Now You Can Lead With Confidence

Introducing The Booster Leader: 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization

Whether you have just accepted a leadership role in your child’s booster organization or you’re considering the possibility, chances are you’re not quite sure what you’re getting yourself into. You’re full of enthusiasm and passion for the student program, but you’re just not sure where to begin.

You may be wondering…

  • Will I be able to fill all the roles with volunteers?
  • Will we be able to raise enough funds to run the program?
  • How much of my time will this take?
  • How will I keep everyone unified and keep cliques from forming?
  • How will I motivate others and generate enthusiasm for the program?

Well, rest assured, you’re not alone. Most of us have these questions starting out.

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What Should I Know About a Booster Organization?

When I became an officer in my daughter’s booster organization, I was beaming with enthusiasm. However, I quickly discovered how little I really knew about running a student support organization. Honestly, there were many aspects of a nonprofit where I simply did not know what I didn’t know.

I should have been asking…

  • Do we have systems in place to prevent embezzlement, theft, and fraud?
  • Do we keep our books by accepted accounting standards?
  • Do we have insurance on our equipment? Should we?
  • Are we recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit?
  • Do we comply with IRS guidelines for nonprofits?
  • Did we file a tax return last year?

There Were No Resources – Until Now

I searched for resources on booster leadership and even asked our band director for any information she may have. The sad truth is that there was nothing available. There was nothing written, outlined, or published to help booster leaders succeed. Until now.

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As president of my daughter’s booster organization, I was determined to succeed. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. I…

  • Applied my leadership skills from corporate training and on-the-job experience
  • Sought guidance from our principal and school board members
  • Collaborated with our school board’s Superintendent for Budget and Finance
  • Applied the advice of our Certified Public Accountant
  • Consulted attorneys with nonprofit specialization
  • Shared best practices with other booster presidents from other high schools in town

Applying all that I had learned, I engaged my team of parent volunteers and together we sustained a thriving booster organization. During my three-year tenure as booster president, we…

  • Met every need for volunteer labor
  • Overachieved our fundraising goals
  • Transformed the organization’s funding model
  • Enhanced the band’s reputation in the school and community

3D Book Stack

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If I Can Lead a Thriving Booster Organization, You Can Too!

Now, I have filled the void of leadership guidance with The Booster Leader: 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization. I carefully documented everything I learned leading my own booster organization – successes AND failures. I have defined every leadership role – from the president to the committee chair – and I offer practical step-by-step instructions for each of them.

The Booster Leader will help you lead with purpose, inspire the volunteers around you, and achieve all of your fundraising goals. It will also help you comply with the IRS and insulate your organization from embezzlement, theft, and fraud.

The Booster Leader consists of…

  • Thirty-five proven leadership essentials that are quick and easy to implement
  • Eighteen inspirational stories that bring the leadership essentials to life
  • A twenty-nine point checklist to help you identify risks that may jeopardize your organization if not properly addressed (and the answers to help you resolve every issue!)

If You Are Ready To Lead With Confidence

If you are ready to lead with confidence and get results, The Booster Leader is for you. Finally, you can take the guesswork and frustration out of booster leadership. You can begin your journey leading a thriving booster organization today!

Trust me, I’ve seen other booster organizations around me struggle, and I know what works. In The Booster Leader, I share the strategies and tactics for extraordinary success.

Now is your time. If you’re new to your role, or if you’ve been at it a while and have become discouraged, now is the time to start leading your own thriving booster organization. In this book, I show you exactly how to do it.

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What opportunities will a thriving booster organization offer your students?

Praise for The Booster Leader

A booster organization can either make or break the spirit of a school. I’m delighted that [Dan’s] written a book, from experience, to help booster organizations do it “the right way.”Rudy Kalis
Sports Director, WSMV-TV, Nashville, Tennessee

This is the guide that can take you from average to extraordinary in supporting your kids and their friends…Dan Miller
Author, 48 Days to the Work You Love
It will benefit any booster leader… [Dan] has done your homework for you!Gail Vick
Principal, Blackman High School (Retired 2014)
…a great resource for the community volunteer, band director, coach, teacher, and school administrator… [this] book will benefit booster clubs of all shapes and sizes.Glenn Davis
President, Spotlight Tours, LLC; High School Band Director (Retired)
Dan provides many leadership lessons and creates a simple to follow framework for creating a solid booster organization with high integrity.Bill Krueger
Chairman, JATCO Americas
…I wish we had this book back then. The Booster Leader is the field guide we were missing.Jeff Brown
Creator & Host, the Read to Lead Podcast; Award-winning Broadcaster
…a “must read” for anyone who wants to make a significant impact for years to come.Catherine Glover
President, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Tennessee Manufacturers Association

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Parents’ Unique Opportunity to Achieve Balance Between Work and Life

Much has been written about work-life balance, and rightfully so. Many of us consistently struggle to strike a balance between advancing our careers and nurturing relationships with our families. Truth is, our employers expect our full commitment, and our families deserve our full commitment.

