Starting a Wisconsin booster club can be tricky business. It can be confusing to start a new booster club without understanding all of the legal information needed. We have compiled resources for all of the legal documentation you will need to complete the Wisconsin booster club creation process.
Before you start to tocreate a Wisconsin booster club, it is a good idea to becomie familiar with all of the state level legal requirements for booster clubs. The best resource for this information is the Wisconsin Secretary of State website. The SOS website is updated on a regular basis, providing you with all of the necessary state information. It is important to read through all of the literature involving the creation of a nonprofit organization, to be sure that you are following the legal framework properly.
The first step in your Wisconsin booster club creation process is to think of a name for your new organization. To avoid copyright issues, it is important to choose a unique name for your club that has not been used before. We suggest that you create a list of 10-15 potential names for your booster club. You can then reference the Wisconsin Secretary of State website, where you can run a search to see if anyone is already using your desired name. Pro tip- Include the name of the school and activity your booster club is affiliated with. An example would be Central High School Lacrosse Boosters or getting even more specific: Waterford Central High School; Lacrosse Boosters. These details may seem small, but they are very helpful in communicating to donors, supporters, and volunteers what your club does and the school you are affiliated with.
After you have settled on a name for your Wisonsin booster club, the next step is to create a mission statement. Your booster club mission statement should layout the broad goals around why your organization exists. We also suggest that you try to align your mission statement with that of the school or organization your booster club is affiliated with. Linking your Wisconsin booster club with the school will be beneficial in setting the tone for your mission statement. Be sure to set the focus of your mission statement accordingly if your club supports one activity or multiple activities. Last, make sure you write your mission statement in a way that is open and inviting to any potential members. Your club’s mission statement should define who the organization is, why it exists, and who benefits from the existence of the organization.
Before you file your articles of incorporation, you’ll need to have bylaws that comply with Wisconsin state law. Your Wisconsin Booster Club bylaws contain the rules and procedures your club will follow for holding meetings, electing officers and directors, and taking care of other corporate formalities required in Wisconsin. Your bylaws do not need to be filed with the state, but they are your internal operating manual.
The next step in the process is to choose club officers who will make sure that everything is managed professionally. It is important that the officers to be appointed based on their expertise, personal interaction with parents and kids as well as their focus on the development and growth of the club. Careful selection of club officers is one of the only ways to ensure the future of your booster club will be secure.
Part of the Wisconsin Booster Club process is holding the first meeting of the officers and board of directors to cover different operational aspects of your Wisconsin booster club. Key tasks that are completed include: approving clubb bylaws, electing directors (unless they are already named in your articles of incorporation), appointing 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 you have all of your corporate documentation togetheryou then need to apply for an Employer Identifcation Number (EIN) you’re your Wisconsin booster club with the IRS. You can find information about obtaining an IRS EIN as well as information around becoming a non-profit / tax exempt organization, also called a 501(c)3 on the IRS website.
Once you have all the business documentation assembled, you have received your club EIN and your Wisconsin booster club has been verified as the nonprofit organization, it is important that you move forward with your federal tax-exempt application.
The application process is very simple because you only have to access small organization Form 1023-EZ from the IRS website. Fill out this form and submit it to the tax department. Once the application is approved, under the recognition of exemption under section 501(c)3you will receive your tax exempt authority. Becoming tax-exempt saves your booster club form unnecessary expenses (e.g. sales tax) and allows customers and donors to write off their transactions with the club on their personal taxes!
Last but not least, opening abank account for your Wisconsin booster club in Wisconsin is one of the most important tasks left, after completing the legal requirements to create your booster club. Without an organizational bank account it is much easier for money from donors to be mismanaged. To avoid the risk of your supporters losing trust in your organization, and the government revoking your non-profit status, it is highly recommended to open a bank account for your booster club.
Furthermore, having a bank account for your booster club makes holding fundraisers and collecting donations much easier. Your club bank account allows your booster club access to services like: acccepting online donations, making it easier for donors to participate and the ability to work with other businesses. In addition to online donations and business working relationships, opening a bank account also makes it very easy to pass the club along to future management.
As you can see, creating a Wisconsin booster club wasn’t all that difficult! With your booster club established, keep in mind you still need to be dilligent to maintain your organization’s status because laws do change over time. That being said, it is important to stay up to date on Wisconsin law and adjust accordingly. To remain in good legal standing with the state, you must make sure that your booster club continues to pay its yearly fees as well. Finally, if you need further help managing, marketing or fundraising for your booster club, be sure to check out the articles and toolsets available on booostr.co.