One of the things that people struggle with the most when starting a booster club is writing bylaws. That is why we are going to go through what bylaws are and then at the end of this article provide a free nonprofit bylaws example for booster clubs specifically. There are many examples online for nonprofits and corporations but these bylaws are specific examples of bylaws for booster clubs. By the end of this article, you will have a good idea of what booster club bylaws look like and how to get started writing them.
So if you are wondering what bylaws for booster clubs are and how to write them, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get started.
Start A Booster Club The Right Way
Creating a booster club to support a student group is one of the best ways to raise funds for school activities. The very first step in the process of starting a booster club is to figure out exactly why you are doing it. Why you are starting the club in the first place? Once you figure it out why you are going to start the booster club, the next step is to meet with advisors who can give you insight into the road ahead. School administrators are particularly useful because they have a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening in the school district and may be able to clue you into political situations and opportunities that are not readily apparent to outside observers.
Then you will be ready to draft bylaws. Only write bylaws after you have created a mission statement that school administrators and the community agree to. After all, you don’t want to start drafting bylaws only to realize that school administrators won’t sign off on them. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you begin.
What Are Booster Club Bylaws?
Booster club by-laws are essentially the instruction manual for how a booster club operates. Bylaws define the various aspects of how a booster club will make decisions and allocate funds. As official organizational documents, booster club bylaws can also be useful to the IRS in determining whether or not to give a booster club non-profit status because the bylaws will tell the IRS exactly how the nonprofit will use its funds. This will make more sense when you review our free nonprofit bylaws example below.
Creating A Booster Club With Legal Bylaws
Even though booster club bylaws are meant to be easy to read, it is often difficult to begin writing bylaws without clear instructions. The reality is that there is no universal set of instructions for all booster clubs. After all, every booster club is different, and every booster club’s bylaws will be different as a result. Booster club by-laws will be specific to the needs of the specific booster club they are written for and the school district within which it operates.
Because there is no instruction manual, it is always a good idea to get example booster club by-laws when possible. The free nonprofit bylaws example below are a good start, but if you can, ask other booster clubs in the area for their booster club by-laws that you can use to write your own bylaws. Not only will the bylaws that you create for your booster club benefit from the previous research and work that other booster clubs have already done, but also any changes or updates you make to your bylaws during the process of writing them can help other booster clubs in the area improve their own bylaws so that they operate more efficiently and effectively.
How To Write Your Booster Club Bylaws
The process for writing bylaws will vary from one booster club to the next but in general, the process will include creating bylaws that cover the the same basic information. While the free nonprofit bylaws example below does not go over all of this material, the final draft of your booster club’s bylaws will definitely cover this information and more.
Booster Club Volunteers & Members
First, you need to gather your volunteers and charter members in order to draft the bylaws together. It is always a good idea to include every voice in the writing process so that everyone who joins as a first member of the booster club will understand how the club will function as well as their own role in the club. In addition including everyone in the writing process will help your volunteers and members take ownership of the club for themselves.
Bylaws Legal Basics For Booster Clubs
Second, it is a good idea to brush up on some legal basics of non-profits in your area. For instance, Federal and local governments, school boards, and other institutions will have requirements for your club that you might not be aware of at first. Contact these local institutions and find out more about what the requirements will be and then include those requirements in your bylaws.
The IRS will also need to have some certain types of information in order to validate the nonprofit status of your booster club. Find out what that information is from the IRS beforehand. You can include this information in the bylaws of your booster club which you will then submit to the IRS as part of your application for nonprofit status.
There are three main parts of the legal side of bylaws that you need to be aware of:
- Mission Statement: First, your bylaws should include a mission statement for your booster club. The mission statement is a concise summary of one or two sentences that describes the ultimate goal and purpose of your club. It does not need to be fancy, but it does need to be clear.
- Operations: Second, you may have organizing documents that will detail how things are supposed to run inside of the club depending on the type of club that you are starting. For instance, these documents could be standard operating procedures or safety protocols that you would wish to include in your bylaws so that they are part of the booster clubs basic documentation.
- Record Keeping: Record-keeping is extremely important, especially for taxes and maintaining non-profit status. It is important to have a clear and concise description of how your booster club will conduct record-keeping activities.
Voting & Membership Responsibilities
Next, the bylaws should describe voting and membership responsibilities. You can be as innovative as you like with the governance of your booster club. For instance, you can stipulate that the board of the booster club will be gender-balanced or that there must be a consensus on every issue, and you can allow student members to participate in voting on an equal level as adults if you so choose. The possibilities are endless so feel free to include ideas that are important to the club and that reflect its values.
