Looking to start a brand-new booster club in our Nation’s capital? Here at Booostr, we have put together a simple easy to follow guide on how to create a Washington D.C. booster club. Throughout this article you will find links to helpful websites as well as other important tips and tricks. While the process may be overwhelming, but with our step by step guide, you’ll have your new Washington D.C. booster club up and running in no time!
The Washington D.C. Secretary of State Website will provide you with a majority of the information you need to create a booster club. To start with, the site has all of the information regarding forms and fees you need to know. There are also helpful guidelines to ensure that you are completing the filing process correctly (Note: you will have to create an account through CorpOnline to access these guidelines). It’s a good idea to bookmark the site for use as you go through the process as we will continue to refer to it in various steps along the way!
To start, we suggest starting with a list of 3-5 unique names that would fit your Washington D.C. booster club and its purpose. A well thought out list is helpful in the event you try to file your club name under a name that is already in use. Once you have your list, check the names on the Washington D.C. Secretary of State website search engine to verify the name is unique and original. One way to find a unique name is to include the name of the school and activity the club is affiliated with. Including these details also helps clarify the purpose of your Washington D.C. booster club. Choosing a good name is important not just for branding, but also because the rest of the club creation process involves filing under your organization’s name.
A mission statement for your Washington D.C. booster club defines why your club exists, who is involved, and who the beneficiaries are. A good reference for your club mission statement is to utilize your Washington D.C. school’s mission. You will know you have a great booster club mission statement when any supporter, volunteer or student can clearly understand the basics reasons the club.
Bylaws in general are the rules and procedures that an organization (typically a corporation) follows. This is no different for the bylaws for a Washington D.C. booster club. You’ll need to prepare bylaws that comply with D.C. law and contain the rules and procedures your club will follow regarding when meetings will be held, electing club officers, and taking care of other corporate formalities required in the District of Columbia. For more information, see Nolo’s article Nonprofit Formation Documents: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Organizational Minutes
The next most step in the booster club creation process is choosing the members of your board of directors. It is very important to choose board members very wisely, these are the people who can make or break your club. A lot of Washington D.C. booster clubs struggle with their board of directors due to high turnover resulting from a board made up of parents of kids in that activity. The problem that is run into is the parents are often only involved for as long as their kids’ are involved which could only be a maximum of 4 years. We suggest trying to recruit individuals who have experience in management and are genuinely passionate about the school and/or activity your club supports. Having a carefully chosen board of longer term directors will help your Washington D.C. booster club have more continuity over the years.
The first meeting of your Washington D.C. booster club will be a little overwhelming, but this is where the ball really starts rolling! During this meeting there will be a lot of information to cover: voting in board members and officers, approve bylaws set an accounting period and tax year and approve of initial transactions of the corporation (i.e. opening the clubs bank account). Once all of these tasks are addressed, the club can begin to focus on activities and fundraisers!
During the course of the first meeting, it is important for the board to appoint club officers. The booster club officers are very important because they are the bridge between the board of directors and the club’s members/volunteers. The officers need to have excellent communications skills and be passionate about the success of the club and knowledgeable in the focus they are overseeing.
Next on the booster club creation to-do list is obtaining an Employee Identification Number (EIN) with the Federal Government via the IRS. Everything you need from instructions to forms in order to apply for an EIN, is easily found on the IRS website. You might wonder why EIN’s are important. Well, first off, if you want to open a business bank account for your Washington D.C. booster club, an EIN is required. In order to do some business transactions, yep – an EIN is required. To ensure your EIN application process goes smoothly, make sure all of your state documents are accessible as a lot of the information approved by Washington D.C. will be requested by the IRS.
Becoming a nonprofit organization should also be a goal for your Washington D.C. booster club. This process requires a some more steps, but they’re worth the extra work. To get started visit the IRS website to review all of the information needed for your club to become a non-profit. In addition, there is also further tax information provided by the IRS for nonprofits that is helpful if you decide to make your booster club a tax exempt organization.
Once your organization is recognized as a non-profit, we highly recommend getting Tax Exempt status for your Washington D.C. booster club. Tax exemption means you do not have to pay certain types of taxes, and any donors or purchased made through the booster club are deductible by the purchaser – aka an added incentive! To apply for tax exempt status you just need to fill out the IRS 1023 form available on the IRS website.
It’s time to open your Washington D.C. booster club’s bank account ! There might not be much to put in there at first, but you’ll defiantly want to have a club business bank account. With a bank account your club will be able to monitor and manage club funds very closely. Furthermore, a bank account allows you to easily store the donations your club receives, as well as collect online donations! When opening your bank account, you will need to provide Photo ID and social security card of all members with access to the account, EIN and other documents your particular bank requires. Once your business bank account is open, your booster club is all set and ready to start fundraising!
You did it! We know that starting a brand-new Washington D.C. booster club is no easy task but having a handy guide like this makes it easy to walk through the steps one by one. We hope that this article helped simplify your process! Our help doesn’t stop here, if you register your club with Booostr you will have access to many more helpful articles! Happy Fundraising!