Suprised woman with pink painted fingernails and hands to her face

PBUSA Plans Surprise Visit to Fair Lawn, NJ PTO

by Parent Booster USA on May 19, 2015 12:00 am

In the ten years since Parent Booster USA was launched and Lyncrest PTO became PBUSA’s first member, the government paperwork burden to operate a school fundraising organization increased while state education funding decreased in at least 35 states. The need for school support organizations is greater than ever before. PBUSA supports these organizations by providing relief from the paperwork burden. To recognize a decade of continuous membership, the PBUSA founders have planned a big surprise for this hard-working elementary school organization.

To recognize ten years of continuous membership, Parent Booster USA (PBUSA) has a surprise planned tomorrow for its very first member, the Lyncrest Parent Teacher Organization of Fair Lawn, New Jersey. PBUSA, an educational nonprofit organization for school-connected booster clubs, began with a handful of members who needed help with managing the required government paperwork. Now the company, with over 2,300 members in 48 states and a 95% renewal rate, is going to recognize this loyal member with a surprise visit by the founders, Sandra Pfau Englund and John Englund.

The surprise visit will take place on May 20, 2015 at the Lyncrest PTO meeting, at the Lyncrest School, 9-04 Morlot Avenue, Fairlawn, NJ at 7:30 p.m. Lyncrest PTO became PBUSA’s first member on May 4, 2005.

“We started Parent Booster in 2005 thinking schools, PTOs and booster clubs needed relief from all the government paperwork,” stated John Englund, co-founder and the former Executive Director of Parent Booster USA. “We knew the need was there when Lyncrest PTO asked to join before we were really ready to accept members. They needed taxexempt 501(c)(3) status to hold a charity golf tournament.”

Members of PBUSA are automatically recognized as tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations under PBUSA's IRS group exemption. Tax-exempt organizations, though, have to follow federal and state regulations resulting in a hefty government paperwork burden. Parent Booster USA provides relief to schools and their fundraising groups by handling this paperwork so they can focus on raising much-needed funding and community support. “Thousands of school booster clubs are not in compliance with IRS rules and state regulations, largely because the parent volunteers and school administrators are unaware of the rules or simply don’t know how to comply,” said Sandra Pfau Englund, cofounder and current Executive Director.

Most states now require registration as a charity before any fundraising can begin, and this often has to be renewed annually. In addition, the IRS after passage of the 2006 Pension Protection Act, now requires all nonprofits to file an annual information (tax) return. Previously small nonprofits, including most school support organizations, were exempt from this requirement. Groups that fail to file a return for three consecutive years automatically have their 501(c)(3) status revoked. Revoked organizations then must go through a lengthy process to get their tax-exempt status reinstated.

School support organizations are also under increased scrutiny as theft, fraud, and embezzlement issues continue to grab national headlines. To counter this unwelcome trend, Tennessee enacted the School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act of 2007. Its intent is to secure the continued support of the vital programs for the students while ensuring fiscal accountability of the school support organizations. PBUSA helps organizations with theft prevention by providing numerous resources, including PBUSA Briefcase, cloud-based accounting and document storage software which is a free benefit to all members.

Parent Booster USA, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that provides information and resources to help school support organizations (i.e. PTOs, booster clubs). Founder and Executive Director Sandra Pfau Englund, an attorney with over 20 years of experience, is the nation’s leading authority on school support organizations.

[Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]

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.