Man pointing toward the word audit in a virtual interface

Schools Should Audit Their Booster Clubs

by Parent Booster USA on Sep 10, 2010 12:00 am

Schools, school districts and their business officers, superintendents, principals and other administrators should audit their booster clubs to make sure that they are operated legally, according to Parent Booster USA (PBUSA). According to PBUSA, school booster clubs often mistakenly and illegally use the school’s federal tax ID number and state sales tax-exemption certificate. In addition, booster clubs often fail to file required federal tax returns. A new law requires all nonprofits, regardless of the amount of funds raised, to file an IRS return.

PBUSA, a national educational organization, is offering a free program to help schools review their booster club operations and bring them into compliance. “PBUSA’s mission is to help schools, school districts and booster clubs navigate the complexities of operating a legal nonprofit school support organization,” stated PBUSA Founder Sandra Pfau Englund. “Through our new BoosterCheck program, PBUSA will provide a free report to school administrators that tells them whether their school booster clubs are incorporated, have federal tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status, and have filed the required IRS tax return.” If school booster clubs are not in compliance, the report will provide information on how to bring the school support groups into compliance. School administrators may sign up for the free program online at PBUSA’s website.

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The failure to operate legally and comply with federal regulations is, for the most part, unintentional according to Englund. “Most parent volunteers and school administrators are simply not aware of the rules,” noted Englund. “They just want to raise enough funds to support the band, choir, sports teams, and other school clubs and organizations.”

Parent Booster USA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational organization that provides support and information to school booster clubs. PBUSA is authorized under an IRS group letter ruling to provide immediate tax-exempt status to school booster clubs, eliminating the need for these organizations to file separately for tax-exempt status.


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
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.


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