There. I said it. Leading a booster club is hard! It’s the elephant in the room that all enthusiastic booster officers, coaches, and teachers want to ignore. But it’s true.
Today’s parents face more distractions and demands for their time than parents of any recent generation. These distractions pose significant challenges for those of us who volunteer to lead booster clubs.
My three year tenure as booster club president was both challenging and rewarding. However, the rewards always outweighed the challenges. Based on my experience, here are three of the greatest challenges a booster leader will face.
1. Recruiting the right volunteers into the right roles. This is one of the most crucial responsibilities for a booster club president. The goal is to have all committee chairs named and in place before the new year begins. This will allow them time to plan and to recruit their own volunteers.
Recruiting is a time consuming process, and requires relationship building. When recruiting volunteers, talk with them in person or over the phone. Although email may be a quicker form of communication, it is impersonal and cold, and easy to disregard. Always take time to answer your potential volunteers’ questions, and let them know how much you appreciate their commitment of time.
2. Fundraising. There is a tremendous amount of competition for the general public’s charitable dollar. And, you’re competing with every other booster club in the school and community. To compound matters, fundraising is rarely at the top of the list when parents budget their money and time.
Thriving booster clubs appoint a dynamic person to chair fundraising. You need someone who will set audacious goals and relentlessly drive to achieve them. It has been my experience that most parents will do their part, but usually after several reminders.
3. Operating with financial integrity. Booster clubs are prime targets for embezzlement. Many booster clubs don’t have the proper checks and balances in place to prevent theft. With only a small core group of volunteers, some booster clubs quickly place volunteers in financial roles without proper training and oversight.
Embezzlement can be prevented. First, separate financial duties between two roles – treasurer and bookkeeper. Next, hire a Certified Public Accountant to review your processes and books at least twice a year. Then, have your officers review financial reports each month, and be sure to check actual bank account balances.
Yes, leading a booster club is hard. But with proper planning and intentional leadership, you will reap the rewards of a thriving booster club.
The Booster Leader
If you’ve just accepted a leadership role in your child’s booster club and you’re not exactly sure what you’ve gotten yourself into, help is here! My book, The Booster Leader, 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization, is the resource you need to guide you along the way. 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!)
Now is the time to start leading your own thriving booster organization. In The Booster Leader, I show you exactly how to do it!
Question: What do you find hard about leading your booster club? You can leave a comment by clicking here.