Band, football, soccer, debate and other booster clubs have been doing it for years...selling thousands of dollars worth of candy bars, gift wrap and other items to help support kids, their clubs and their schools. However, with increasing reports of stolen funds and questionable financial practices, school administrators and even some state legislatures are passing new rules and laws regulating school support organizations.
“Parents find out after they sign up to help out their school booster club that there are lots of rules involved. For example, Tennessee passed a law in 2008, the School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act, that requires school booster clubs to follow certain financial practices to be approved to operate in their school district,” stated Sandra Englund, founder of Parent Booster USA. “The IRS requires any group that raises $5000 or more to file a tax return. All these rules can be quite intimidating for a parent that thought they only signed up to organize the school gift wrap sale.”
To help parents get back to focusing on raising much-needed funds for their kids, their schools and their activities, Parent Booster USA has published the "Booster Club Start-Up, Operations and Financial Practices Guide". The manual provides model articles of incorporation and bylaws, along with suggested financial practices. The guide even provides step-by-step “how-tos” for conducting an internal review of PTOs or booster club’s financial records.
“We seem to get calls weekly about concerns with a booster club treasurer, or what reports a booster club treasurer should be preparing,” noted Parent Booster USA Executive Director, John Englund. “Unless your club has a CPA as its treasurer, I don’t know how you would know if your banking and financial practices were appropriate. PBUSA’s new guide makes it much easier to handle a booster club’s finances properly.“
PBUSA is a national umbrella organization authorized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through a group letter ruling to assist and provide oversight to school support organizations. School booster clubs -- – football, cheerleading, gymnastics, chorus and other booster groups – obtain automatic, immediate federal nonprofit tax-exempt status simply by joining PBUSA.