Alabama is a beautiful state in the U.S. south with a large sports and creative population, but less than optimally funded schools. This dichotomy lends the state to needing the support of nonprofit organizations like its network of Alabama booster club. Booster clubs, or, as they’re called in Alabama, parent and parent/teacher organizations, are an extremely popular form of fundraising. The steps for founding a booster club vary from state to state, which is why we are outlining specifically how to create an Alabama booster club here.! If you’re interested in creating a booster club in another area of the United States, take a look at the ever expanding list of articles on the Booster Club Management by State tab!
While booster clubs in general are a popular method of fundraising within the United States, Alabama goes a step further, taking measures to outline different booster club creation processes for PTA organizations and independent organizations alike. Parent and parent/teacher associations and organizations are one of the more common types of Alabama booster clubs, providing a resource for the public schools of the state.
When you create an Alabama booster club, regardless of whether it is a PTA or independent organization, you’ll need to abide by Alabama state law, more specifically Alabama Code Title 10A, Chapter 3, which you can review here.
Additionally, as you take steps to ensure that you’re building the correct Alabama booster club structure, you’ll have to assign at least three members to the position of director for the organization. This is a detail required by Alabama state law that is meant to help your booster club maintain a sense of efficiency, reliability, and organization.
Before officially establishing your Alabama booster club, your organization will have to file a reservation request form with the Secretary of State in order to reserve the name of your organization. To guide you there are instructions outlined on the request form which will lead you to an Alabama database of all booster clubs active within the state.
Next, after registering the name of your organization with the state of Alabama, your Alabama booster club will need to have a meeting dedicated to forming bylaws that will help uphold the structure of the club. After the internal regulations of your booster club are hashed out and a consensus is reached, your organization can begin filling out the official nonprofit certificate of formation. You can access the Alabama Secretary of State official website to find the form itself. After you finish filling out the necessary information, your Alabama booster club can submit the document to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. To learn more about the nonprofit certificate of formation, you can once again reference Alabama Code Title 10A, Chapter 3. Submitting this certificate is one of the keys to obtaining tax-exemption as build your Alabama booster club.
Part of founding an Alabama booster club is filling out and submitting a hefty amount of federal paperwork to ensure the tax-exempt status of your organization. In addition to the federal filings, the state of Alabama requires that, before all else, your organization has a statement that your booster club will not take part in any prohibited political activity. Additionally, to be granted tax-exemption under 501(c)(3), your booster club will need to have a system in place that will ensure the dissolution of your organization’s asset provisions in the scenario of disbandment. Yes it’s a lot to remember, but don’t worry, you’re almost there!
In terms of documentation, to obtain federal and state tax-exemption, your Albama booster club will need to complete Form 1023 and submit it to the IRS. If your booster club only has a projected annual gross of less than $50,000, your organization might be able to submit Form 1023-EZ, which is a simpler, shorter version of the original form. To learn more about the IRS requirements for tax-exemption, you can review IRS Publication 557.
Depending on the size of your booster club, your organization may have to take a few extra steps before you are allowed to plan or engage in any fundraising activities. For more details, you can access the official website of the Office of the Attorney General for more information about fundraising regulations and registration requirements.
When you create a booster club in Alabama, it’s a good idea to establish a bank account that is specifically for your organization’s financial transactions. Avoiding the use of any one club member’s account will help avoid confusion or dishonesty regarding the finances of your booster club. Therefore, after you’ve obtained tax-exemption, and your organization has created an initial draft of its articles of incorporation you’ll have the key pieces needed to open your booster club bank account. The articles are important for other business formation documents needed during the Alabama booster club creation process, so they are good to have on hand.
The next step, to create your club bank account, is applying for an EIN or Employer Identification Number with the IRS for your organization. Lucky for you this can easily be handled online, and once submitted, will immediately issue your Alabama booster club EIN.
Finally, now that these steps are completed, gather all of your booster club’s official organization documents such as your certificate of formation, articles of incorporation, your EIN, and even copies of Form 1023. Then, reach out to each member of your organization that will be accessing the bank account, and ask them to provide you with photo ID and social security number. This is the last necessary step if your organization will be having different members and officers making deposits or withdrawals from the booster club’s account.
Once all of the steps above have been completed, you’ll have succeeded in founding your new Alabama booster club! However, your work is not done. A major part of maintaining a booster club lies within the procedure and organization of the nonprofit. Consider assigning a member of the booster club to the position of bookkeeper. This will ensure that all of the documentation you spent so long filling out will remain organized and easily accessible when the moment calls for it. In Alabama, all PTA booster club organizations must update their bylaws and resubmit paperwork every three years, meaning you’ll want to have an efficient system in place for referencing the array of documents you’ve had to fill out.
While the process might have been long and arduous, the end result of creating an Alabama booster club is worth it. Booster clubs are great ways to provide your school, organization or activity with an invaluable resource that can act as a pillar of support within the community. Booster clubs and other nonprofit organizations, wherever they are based, are great ways to encourage those in the area to become more involved!
If you’d like to learn more about how you can create booster clubs in other states, check out Booostr’s Booster Club Management by State tab! Or, if you want a broader look on how you can create or maintain your own booster club in any location, you can access Booostr’s Booster Club Blog for advice!