The days around new year offers crucial time to help prepare your club for the spring semester and a booster club to-dos list is an effective way to get started. But what should you focus on during the winter break to ensure a smooth and successful term?
A carefully thought-out booster club to-dos list is central to a well-prepared group. Most lists deal with similar booster club roles, responsibilities and duties for the spring semester. They typically include the fall clean-up and organizational tasks, potential school improvements, and event planning.
This piece breaks down the areas to focus on ahead of the spring semester. With the right approach, a smooth start to the semester will carry on through to the end of the school year. But before we jump into spring preparation, it pays to end the fall semester with a positive note and thank you to everyone for their commitment.
Volunteer Booster Club To-Dos
Attracting and retaining your wonderful helpers should be at the top of your booster club to-dos list. The last thing you want is a volunteer crisis as you prepare for the spring semester. Volunteering is critical to the stability and success of your organization, so it deserves its own section. Indeed, willing volunteers are the foundation of every club’s success.
Without them, your organization could not exist.
An Attitude of Gratitude
We all like to be appreciated, even if it’s just a thank you and recognition for a job well done. Acknowledgment and gratitude are the best ways to retain your helpers and recruit new ones. But expressing thanks should be ongoing and natural part of running your club. Small tokens of gratitude go a long way with high school booster club volunteers. Plus, token gifts mean even more if you personalize them to the individual.
Here are four ways to show your organization appreciates those who support it.
#1 The Simple Thank You
There are several ways to approach this. One is to take a moment to look the helper in the eyes and say a heartfelt thank you for all they do. It costs nothing but means a lot. A small act like this can change moods and boost morale in a nanosecond. And a short, personalized thank you note after a stressful fundraiser is another welcome gesture. If possible, mention one or two specific reasons why you are so grateful for them.
Here are a few other ways to say thanks in a more public way:
- Give a shout-out to individuals or teams via your club’s social media channels
- Give a special mention to star performers during your next club meeting
- Write a small column for Volunteer of the Year on your club’s website
- Nominate your star parent volunteer for an end-of-the-year booster VIP award
Remember, with a solid volunteer pool comes donors, experience, and expertise. They are the reason your club can support students and help maintain extra-curricular school activities.
#2 Giving Gifts
Gifts don’t have to be expensive, but they should be heartfelt. Middle school and high school parent volunteers expect rewards, so giving them one is sure to be a pleasant surprise. Like the written or verbal thank you, a gift enhances morale, especially when personalized. It’s one more way to increase volunteer engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
Here are five volunteer appreciation ideas, but feel free to add your own:
- Volunteers of the week award + small token of your appreciation
- Buy breakfast/coffee/lunch for the team
- Organize a fun volunteer group outing
- Custom coffee mugs
- Sustainable tote bag
The volunteer gift list could go on, but you get the point.
#3 Volunteer Get-togethers
Arranging get-togethers that everyone can enjoy is great for bonding and stress release. It can be as simple as a backyard BBQ or coffee and cake in a scenic café. Or, you may want to set up an annual get-together for your group. Whatever approach you take, the idea is for everyone to unwind and share some quality time together.
#4 Help Them Grow
Some volunteers will want to increase their involvement and take on more challenging tasks. It makes sense to have a diverse talent pool of helpers, especially in larger or expanding booster clubs. That’s why it pays to support eager volunteers who want to learn new roles and duties. Think mentorship opportunities or signing up for specialized training that could benefit your club.
Once you have your volunteer strategies covered, it’s time for the fall clean-up.
Fall Clean-Up Tasks
The fall clean-up on this booster club to-dos list is in-house, not the outdoor leaf sweeping. And when done well, these essential tasks will help your booster club organize & thrive as you begin the spring semester. The fall clean-up is not the most glamorous task, but it is essential. And your best place to start is with a review of the club’s bylaws.
Why Booster Club Guidelines Matter
Your bylaws are legal and critical. They provide the formal, fundamental guidance for your organization’s actions and decision-making. Your bylaws also help prevent conflicts of interest, and resolve discord and disagreements between members.
As booster clubs continually evolve, reviewing your bylaws for relevance before the spring semester is a prudent move.