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Photo courtesy Jon Ottosson [,]

In our modern-day society, we often use the word balance loosely, without fully considering its meaning. Balance is very difficult to accomplish, and we must intentionally seek to achieve and maintain it.

Nik Wallenda probably knows more about balance than many of us will learn in a lifetime. Nik’s a seventh generation high-wire acrobat who has tightrope walked across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, and between skyscrapers high above Chicago’s city lights.

A Few More Secrets of Profitable Fundraising

In recent posts, we’ve focused on the secrets of profitable fundraising. Fundraising is essential for all extracurricular activities, and it is a booster club’s top priority. Thriving booster clubs know that it takes more than just a small group of students and parents participating in fundraisers. It takes everyone pulling together toward a common goal to achieve, and exceed, an extracurricular’s funding needs.

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Today we’ll conclude our fundraising series with three additional tips to realize the greatest return from your fundraisers. 

Three Specific Actions to Increase Every Booster Club’s Fundraising Performance

Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed fundraising and how to maximize your booster club’s fundraising revenue. Today, let’s continue by looking at three specific actions that can increase every booster club’s fundraising performance.

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1. Capitalize on “signature” fundraisers. A “signature” fundraiser is synonymous with your program, offers proven value to your customers, and generates repeat customers. Here’s an example. My home town high school’s football boosters sell a pocket discount card with special offers from local restaurants and businesses. The discounts provide significant value, which generally allow the card to pay for itself within the first month of use. The card is valid for one year, which drives repeat customers. The fundraiser also helps build the brand of the organization, as customers receive value each time they use their football boosters discount card.

The Key to Increase Revenue in Your Booster Club Fundraisers

Today’s consumers are as savy as ever, but they’re not only looking for great value in their purchases. They’ve also come to expect outstanding customer service. According to USA Today, Amazon, Chick-fil-A, Apple, Marriott, and Kroger lead the pack when it comes to customer service. In booster club fundraisers, you’re serving the same customers who now expect superior service.

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Too often, a booster club’s fundraising focus is on the internal needs of the organization, and that’s not entirely bad. You must be clear on your funding needs and the method you choose to raise money. However, to maximize your booster club’s fundraising revenue, begin by focusing on the customer. Here are four keys to providing great customer service in your fundraiser.

Three Prudent Secrets to Achieve the Highest Return on Your Fundraisers

Booster leaders, wouldn’t you love to have the assurance of meeting all your fundraising goals? After all, funding is a booster club’s most tangible sign of support for its extracurricular program.

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For the majority of organizations, fundraising is a marathon, not a sprint. The field is crowded with student groups, nonprofits, and other organizations competing for the general public’s charitable dollar. So what can you do to achieve your fundraising goals? Tailor your approach. Here are three prudent secrets to achieve the highest return from your fundraising efforts.

Three Unique Booster Club Fundraisers

The booster club fundraising season is in full swing, and the field is crowded. Many extracurricular programs are vying for their sponsors’ charitable donations. Chances are, your booster club is seeking a unique fundraising idea that will capture potential sponsors’ attention and prompt them to reach for their pocket books.

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If selling a product or washing cars seems ordinary and mundane, here are three unique fundraising ideas from booster clubs around the country.

Eight Reasons Why Every High School Band Should Conduct a March-a-Thon

This weekend, my hometown Blackman High School Band launched a new fundraiser – the Blaze Band March-a-Thon. On Saturday morning, the band brought excitement to two of the school’s nearby subdivisions. The drum line laid down the beat with their parade cadence, and the band entertained with the funky sounds of Bruno Mars. Explosive bursts of color were delivered courtesy of the color guard.

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Prior to the event, students solicited pledges from their friends, family, and neighbors. Patrons donated by the mile, or opted for the band to play a song of choice in their front yard. Additionally, parent volunteers accompanied the band, collecting donations along the way.

As you would imagine, this fundraiser was an extraordinary success. Who doesn’t love a parade! Here are eight reasons why every high school band should hold a March-a-Thon.

The Power of a Generous Attitude

Do the responsibilities of raising teenagers ever leave you feeling overwhelmed? Do you ever find yourself approaching tasks with a “have to” mentality? You know, “I have to take my child to practice,” or, “I have to participate in fundraising?” What if you flipped your mindset from “have to” to “get to?”

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That simple shift in vocabulary can make a tremendous impact on your attitude. Approaching life’s tasks with a generous attitude not only lifts your spirits, it helps you enjoy the things that may be considered mundane or burdensome.

Let’s look at four “get to’s” of raising teenagers who participate in extracurriculars.

A Chaperone’s Guide to Maintaining Sanity on the School Bus Trip

Are you overwhelmed at the thought of chaperoning your child’s school trip? Seriously, being cooped up with with fifty rowdy teenagers can take its toll on one’s sanity.

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Well, chaperones, help is here. These five tips will help you maintain order – and your own sanity – on your school’s bus trip.