- ESTABLISH THE NEED
Does your high school need a booster club? Of course it does. The real question is: How badly is it needed? The person who can answer that question is the athletic director. He manages that part of the school budget and he's the one who is in a position to quote chapter, book and verse on the deficiencies.
If yours is a typical American school system today, its athletic program needs financial help. The taxpayer is on the warpath. Austerity is the name of the game, and athletic budgets are being pared to the bone. Mean-while, costs of officiating, transportation, uniforms and insurance . . . are skyrocketing.
The need is there, undoubtedly. And it's growing more serious every day. Your athletic director can confirm it and can spell it out in dollars and cents. So bring him into your plans. He is going to be the liaison between your group and the school administration.
- CALL A MEETING
Your first move, in cooperation with your school athletic director, is to call a meeting of all interested parents (most parents whose son or daughter are on a team are excellent candidates) . . . and anyone else in the community who shares your concern. The meeting should be scheduled for an evening and at the school, so working fathers can be there.
PUBLICITY IS THE OIL THAT MAKES THE MACHINERY RUN. Enlist your local support editors. Their active support is crucial. You want the entire community to become involved in some degree because you're going to turn to the community for financial backing.
Bear in mind, the organizational meeting is a SALES meeting. The people who attend are concerned, but you want to get them CONCERNED AND INVOLVED. Explain the need. Or, better yet, let the athletic director and a panel of coaches tell the story. Whatever the condition of your school athletic program, it can always be improved. Let the coaches, themselves, describe their needs.
And don't limit your concern to one sport. You want to get the entire community involved, so start by involving the entire sports curriculum.
When the gravity of the situation has been clearly set forth, the need for action is apparent. Have attendance record and be prepared to appoint a provisional working committee of two or three parents, then set a date for the next meeting . . . at which time officers and committees will be selected and ideas will be solicited for programs of action.
You've now set the machine in motion . . .
- ADOPT A PROJECT
The second meeting (following close on the heels of the first one) will be a workshop session. The first order of business should be the election of a permanent slate of officers. Later in the session, a series of working committees should be appointed. Try to involve as many volunteers as possible. Remember: Everyone wants identification and the more people you can get directly involved in your program, the broader becomes your community support. Throw open the meeting to a general exchange of ideas. We're talking now of projects . . . money-raising projects. Several likely ones may be advanced. Bounce them around for reaction. If the response is good, single out those who appear to favor theses projects and ask them to serve on committees to explore the operational details and come back to the next subsequent meeting with a detailed plan of attack.
Possibly, the general discussion will turn up a solid fund-raising project which will generate a wave of enthusiasm. If this happens, recruit a chairman and a corps of volunteer aides to work out the details and assign committee responsibilities. Now you're off and running! If there is no broad consensus of agreement on a single major project, don't worry. Eventually one will evolve out of the growing public awareness of the situation. Meanwhile, your membership can be split off into working committees, each assigned to one of several likely projects. The important thing is to get many people INVOLVED and get them STARTED.
PEOPLE: USE 'EM BUT DON'T WEAR 'EM OUT!
Try to involve everyone who shows an interest. But remember, they are volunteers. Don't make it a career thing. Four general meetings during the school year are enough. Your most dedicated patriots probably will be on your Board which should hold four additional meetings for planning and shaping programs for general membership action.
A January-to-January operational year is ideal. It gives the membership a chance to become acquainted at the beginning of the year and makes for a smooth transition of administration in mid-school year when the project for the year is already in full swing.
Try to attract parent participation from each sport to constitute your voting body. It reduces confusion and spreads interest and involvement throughout the sports curriculum.
SAMPLE OF CONSTITUTIONAL GUIDELINES
The booster club exists for the purpose of broadening the involvement of students, student families and the school through support for all male and female activities of the inter-school athletic program. The booster club works to achieve this through active participation of as many parents as possible in booster club-wide programs and in concentrated support for individual sports, working closely with the coaches, athletic directors and principal of the school.
Parents of all past or present student athletes and such other acceptable persons who desire membership shall be eligible for membership in the booster club organization.
A minimum of three meetings of all team representatives and coaches will be held during the year in the fall, winter and spring. An Executive Committee (consisting of the officers) acts as needed between meetings to administer activities and make decisions within the general approved program and procedures. An annual meeting is held once a year at which attendance of all booster club members is encouraged. Annual elections will be held at the winter meeting in January. All members are entitled to vote for officers.
The officers shall be a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Each officer will serve a one-year term commencing in January.
The number of committees and the type shall be determined at the booster club meetings.
This constitution may be amended at any meeting of the organization by a majority of three-fourths of the membership voting thereon.
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Published by the Booster Clubs of America and reprinted with permsission.