Many people have a misconception that there are no legal requirements to starting a South Dakota booster club. This inaccurate mode of thinking is primarily because booster clubs are labeled as a “club.” However, this is not the case. Creating a booster club in South Dakota involves following a necessary but fairly simple legal process. At times it can be a little overwhelming, but if you follow the steps listed below, your club should be up and running in no time!
The South Dakota Secretary of State Website is an amazing resource with a lot of general information, as well as your needed forms and fees that for starting your South Dakota booster club. We suggest bookmarking their site in your browser as you continue the process of creating your club. There are numerous times you will want to reference the site and need to download forms.
Creating a booster club can be very slow in the beginning. It helps if you have a solid reliable team to lean on. In most cases booster clubs are comprised of parents of students with a vested interest in your club’s mission. As the team is beginning to come together, be sure to take note of the more dedicated members of your team. Later on, the clubs leadership roles will have to be filled and it will be much easier to decide if you already have committed supporters.
Choosing a name for your South Dakota booster club is very important step, we can’t emphasize this enough. Your booster club name will be used on all legal, branding and fundraising documents, so it is important to choose a name that will last. Your name needs to be unique, and also not already in use by a business in South Dakota. Try creating a list of several different potential names for you club as a starting point. Consider being more specific by including the name of the school and/or activity your club is affiliated with. Once you have compiled a short list you will need to that your name options aren’t already taken by using the South Dakota Secretary of State corporate search engine. Now that you have confirmed your South Dakota booster club name is available, you can move on to the next formation steps!
An early critical step in founding your South Dakota booster club, is writing a clear and meaningful mission statement. This short statement communicates the overall purpose of your organization. It outlines who the organization is, why it exists, and who benefits from the work of the booster club. For some inspiration – try googling “best mission statements”.
The next step in your South Dakota booster club creation is writing your club bylaws. Bylaws essentially explain the rules and procedures your booster club will follow. Some of the items covered in the club’s bylaws are holding meetings, electing officers and directors, and taking care of other corporate formalities required in South Dakota. Your bylaws are your internal operating manual and do not need to be filed with the state.
When selecting a booster club Board of Directors, it is important to choose individuals who are business minded with strong management skills. It is also important to note, a common issue within booster club boards occurs when the board member no longer has a child involved in the activity your booster supports. Many times, members tend to become less passionate about their role in these situations. In order to avoid this, choose board members who are in it for the long haul and may continue helping even after their kids graduate.
Booster club officers play a very important role in your organization. They are in continual communication between the board of directors and the members/volunteers of your South Dakota booster club. Because of the importance of their role, your club officers should be appointed based on their expertise, interaction with parents and kids as well as their focus on the development and growth of the club. Choosing the right group of officers is essential for the continued growth of your club.
The first meeting of your South Dakota booster club will be somewhat overwhelming. This is when you will nominate and approve officers and a myriad of other tasks. Generally the first meeting has your club approving the bylaws, nominating officers, setting an accounting period and tax year, and approving initial transactions of the corporation, such as the opening of a corporate bank account. Once all of the initial details are taken care of the club can begin planning fundraising events, marketing strategies and other activities.
Filing for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) with the Federal Government via the IRS is next You might wonder why you need an EIN for your South Dakota booster club? Well, to open a business bank account for your booster club, most states require an EIN. Furthermore to conduct business with other businesses and participate in online fundraising – you guessed it, an EIN is needed. All the information and forms related to obtaining your EIN is available on the IRS website. Just make sure that you have all of your state documents on hand as much of the information submitted and approved by the South Dakota will be needed by the IRS for your EIN.
This is another set of steps that we recommend that is slightly ignored. In order for your South Dakota booster club to be a tax exempt nonprofit organization, you first need to apply for Non-Profit status with the IRS. This is not difficult and just requires you to go to the IRS website and go through the steps needed to become a non-profit to the Federal Government. All of the forms you need when establishing a new South Dakota booster club as a nonprofit are located here. Plus, the IRS also provides tax information for nonprofits, which is helpful when you want to make your club a fully tax-exempt organization.
Now that your club is operational, you’ve got your EIN and your South Dakota booster club has been verified as the nonprofit organization, it is highly suggested to move forward with your tax-exempt application.
Many nonprofits think becoming tax-exempt is unnecessary, but it can help your club avoid unnecessary costs! Also, keep in mind that as a tax-exempt organization, donations to your South Dakota booster club are eligible to be written off of the donor’s tax returns.
Having a business bank account makes money management much simpler and safer. Not only that, your South Dakota business bank account opens fundraising doors by allowing your club to collect funds online as well as offline. With a bank account you can have several club members (board and officers) attached to the account, preventing any kind of theft or general mismanagement.
Congratulations! You are the founder of a brand-new South Dakota booster club! That wasn’t so bad was it? Hopefully we were able to help, but our help doesn’t stop here! If you register your club with Booostr you will have access to many more helpful articles regarding how to grow your club, fundraising ideas and much more! We hope to see you around on our site. Happy Fundraising!