HOW TO CREATE A BOOSTER CLUB IN GEORGIA

If are running a booster club in Georgia or are looking to create a Georgia booster club, we here at Booostr would like to give you a helping hand! Managing a booster club is not as easy as one may initially think and figuring out how to create a booster club can be a long process. As in most states, Georgia booster clubs are required to be set up as a formal organization. On the rare occasion that a booster club is overseen by the school (meaning the school/organization does the bookkeeping) most of these guidelines may not be necessary. However, the vast majority of booster clubs are set up independently and are only associated with the school or organization it supports.  The following is a list of legal guidelines for creating and running a booster club in the state of Georgia.

SELECT YOUR GEORGIA BOOSTER CLUB NAME

Deciding upon a name for your booster club is one of the first tasks you will complete to create a Georgia booster club. Select a name (or a few possible names) for your booster club and check its availability. A booster club’s name should not be the same as or deceptively similar to other trade names in the Secretary of State’s file. You can search for the availability of your proposed name by checking Georgia’s name database at the Georgia Secretary of State website. You may also write to the Georgia Secretary of State, explaining that you want to determine the availability of a name (or names) for your booster club.

INCORPORATE YOUR BOOSTER CLUB IN GEORGIA

Prepare and file your certificate of incorporation with the Georgia Department of State’s Division of Corporations. Once you have sent in your filing to the state, Georgia requires you to publish a notice of intent to incorporate in a local newspaper under Georgia law to legally form a Georgia booster club. Publishing a notice may require sending $40 to the newspaper within a day of filing your articles of incorporation. Refer to the Georgia Secretary of State’s filling procedures guide for more information on what the publication should look like.

DECIDE YOUR BOOSTER CLUB NOT-FOR-PROFIT “TYPE”

Read the Not-for-Profit Incorporation Guide carefully to figure out your booster club “type” classification. If you do so, you will have a solid understanding of how that organization type should be run. This little bit of research will help you plan the future, as well as help you avoid mistakes as you form a Georgia booster club.

CHOOSE A DIRECTOR FOR YOUR BOOSTER CLUB

Your booster club (as a non-profit organizational structure) is required to have at least one director, age 18 or older, to form a booster club in Georgia. Directors do not have to reside within Georgia. However, the director should probably live nearby for the sake of running the organization as smoothly as possible. Once you have chosen a director, you will need to gather all the information needed for your certificate of incorporation, including:

  • The booster club name
  • The booster club’s statement of purpose
  • The county where the booster club would be located
  • The names and addresses of executives
  • Certain provisions required for state and federal tax-exempt purposes
  • Name and address of the club’s registered agent (the person to whom legal notices should be sent).
  • To ensure that you’ll receive 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status when you apply with the IRS, you’ll need to include some specific language such as a clause dedicating the booster club’s assets to another 501(c)(3) organization should the booster club disband.

CREATE YOUR GEORGIA BOOSTER CLUB ORGANIZATION BYLAWS

The next step is to create your Georgia booster club organizational bylaws. The bylaws set forth internal procedures and rules for the club’s holding of meetings, electing officers and directors, and taking care of other corporate formalities. These bylaws MUST comply with Georgia law. Other than compliance with state law, there are no specific criteria for creating bylaws, but a quick search online will give you plenty of tips. Once you have written and agreed upon your booster club bylaws, you do not need to file them with the Georgia Secretary of State, but you do need to keep a copy in the booster club organization files.

HOLD YOUR FIRST ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

You are now ready to hold your first booster club organizational meeting! These meetings should occur monthly to remain in good standing.  It is important to make sure you always take minutes during the meeting, hold votes during the decision process, and provide records of each meeting if requested. These regular booster club organizational meetings are necessary to take care of tasks such as approving bylaws, appointing volunteers, setting accounting periods, approving initial transactions, and opening a bank account.

BOOSTER CLUB ORGANIZATION FILE MANAGEMENT

In addition to filing the necessary paperwork and conducting your meetings in a productive manner, it is important that you maintain an organized file management system for your booster club. In fact, because of the continual change in leadership of most booster clubs, organization becomes paramount for easy transitions of staff. Have a records book to store important documents concerning the booster club such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and meeting minutes. These days you should also make sure to maintain a digital back up of all files for safekeeping as well. Furthermore, to efficiently keep track of your booster club finances, purchasing accounting software may be helpful. Luckily, there are many accounting software options available today, such as Quickbooks.

OBTAIN A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (EIN)

Now that you have formed your booster club, it is time to apply online for an employee identification number from the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Whenever a new volunteer joins the booster club, you must inform both the IRS and the state of Georgia. Also, consult the Georgia New Hire Reporting Program.

REGISTER YOUR BOOSTER CLUB WITH GEORGIA STATE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS

Register with Georgia Secretary of State Charitable Organizations Department. To create a Georgia booster club capable of accepting and/or soliciting donations, this is required.

Depending on the activities and the size of booster club, you may need to register with the Georgia Attorney General before conducting any fundraising activities. Check with the Georgia Attorney General’s website for additional rules.

GET FEDERAL AND GEORGIA TAX EXEMPT STATUS FOR YOUR BOOSTER CLUB

Finally! The last step, a very important one, is to apply for IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. You’ll need a statement of purpose that meets IRS requirements, statements that your booster club will not engage in prohibited political or legislative activity, and a dissolution of assets provision dedicating your assets to another 501(c)(3) organization upon dissolution.

After you have received your tax exempt determination letter from the IRS, apply for Georgia state tax exemption which may include exemptions from income, property, sales, and other state taxes. Georgia’s tax agency has a form you need to file to obtain this. Some key points to keep in mind when running your booster club as a tax exempt organization:

  • The booster club must be organized in a manner to ensure it benefits the entire class of athletes or participants and does not benefit certain private individuals over others.
  • Avoid cooperative fundraising, a system that tends to give financial benefits to volunteers based on activities or contributions to the club. The IRS views cooperative fundraising as a private benefit and may not grant tax-exempt status to such organizations. The exceptions are select cases where such a practice accounts for a small amount of the club’s activities and students do not exercise use of the funds for their benefit.
  • Participants must be selected based on objective and non-discriminatory criteria. Every member must come for voluntary service. All selected participants must be allowed to participate in club activities regardless of parental participation in fundraising.

Once you have successfully created your Georgia Booster Club – make sure you add it to the ever growing Booostr Booster Club Index!

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