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Booster Club Budgeting 101

Preparing an annual budget and program plan, and having the board or membership approve this plan, is one of the most important legal responsibilities for a nonprofit board of directors. A parent group budget may be fairly simple, setting forth the main sources of income and expenses, and expected amounts for each. Periodic reports should be prepared throughout the year that show actual income and expenses compared to the budget.

For example, a simple parent group budget might look like the following:

Fall Fundraiser $8,000 $8,250
Catalog Sale $6,000 $8,825
Auction $20,000 $24,500
TOTAL INCOME $34,000 $41,575

Fall Fundraiser $2,500 $2,500
Catalog Sale $3,000 $3,000
Current Grants to School $10,000 $10,000
Playground Fund $14,000 $21,575
TOTAL EXPENSES $34,000 $41,575

Did you know that if your nonprofit, tax-exempt group does not spend all its funds each year, you can roll it over to the next year?

There is no legal requirement that nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations spend all their funds and there is no limit on the amount of funds that may be carried over to subsequent years. Many larger nonprofits hold funds equal to one year or more of their operating budget in reserves. Parent groups frequently carry forward at least minimal sums to get the next year started.

Can a nonprofit group set up separate “accounts” for individual students? For example, individual students are credited with the dollars they earn during a candy or other sale towards a band trip, so that when a student nets $100 from a sale, their trip costs are reduced by that $100?

The IRS has strict rules regarding nonprofits setting up individual fundraising accounts (IFAs), as these types of activities are called. See PBUSA’s policy on IFA’s.

Is the amount paid for items purchased from a school auction tax-deductible for the buyer?

The fair market value of the item purchased is not tax-deductible. However, if a buyer pays more than the fair market value for an item, a deduction may be taken for the amount that exceeds that value. For example, if a parent pays $50 for a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant, the parent may deduct the amount exceeding the fair market value – $25 – as a contribution. Some items, however, such as a class quilt, painted furniture, or other one-of-a-kind item cannot be easily valued and therefore the price paid is considered by the IRS as the fair market value. Similarly, the cost of a raffle ticket is considered its fair market value because it is the price a willing buyer will pay for the chance to win the prize being raffled.


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.