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Another 501c3 question...

Discussion in 'Women's Artistic Gymnastics (WAG)' started by gymnastmom05, Feb 16, 2017 at 2:22 PM.

  1. gymnastmom05

    gymnastmom05 Member Proud Parent

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    Our booster club has had non-profit status for a few years. As the original members of the club are now gone, we (new board members) are realizing our by-laws do not follow the rules for our status. We have been following the IRS rules to the best of our knowledge this season but are now hoping to get our by-laws in order. Our relationship with our gym is this: the gym is responsible for training our girls. That's what our monthly tuition pays for and the booster club is responsible for all expenses related to competing. Coaches fees/traveling expenses/background checks/banquets/parties/fundraising, etc. We are responsible for EVERYTHING for that. We also take in the money from parents for meet registrations. I know we can't say people MUST join the booster club but can the actual GYM say if that want to compete, they must? Is that legal that way? Right now anyone could train at the gym and pay the monthly tuition (in theory) but in order to compete, they have to go through the booster club. How does this work? Anyone in this exact situation?
     

  2. Rockygym

    Rockygym Active Member Proud Parent

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    This is the exact scenario we have at our gym. I am new to the treasurer position and have learned more than I care to about the 501c3 rules :) Feel free to PM me with questions!
     
  3. gymnastmom05

    gymnastmom05 Member Proud Parent

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    I will! Thank you!
     
  4. 4theloveofsports

    4theloveofsports Active Member Proud Parent

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    That is an interesting question. It would seem to me, since it is the gym not the booster that makes that provision to its team members, that the booster club is free of any liability. It might be a loop hole. I hope someone in this forum can chime in with the legal answer.

    I've been a member of several booster clubs between my 4 children"s sports activities. And at EVERY 501c3 booster club I've been a member, there are always complaints about other members not participating yet being allowed to reap the benefits as well as boosters blatantly disregarding IRS non-profit guidelines by forcing members to participate and/or not providing benefits to the whole. So, I'd love to know if you may have found a loophole.
     
    chalkbowl likes this.

  5. skschlag

    skschlag Well-Known Member CBBC Board Member Proud Parent

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    We have spent the last 6 months with nonprofit and IRS attorneys, as well as NCAA. I have learned more about nonprofits than I want. If you really want to make sure you are doing things correctly, the best way is to retain an attorney. It isn't cheap, but we have found it well worth the money and feel we are finally within the law. There are so many rules to follow...you want to get it right.
     
  6. FlippinLilysMom

    FlippinLilysMom Member Proud Parent

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    Our gym just recently went through this with our booster club. The gym owners finally decided to just make it mandatory for team parents to be a part of the booster club and be required to meet certain requirements (mostly working the 2-3 meets we host each year). If they don't fulfill these requirements then the coaches/gym owners can keep their daughter from competing or remove her from the team completely. Our booster club is similar in what we cover as well, we pay for all coaches fees for meets, we pay for all meet fees and we pay for our level 9 and 10 girls who make it to regionals and or championships. We also give our graduating senior girls a small gift at our end of the year banquet. We have a priority list of things that the booster club covers and we would like to get to the point where we can pay for more things but our team is quite large (we have 20-25 level 8 girls alone) and we haven't yet brought in enough money to cover everything we would like to.
     
  7. gasrgoose

    gasrgoose Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    OP, I admire your desire to verify legality of what you are doing. It sounds like a ton of work. I don't understand why parents except this responsibility though. The gym owner should be doing this. Why is the owner not doing this or paying someone to do it? I personally know gym parents who were sued for there involvement and alleged mismanagement of the booster club. Meanwhile the gym owner, sat in the corner of his vacation home watching the leaves change color.

    While you are willing to seek out an attorney for the booster club, you might want to find one for yourself also.

    I'm so thankful we don't have a booster club and we have owners who understand the business is their responsibility.
     
    LindyHopper, Gymmommy71 and GymDad9.9 like this.
  8. B&M's mom

    B&M's mom Member Proud Parent

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    Technically, the owner can't control or even be a part of the Booster Club. We were told by our attorney that we had to ensure that it was the parents who ran the Booster Club.
     