However, if you are just looking for the basics of how to describe voting and membership responsibilities, then there are four basic questions that your bylaws should answer:
- Who can be a member of the club?
- Who can vote and on what matters?
- How should voters vote?
- When should voting happen?
Once you have the basics of the voting and decision-making processes in place, the next step is to create bylaws that govern the financial basics of your booster club. There are several questions that your financial bylaws should answer:
- When is the fiscal year?
- What is the system for financial accountability is be used?
- How will funds be distributed?
Other Considerations For Your Booster Club Bylaws
There are a few non-essential items that you might like to cover in your booster club by-laws depending on the need of your club. For instance, many booster clubs prefer to include by-laws governing agendas for meetings. Agenda related by-laws can cover how the agenda is set, the reading and approval of minutes, and the delivery of reports by the treasurer, president, and committee chairs. Some booster clubs include job descriptions and various positions that will be part of the booster club’s organizational structure. These positions can include officers and board members, as well as the definitions and responsibilities of any committees that the booster club will create.
Lastly, booster clubs often benefit from having guidelines for volunteers set out in their bylaws. Providing volunteers with step-by-step instructions for tasks that they will be performing will help them perform their responsibilities properly. Laying these out in bylaws will ensure that everyone has access to these instructions and encourage transparency.
Free Nonprofit Bylaws Example for Booster clubs
Below is our free nonprofit bylaws example. This free bylaws template can be used as an example for getting started when creating your own booster club by-laws. It is a free company bylaw example that is only partially complete, so make sure that you don’t rely on it entirely. But the example will give you a sense of what your bylaws should look like. And because these free bylaw examples for booster clubs are based on real bylaws, you can be sure that they are reliable.
[Start of free nonprofit bylaws example]
Free Nonprofit Bylaws Example for Booster Clubs
Title: Bylaws of [Insert Booster club name]
Article I: Name and Location
1.1 The name of the organization shall be [Insert Booster Club Name].
1.2 The locations of club meetings may include the buildings of the [Insert name of school district] as designated by School administration and Club officers.
Article II: Purpose and Structure
2.1 Purpose: This organization is operated for the charitable and educational purposes defined in section 501 c 3 of the Internal Revenue code. The purpose of this organization includes the raising of funds and purchasing of property and services to be used by students and faculty of [ insert name of group supporting]; providing for civic or educational activities and volunteers for such activities, as well as engaging in other charitable civic or educational activities to contribute to the education of the public and the community; and exercising the various rights and powers conferred by [insert state] state law upon nonprofit corporations.
This booster club shall be nonprofit, non-partisan, self-governing, self-supporting, non-commercial, and shall not seek to direct the administrative activities of [Insert school district] nor will it seek to control any of its policies.
The booster club’s earnings shall not be distributable to its members, trustees, officers or other private persons nor shall any member, officer, or private individual be entitled to share in the distribution of corporate assets or dissolution of the booster club.
Article III: Membership
3.1 Membership: Any person who is the parent or guardian of a child or children who participate in [ name of group supporting] and who also agreed to these bylaws may hold membership within the booster club.
3.2 Rights and Responsibilities: The rights and responsibilities of the members include: attending meetings and events organized by the booster club, and serving on committees in nominated positions, and in elected offices. Voting members reserve the right to vote for officers and review and approve budgets and amendments to these bylaws.
3.3 Meetings: Annual meetings shall occur during the month of [ insert month] at least once per year. During this annual meeting, officers will be elected. Additional business may be conducted during this meeting or separately at an event sponsored by the organization as determined by the executive board or at the request of members in writing.
[End of free nonprofit bylaws example]
Booster Club Bylaws – Tedious but Necessary
At the end of the day, writing bylaws can be a tedious task, but it is also probably the most important task you will do when you start a booster club. Booster clubs require specific, concrete instructions in order to operate properly, especially when large amounts of money are involved. Bylaws will also help you in your application to the IRS to acquire nonprofit status. Along with other organizational materials, bylaws will provide the overall structure and rule book for how your booster club will operate, as well as outline the rules and responsibilities of your members and voters.
Hopefully, the above example nonprofit bylaws for booster clubs gave you and a good idea of what your bylaws should look like. Of course, you should always consult with administrators from the local school district and other booster clubs in your area before writing bylaws. Otherwise, get together with the other members of the booster club and start writing!
For more information, feel free to check out the in-depth articles and information available across boooster.com that we have created for you to learn more about finding and creating booster clubs.