles, including the president.
|Position||Leadership Roles and Responsibilities|
|The President||Meets with campus administrators, sets meeting schedules, leads board meetings, and fulfills other duties as outlined by your club’s official bylaws.|
|Vice President||Performs duties as delegated by the club president, stands in for the president in their absence, and additional duties as outlined by your official bylaws.|
|Treasurer||Oversees the organization’s financial activities, such as budgets, taxes, financial reports, and other duties outlined in the bylaws.|
|Secretary||Keeps records of meetings, including attendance and minutes. Maintains updated membership records, correspondence, and other secretarial duties outlined in the bylaws.|
Creating Your Leadership Team Is a Top Priority
Booster club officers are often willing volunteers from diverse backgrounds. The team usually consists of parents, grandparents, alumni familiar with the high school, community leaders, and working professionals. The president’s job is to attract new people to the vacant roles.
Consider inviting local professionals and experienced volunteers to join your new team. It can be a rewarding decision. These hardworking, knowledgeable people can bring valuable life skills and organizational knowledge to the table.
Replacement Teams for Existing Clubs
Filling new board members for an existing club is not always easy. Start scouting for potential candidates well in advance if you can. Failing that, the current president can stay in post-interim capacity until a new presidential candidate can be found and elected.
Leadership Teams for a New Club
Seek guidance if you’re the club’s founder but don’t want to be its first president. School teachers and administrators are well placed and familiar with parents to advise you on finding prospective candidates with the right skills. Social media is now an excellent tool for clubs to use for reaching and engaging potential volunteers.
Prepare Your First Meeting
Once your new team is in place, the president’s job is to arrange the first and all subsequent booster club meetings. This is a good time to suggest regularly scheduled meetings at a time that best suits the majority of members.
Also, emphasize the importance of starting and ending your group’s meetings on time, every time. This approach avoids sloppy starts or frustrating attendees by running over time.
Smoothing the Booster Club President Transition
You may want to invite previous members to the first meeting to help smooth the transition. Consider reaching out to parents of graduated seniors. They can bring you up-to-date on events and results, finances, insurance options for events and officers, and other need-to-know affairs.
Tip: Prepare a list of priority topics for discussion for each meeting and work through them in order. Setting an outline template provides a familiar structure that’s easier to manage.
AIM Liability Insurance for Booster Clubs
Booster club events are fun occasions, but they are not guaranteed to be incident free. AIM offers affordable insurance to safeguard your club against injury liability claims for your events all year long. Our tailored events coverage protects your upcoming fundraisers and other events, starting from $65 per year.
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Best Practices for Managing Your Booster Club
As president, you will evolve into your new role and do things your way. Most often, the amount of leeway you have to change processes is determined by the size and tenure of your club. However, at the start of your tenure, it’s helpful to have a checklist of essential duties to keep you on course.
- Execute all obligations such as formal agreements and contracts, etc.
- Oversee members’ roles and adjust if necessary
- Supervise new officers until they can work independently
- Oversee all aspects of the board
- Set meeting agendas with the club secretary
- Preside over all regular meetings
- Liaise with school officials, e.g., administrators, coaches, etc.
How to Make Your School Administrator’s Life Easier
School administrators are a valuable asset to a booster club president and often oversee what your club can and cannot do. Therefore, it’s vital to maintain good relations with them, and there are several ways to do that.
First, ensure the school administrators are kept in the loop regarding your club’s ongoing and proposed activities. They should also receive updated copies of the club’s publications. Lastly, invite school administrators to your organization’s regular meetings. They may not always attend, but they will appreciate you asking them to be represented.
Ways Booster Club Support (Not Just Money)
As the new booster club president, let your team know you are committed to the role. One way to do this is regularly brainstorming ideas that can improve the club. Although fundraising is at the heart of these organizations, it’s not the only means by which you can support students. Introduce new and innovative means to back your booster, for example:
- Explore alternative ways to increase volunteer commitment
- Get more students involved
- Provide moral support to students and faculty
- Invite relevant parties to attend and partake in public meetings
- Invite people with valuable skills to share them with the club
How Covered Is Your Organization?
Have you assessed your organization’s insurance needs? What safeguards does your club have in place for upcoming events & fundraisers? AIM insurance can protect your funds raised against theft, and your fundraising supplies and club property items against damage, destruction, and defacement.
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In conclusion, your ideal booster club president is a person who wants to volunteer rather than someone who’s pushed into the role. Try to nominate a president with the enthusiasm, leadership experience, and time to fulfill their duties. Then, with the proper skills and time to commit, they can drive your organization forward through respectful leadership and the support of your club’s other officers.