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PBUSA Launches "Get Legal, Stay Legal" Campaign

by Parent Booster USA on Apr 21, 2011 12:00 am

Parent Booster USA today kicked off its “Get Legal, Stay Legal” campaign with the release of a brief video. The campaign emphasizes Parent Booster USA’s mission of helping school support organizations come into and remain in compliance with federal and state law.

According to Parent Booster USA, a national umbrella organization for PTO s and other school support groups, of the estimated 100,000+ booster clubs in the country, less than 10% appear to be registered with the IRS as tax-exempt organizations.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, there were 98,793 public K-12 schools in the United States in 2007. There are an additional 35,000+ private K-12 schools. Most of these schools have at least one PTO or other booster club raising funds for the school. Many schools have a half-dozen or more booster clubs including PTOs, band, choir, football, baseball, cheerleading, and other academic, sports and arts-related groups. Yet, a search of IRS records found less than 9000 school “booster” organizations listed as tax-exempt charities.

“All school booster clubs that raise $5000 or more a year are required to file a tax return with the IRS,” stated Sandra Englund, founder of Parent Booster USA.“ It used to be that if a nonprofit raised less than $25,000/year it did not need to file an annual tax or information return. That’s not so anymore. If school booster clubs are not recognized as tax-exempt, they may be required to file and pay corporate income tax on the funds they raise.“

“It appears to us that a large percentage of school support organizations are unaware of IRS rules, and are therefore out-of-compliance,” stated Englund. The “Get Legal” part of Parent Booster USA’s campaign emphasizes educating booster groups on federal and state tax requirements.

The “Stay Legal” aspect of the campaign emphasizes budget development, financial management and compliance with federal and state reporting requirements. With IRS scrutiny of small nonprofit organizations increasing, it is more important than ever for booster groups to file their annual IRS Form 990 information returns timely. Similar reporting requirements exist at the state level. In Texas, for example, booster groups should be filing annual sales tax reports with the comptroller’s office and periodic reports with the secretary of state.

Although many booster club officials start off unaware of the regulatory requirements associated with raising money for their supported activity, with the help of Parent Booster USA, Inc. they will be able to Get Legal and Stay Legal.

FEATURED BLOG

Running an Effective Meeting

Sandra Pfau Englund

Aug 30, 2019

Booster club bylaws often reference Robert’s Rules of Order as the “rules” for managing a meeting. Have you ever read Robert’s Rules? It’s a good way to get a good night’s sleep!

O.k., so, having no rules leads to muddled, oftentimes chaotic meetings. On the other hand, using strict Robert’s Rules of Order can result in confusion or imbalance, dominated by those very few who understand Robert’s Rules. According to Sandra Englund, founder of Parent Booster USA, it’s far better to use a simplified form of parliamentary procedure. Using Sandy’s Simple Parlipro for Nonprofit Organizations, you provide a solid framework for your meeting that encourages everyone to participate and stops any one person from controlling it.

Meetings should not be all about the rules. According to David Gillig, Senior Vice President of Children's Hospital and Health Center in San Diego, a meeting should be 80% inspiration, learning and fun, and 20% business. Busy parents are more likely to attend if they feel as if they will gain something for themselves, and their kids, out of the meeting. We recommend that you start the meeting with something fun or educational — our parent engagement blog talks more about this.

Place reports at the end of the meeting; consider providing digital or written copies of reports that parents can read outside of the meeting. No one wants to sit through standard reports. One exception is financial reports. Always include the treasurer’s report. The treasurer’s report should include a written budget and a report that shows how money was raised and spent. Making bank statements available is a good way to help ensure accountability. You can read more on financial accountability here.

It’s good practice to put start times for each item on the agenda. This helps ensure that the meeting stays on track and flows effectively. It’s particularly important if you are discussing any controversial issues in which it is more likely that someone will filibuster! Having a rule that each person gets an opportunity to speak once, before anyone is given a second opportunity to speak, helps encourage more participation.

Below is a sample agenda to help you get the most out of your booster club meetings. Start your meeting by reviewing the agenda. This is where you can explain the “rules” you’ve set for the meeting, including for example, that you will work to stay on-time to help ensure that the meeting starts and ends accordingly. You can also mention here, or just before the Q&A time with the principal, that each person will be provided the opportunity to speak once before anyone speaks for a second time. The report time is kept brief to allow the bulk of time to be given to the information provided by the principal. Minutes need approved; although a little unusual, we included approving the minutes at the end to allow more time for the more important matters up front.

ABC Booster Club
Agenda
[DATE]
1. Call to order & Review of Agenda 6:00p
2. Guest speaker – Principal Melissa Everly discusses school remodel plan 6:05-6:25p
3. Q&A 6:25-6:35p
4. Financial report 6:35-6:45p
5. Other reports 6:45-6:55p
6. Approve minutes from prior meeting 6:55p
7. Next Meeting 6:59p
8. Adjourn 7:00p

Planning and structuring your meeting for success if the key to having an effective meeting.

YOU SUPPORT THEM, WE SUPPORT YOU

With PBUSA membership, we file all the IRS and state paperwork. We keep your booster club up and running year after year.