I’m excited to be the Smyrna Rotary Club’s featured speaker on November 20th! I’ll share how you can make a difference in the lives of students, instructors, and school administrators.
I will speak on my new book, The Booster Leader: 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization.
Throughout the life of every booster club, there will be times of major expense. During periods of growth within your student program, you may have to expand your facilities or purchase new equipment. To simply maintain operations, you’ll have to replace uniforms and equipment as they reach the end of their useful lives.
These big ticket items usually exceed the funds you have available in your annual budget. With such a daunting task ahead, you may be tempted to pursue a loan. You may even have a parent within the organization who is willing to loan you the money at a competitive interest rate.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)
So the question is, “when should a booster club borrow money?” Here’s the short answer: never. I have serious reservations about a booster club borrowing money, and many local school boards do too – they prohibit it altogether. Let’s look at three reasons a booster club should never borrow money.
One of the greatest challenges a booster organization could ever face is theft by a volunteer. Last week, I shared 5 Proven Ways to Insulate Your Booster Club from Embezzlement. In addition to these, prudent booster clubs do not accept cash. If your school system does not already prohibit you from accepting cash, institute this policy on your own.
Institute a “No Cash” Policy
Cash is the least secure method for a booster organization to conduct its financial transactions. Here are four risks that cash presents to an organization:
This week in my home state, a story broke of a band booster treasurer who embezzled nearly $34,000 from her organization. Over a period of twenty-one months, she issued herself unauthorized booster club checks and used the funds for her own personal benefit. The sad truth is that this is not an isolated incident. Booster club embezzlement is a crime that is widespread among organizations from coast to coast.
How Can a Booster Organization Insulate Itself from Embezzlement?
The best way to prevent theft and fraud is to make it difficult to commit theft and fraud. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, as simple as it sounds, this is where many booster organizations fail. They do not build proper checks and balances into their operating procedures.
Transparency is the foundation of a booster organization’s financial integrity. Therefore, separate financial roles and reporting among two or more people. Auditors refer to this as separation of duties.
Here are five best practices to help booster organizations separate financial duties:
When you accept a volunteer role in a booster organization, you are stepping into a position of leadership. Whether you serve as president, a committee chair, or a general volunteer, you lead others by your influence. Everyone has a leadership style – their own way of influencing others.
Sometimes we are blind to our own leadership style. We just don’t take the time to see ourselves as others see us. Often, it’s not intentional. We mean well. After all, we are passionate about the student program and we want the very best for our students. What we fail to realize, though, is that other parents are on the same journey that we are. They also want to play an active role in the students’ lives.
Let’s take a look at three leadership styles. Are you a hoarder, a delegator, or a collaborator?