Check that the current rules, the musts, and bylaws’ best practices align with the following:
- The bylaw’s definition is accurate
- Procedures and rules for club meetings
- Election process for officers
- Appointment formalities of new officers
- Committee management
- Formal rules and procedures for the dissolution of your organization
- Handling other club formalities
Every organization and its guidelines are unique. Therefore, they should match the club’s core mission, objectives, operational needs, etc.
|Consider making your bylaws public. Being publicly accessible shows your club is a transparent and accountable organization. And that instills trust in donors, prospects, supporters, and your beneficiaries.|
Review Your Club’s Finances
All your finances and bookkeeping should be up-to-date before the start of the spring semester. This is a two-person job for those who are adept at working with your accounting and bookkeeping tools. Ideally, one of those is the club’s designated treasurer. Having two people review the financial books and records reduces the risk of overlooking discrepancies.
The best practices for your organization’s accounting check for the following:
- Banking transactions
- Financial reporting
- 501(c)(3) directions
- Form 990
- Tax information
- Insurance covering the club’s operations, including cash handling
Every booster club to-dos list should include bookkeeping and financial checks. You can expect a chaotic start to the spring semester if you skip these critical tasks. And if your club doesn’t file its tax returns for three consecutive years, it will lose its nonprofit status.
Director & Officer Coverage
With new officer elections ahead in the spring semester, consider AIM’s Directors and Officers Liability Coverage. Our insurance protects your booster organization and its serving officers against lawsuits. That’s invaluable if someone decides to sue an individual officer or the organization for wrongful decisions, misinformation, or inappropriate actions.
Booster Club To-Dos: Budgetary Planning for the Year Ahead
Make sure budgetary planning and presentation is on your booster club to-dos list. It needs careful consideration and preparation and is best done after the financial review (see previous). Knowing the health of your club finances makes it much easier to allocate budgets for the spring semester. There is no better feeling than being well-informed and organized. But always remember to coordinate budgetary planning with your club’s executive board!
Officer Nominations and Elections
Think about new officer nominations during the winter break if you’re having spring elections. Consider volunteer parents of underclassmen that stood out during the fall semester. Enthusiastic parents with skills to offer often make for outstanding officer nominations. Moreover, new faces in official roles tend to be a good thing for booster clubs.
Booster Club To-Dos: Spring Semester Fundraiser Ideas
Spring is a time of light clothing, warm sun, flowers, fresh colors, and happy faces. It also offers many themed fundraising opportunities for your booster club. And the earlier you review and plan, the better prepared you are to take advantage of springtime. Themed events will likely attract the most attention. Even so, well-thought-out non-themed fundraisers can also be big money makers.
The table below lists spring semester fundraisers for booster clubs.
|Spring club awards ceremonies/dinners|
Mother’s Day flowers
Valentine’s Day, e.g., candy-grams
Plant & seeds sale
March Madness fundraising
Easter egg hunt
Selling custom t-shirts
School Infrastructure Improvements
Even if opportunities aren’t directly related to your booster club, organizing volunteers to help with school improvements can improve your club’s reputation. Spring infrastructure tasks may take some preparation, so it’s best to start early with larger projects. If you need some ideas, perform a general inspection and speak with the school’s administrators. You will find plenty of school infrastructure projects if you look for them.
Do the recreational areas need maintenance or new equipment installation? Perhaps the sports facilities could use some repairs or line repainting? Or maybe the grounds, in general, would benefit from a little beautification.
Teacher and Staff Appreciation
A healthy school/booster club relationship is based on open, honest communication between all parties. The best-run organizations improve the school experience for students, teachers, and school staff. By working well together, collaboration stays positive. It means your club and school work within the boundaries, laws, and policies agreed upon at all times. Moreover, showing a little appreciation helps to maintain support from school employees.
A small token gift to a faculty is always welcome. Also, consider hosting a holiday brunch or a back-to-school breakfast. A shared lunch during staff development ahead of the spring semester is another way to reconnect and get off on the right foot.
Booster Club To-Dos Closing Comments
Careful preparation and having the right teams in place are vital for your club’s success. Use the winter break to organize your booster club to-dos list for its people, procedures, and events planning. A well-organized club means the spring semester gets off to a smooth start. It also lays the foundation for a successful run through to the end of the school year.
Booster Club Embezzlement Coverage
AIM’s embezzlement coverage safeguards your booster club funds from those you trust to oversee your group’s funds. How protected is your club as you prepare for the transition of elected officers? Our bond coverage insures your funds against theft. If someone runs off with your money, our embezzlement coverage replaces those funds.