Are you planning to start a booster club in the state of Washington? Are you finding it hard to find all of the information and forms you need to successfully and legally create your new booster club? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Booostr we have put together a simple guide to help you get your Washington booster club up and running!
On the Washington Secretary of State Website you will find a majority of the information you need in order to successfully create your Washington booster club. The site has general information about important factors to consider when thinking about creating a new club in the state of Washington under Information for nonprofits and charities. Once you have read through some of the general information, you can start the step by step process to create your new club!
Choosing a name is one of the hardest steps in creating your Washington booster club. You need to be sure not to choose a business name already in use. To help avoid this, we suggest making a list of at least 5-10 name ideas for your Washington booster club. Keep in minde, that in the state of Washington, your booster club name cannot include or end with any of the following words or abbreviations: corporation, company, incorporated, limited partnership, limited liability company, or any other corporate designation. However a nonprofit organization such as a booster club may use club, league, association, services, committee, fund, society, foundation, a nonprofit corporation, or similar name. A super helpful tool that you can use to be sure that you have an original name is the search engine on the Washington Secretary of State website that allows you to look up names that are already in use (note: you don’t have to login, just scroll down to access the search engine). Choosing a name for your Washington booster club is very important because the rest of the creation process involves registering your club under granted name.
Your Washington booster club mission statement should quickly and clearly define the organization, why it exists, and who benefits from its existence. When writing your Washington booster club mission statement you should reference your affiliated Washington school’s mission. Any supporter, volunteer or student should clearly understand the basics reasons the club exists after reading this short succinct summary.
Before filing for your articles of incorporation, your Washington booster club will need to create a set of bylaws that comply with Washington law. Your bylaws contain the rules and procedures of your corporation, for example: holding meetings, electing officers and directors, and taking care of other corporate formalities required in the state of Washington. Keep in mind, while your club bylaws do not need to be filed with the state — they are still very important as your organization’s internal operating manual.
With the initial paperwork out of the way, now its time to pick your Washington booster club board of directors. Many school activity related clubs struggle with selecting their board of directors. This is because these booster clubs are generally run by parents of students who are only involved in the school activity for 4 years or less. The turning over of club management so rapidly can be frustrating as kids lose interest or graduate. Because of this, we suggest choosing individuals who have great communication skills, ideally with previous management experience and are passionate about the school and/or activity the club is supporting.
Your first booster club meeting of might be a little overwhelming because there will be a lot of information and voting to get through. It is best to be as prepared as possible and have a set agenda. During the first meeting your Washington booster club will have to approve the bylaws, vote in officers, set an accounting period and tax year and possibly approve the initial transactions of the corporation (i.e. opening the clubs bank account).
Normally during your first meeting your will nominate and appoint your Washington booster club officers. The club officers will assist in managing you’re the organization and ensure that your Washington booster club is run efficiently and professionally. Every one of the nominated officers need to be appointed based on their expertise, interaction with parents and kids as well as their desire to grow the booster club. Each officers’ job is very important as they are the conduit between the board of directors and management of the club’s volunteers.
With most of the state documentation complete, you need to shift attention to the filing your Washington booster club’s federal documentation. The first step is filing your organization’s Employee Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. You can access all of the filing forms and instructions for obtaining your EIN on the IRS website. An EIN is not only important for the Federal government, but it is required to open a business bank account, participating in specific types of fund raising and doing business directly with other businesses.
The next order of business with the IRS is submitting your Washington booster club documentation to apply for nonprofit status. There are a few hoops to jump through with the IRS. Luckily a quick trip to the IRS website will show you all of the steps and paperwork to become a non-profit business to the Federal Government. Within these instructions are all of the forms you need to fill out for your Washington booster club to apply for nonprofit status. As a bonus, you might want to review the IRS as they provide tax information for nonprofits, that is helpful if you take the extra steps to make your Washington booster club a tax exempt organization.
Understand that filing for tax exempt status is not mandatory. We do highly recommend it though. You should know that without the tax-exempt you will have to pay for several fees and costs that will make the entire process of management a bit more difficult for you. To claim the full tax exemption benefits, it is important that you apply for the tax-exempt as soon as you are done with the rest of the organizational legal requirements.
Here are the steps to complete the process:
The final step in the creation of your Washington booster club is opening a business bank account! Without a bank account, it is harder to manage the club’s finances and harder to conduct business overall. Having a bank account not only makes tracking expenses easier, it creates a safe place to house your Washington booster club’s money. Beyond that your business bank account makes fundraising easier, allows you to collect online donations and makes transitioning club finances to new management vastly simpler!
We know that starting a brand-new booster club is no easy task, so we hope that this article helped simplify the process! Our help doesn’t stop here, if you register your club with Booostr you will have access to many more helpful articles! We were happy to help you along this process and we wish you all the success for your club! Happy Fundraising!