Are you looking into starting a booster club in Maine? you’re in luck, we’ve got all of the information you’ll need! Here at Booostr we have created this step by step guide to help you navigate starting our own organization. We want to make sure that your club starts off on the right foot legally, it is important to thoroughly consult all of the links and legal references provided below. All of the information provided below is the most up to date and reliable information to help you through this process of creating a Maine booster club.
The very first step you should take in creating your Maine Booster Club, is of course – the name! This can be tricky, you’ll want to choose a name that is not already being used by another organization. We suggest starting with a list of 10-15 different options for the name of your club. Choose a name that is both unique and that communicates who you are as a club. Once you have compiled a list, you can now consult the Maine Secretary of State website to access a corporate search engine that has the names of organizations (including booster clubs) registered in the state of Maine. Once you have decided on a name, you can begin to craft your mission statement.
The main focus of your Maine booster club mission statement is to define who the organization is, why it exists, and who benefits from the existence of the organization. The mission statement is a great opportunity to partner with and/or use as a reference your affiliated Maine school’s mission. Any supporter, volunteer or student should clearly understand the basics reasons the club exists after reading this short succinct summary.
Your Maine booster club bylaws contain the rules and procedures your booster club corporation will follow. Your bylaws do not need to be filed with the state of Maine but are important as they are your internal organizational operating manual. Before you file your articles of incorporation, you’ll need to have bylaws that insure your club is operating correctly under Maine law.
Now you can select the board members for your new Maine booster club. As a rule of thumb you want to tap board members that not only have business experience, but have different experiences than you do. This brings different perspectives and knowledge to the running of your club. One other thing to consider as well – look for board members that do NOT have kids in your program. By choosing board members that have a solid background and are interested in the booster club itself will ensure longer term stable management.
Keep in mind that certain states differ in the number of directors they require for your board. We suggest keeping the board fairly small, typically 3 members. Having a small board makes it easier to get decisions made quickly, which is especially important at this early stage. Once you have chosen your board of directors, they can now vote to determine who your club’s officers will be.
Because your Maine booster club officers are tasked with overseeing the everyday management of the club, it is important to choose individuals who are strong communicators as well as those with some management experience. You want to make sure that your club officers are appointed based on their expertise, interaction with parents and kids and their focus on the development and growth of the club. With the leaders of your club selected, you should be set for success!
The first meeting is an exciting and intimidating time, but this is where the fun begins! The first task of the meeting should be to approve the bylaws that should contain information about the rules and procedures of your organization. Once the bylaws have been approved, the group needs to determine the best accounting period and tax year would be best for the club. Your club’s fiscal year should coincide with the club’s activity season and if possible, the school’s fiscal year. It’s also at this point that you need to nominate your club officers for board approval. Finally, if your organization is ready, your board can approve the opening of the booster club business bank account and approve any initial transactions.
Filing for an Employer Identification number (EIN) is done via the IRS website. Once you have completed all of your state level paperwork you can begin the EIN process. All the information and forms related to obtaining your EIN is available on the IRS website. So why do you need an EIN? Most states require one in order to open a ban account for your booster club later on. Make sure that you have all of your state documents in order as you fill out the EIN application as much of the information submitted and approved by the state of Maine will be needed by the IRS.
Your next step is to reference the IRS for the steps to register your Maine Booster Club as a non-profit. Becoming a Nonprofit organization is not required, but we highly recommend it and the benefits it brings to the organization. The IRS website has all of the information and forms you will need to be recognized as a non-profit. The IRS also provides tax information for nonprofits, which will probably helpful if you decide to make your booster club a tax exempt organization.
Becoming Tax exempt is great way for both your Maine booster club and its members to save money! Although you are not required to file for take exemption, we highly suggest it. Tax-exemption means that your club is excluded from most sales tax and any donations or purchased made through a tax-exempt organization can be written off on personal and business taxes. It’s a win win win for everyone involved! To begin this process, all of the information and paperwork for become tax-exempt is available on the IRS website. The basic step-by-step process listed on the site is as follows:
This is the final step! Opening a bank account for your Maine booster club. Having a bank account is a safe and easy way to manage your booster club’s money. With a bank account watching money coming in and going out becomes much easier. A bank account also provides security, preventing any potential theft from within the club. Opening a bank account will decrease the potential for mismanagement of funds and maintain the trust of donors and supporters. With a bank account your club can now accept online donations! Your Maine booster club bank account is critical to more easily collect donations, manage finances and in the long run, it will be much easier for future management to take over.
You did it! You started Maine’s newest booster club! Now that you’ve handled all of the hard stuff, there are just a few things to keep in mind. It is important to keep up with current Maine law, regarding booster club management. You also need to stay on top of yearly fees and dues that need to be paid to the state to maintain you Maine booster club’s good legal standing. As your club really begins to take shape, keep checking back on Booostr for further help managing, marketing or fundraising for your booster club!