  9. gymnastmom05

    gymnastmom05 Member Proud Parent

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    Believe me, we have all asked ourselves why in the world we take on this responsibility. When it comes down to it, it's just the situation we've been handed. Most of us feel without adding a long commute to other gyms, this is the only way to keep our girls competing.
     
    gasrgoose likes this.
  10. gymnastmom05

    gymnastmom05 Member Proud Parent

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    Our owner is not apart of our booster club. We are completely separate so we don't feel that we are in any violation when it comes to that side of things.
     
  11. gasrgoose

    gasrgoose Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    Understood. I wish you the best!
     
    gymnastmom05 likes this.
  12. GymDad9.9

    GymDad9.9 Active Member Proud Parent

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    After reading these stories, I'm thankful too that our gym has no booster club. To take on that kind of risk and liability and aggravation so your daughter can do gymnastics is really beyond the pale.
     
    LindyHopper, Gymmommy71 and gasrgoose like this.
  13. amiandjim

    amiandjim Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    I feel like I know which gym you attend and if so, I just wanted to say we have a very nice carpool going...to a gym without a booster club. With an owner who is fantastic.
     
  14. Gymmommy71

    Gymmommy71 Active Member Proud Parent

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    So the situation is such that if all of the parents refuse to take on the responsibility for creating and running a booster club, your gym owner will stop having a gymnastics team? So it will turn into a gym that only offers rec classes, and any gymnast that wants to compete will need to go elsewhere?
     
  15. bookworm

    bookworm Active Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    Not true at all....we have been in gyms with booster clubs and gyms without and my girls competed through many years at Level 10 ( and one did stint in elite) and I'll take a gym without a booster club any day...
     
    Gymmonkeymomma likes this.
  16. amiandjim

    amiandjim Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    I think what they meant was that at this particular gym, the owner may not be willing to handle the competition fees/etc...and is also not willing to pay someone to do it.
     
    gymnastmom05 likes this.
  17. gasrgoose

    gasrgoose Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    I had the same thought. What would the owner/coach do if the booster club officials walked in and said "here it is, we aren't doing it any longer"?
     
  18. gymnastmom05

    gymnastmom05 Member Proud Parent

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    This exactly!

    And really, as long as everything is legal, I don't mind the work. On the plus side, we (parents) have more say in how our money (both what we pay in and our fundraising dollars) is spent. I like this aspect. I have other friends at different gyms (some gymnastics and some cheer) that don't have to deal with the Booster Club headache but they are also stuck paying whatever fee the gym sets and some of them are a little outrageous. Both situations are a give/take type of thing. Some gym owners are honest and try to use money wisely others are just trying to increase profit.
     
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  19. Gymmommy71

    Gymmommy71 Active Member Proud Parent

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    Every gym around me that has a booster club the parents must pay higher assessments and must do a lot more work. It is like this 100% of the time - I have been at or know parents at pretty much every gym w/ a gymnastics team w/in driving distance of me. Booster = more expensive and more work, and these gyms are all going to the same type of meets.

    Booster also means a lot more parent drama - for every parent that just loves the camaraderie and friendships formed working long hours running a mandatory fundraiser or meet, there is another who doesn't like being forced to work for nothing on their only time off from their real job just so their kid can do an activity that they are already paying hundreds of dollars a month for.

    One positive thing that I have analyzed when it comes to having a booster is that the clubs that have boosters all seem to have nicer equipment and facilities (so maybe these boosters are working to buy equipment?, or they significantly benefit the ownership financially to the point that they are able invest in their business more?). Most booster gyms also have better Christmas parties and banquets, but some non-booster gyms have these too.
     
    chalkbowl likes this.
  20. 1canadiangymmom

    1canadiangymmom Member Proud Parent

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    We don't have booster clubs here, so this is probably a dumb question, but if you are at a gym without a booster club, how do you get the parents to volunteer to work the meets?
     
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