For Parents Booster club/gym drama advice needed

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raenndrops

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Oct 24, 2009
6,699
The 'Wood, Ohio
I can't imagine why a gym with only 18 team members would even want/need a booster club...and I agree with MILgymFAM , no booster club all the way! Less drama and less costly has been my experience in the gyms with no booster clubs...
Our team has 40+ girls and no booster club. We run the best, most efficient meets in our district (so good that, for the 3rd straight year, we are hosting our District Championship meet).
We have had the best meets for as long as I have been involved and that goes back to 2008-09 when there were only 10 girls on the team and we had a smallish gym. We compete against a couple of teams that have booster clubs. I prefer our team :)
 

skschlag

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Jul 19, 2011
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Region 9
I guess I am in a minority! I love our bc...and D could not do gym without it.

As for the op...I think a conversation is in order...if no other reason but to get some understanding, if not agreement.
 
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profmom

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Nov 18, 2011
9,461
Region 7
If you are a 501c3, what the owner is proposing to do is over the line as I understand it and could get the gym in big tax trouble and threaten the continued existence of the booster club. A not-for-profit booster club must be kept strictly separated from the for-profit gym business. The board must meet with the gym owner and sort this out. The necessity of independence for a booster club is the reason that my kids' gym refuses to allow one. If the owner insists on moving forward in this manner, especially with the meet proceeds, the booster club would be wise to pull out of the meet.

(We run a big meet as a fundraiser for coaches' travel and meet expenses, but it's organized through collaboration by the owners and a few parent cat-herders. Everyone volunteers for shifts and we put on a terrific meet, but owners and parents share the same vision of what the meet should look like and how its proceeds should be used).
 

profmom

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Nov 18, 2011
9,461
Region 7
Oh, and forgot to mention -- if you don't have a regulation vault runway and floor in your gym, the meet may end up not being sanctioned by the state. States have rules about what's necessary for a meet to receive a sanction. If your meet is in part successful because it's a state qualifier, this will kill your bottom line.
 

B&M's mom

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Sep 4, 2010
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USAG sponsored a webinar last spring on booster clubs and 501(c)(3). It may be available through their website. If it is, I suggest that your booster club listen to it carefully. The IRS is apparently beginning to crack down on booster clubs for failing to abide by the rules. The tax implications are scary, not just for the gym but for the parents. Our bc spent a large amount of time reviewing and revising our rules/procedures to come into compliance.
 

gasrgoose

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Dec 15, 2010
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USAG sponsored a webinar last spring on booster clubs and 501(c)(3). It may be available through their website. If it is, I suggest that your booster club listen to it carefully. The IRS is apparently beginning to crack down on booster clubs for failing to abide by the rules. The tax implications are scary, not just for the gym but for the parents. Our bc spent a large amount of time reviewing and revising our rules/procedures to come into compliance.

I'm not a huge fan of the IRS but I can see why they would be evaluating BC's. I've never quite understood the logic of a booster club supporting a for profit business. Imagine if your local grocery store had a booster club. You can't shop there unless you join and by joining you are agreeing to stock the shelves 2 nights a month. And you pay the same as a family of 5 even though they visit the store twice as often and get more groceries. The idea just seems crazy to me.
 

ZJsMom

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Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
May 11, 2007
998
Pacific NW
That's the rub. The booster club isn't supposed to support the gym. It can support amateur athletes and needs to make sure it's limiting is activities to that.
 

munchkin3

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Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
2,102
the booster club is not needed in order to run the gym.
The gym IS needed to have a booster club......

If the owner does not want to have one, they don't have to....the owner can do whatever with his/her facility to improve business, including simplifying the business model....they can even 'require' volunteer hours for team members.....(which I would do gladly, just to help!)
Sounds like the booster club is getting a bit upitty??
maybe just a frank discussion with the owner might help....after all, both should work together for benefit of children and parents??
******
we don't have one, will never have one.......all help and fundraising is run through the gym....the #1 priority is the business of the GYM, which permits my child to train with great coaches in a nice facility......this is a FOR PROFIT business....

no offence to OP...just adding some perspective?
 
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BachFlyer

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Mar 29, 2010
1,103
We are a large team, and we host a large meet every year, which is put on by our booster club and the parents. Through this meet, we are able to keep dues (ie: all competition expenses) way down, much lower than gyms in the surrounding area.

I love having a booster club because when we raise funds we, as a separate entity from the gym, can decide what to do with it. We are not at the mercy of what the coach wants to charge for things like meet entry - all of those costs are paid as advertised and there is transparency to the parents upon request. Our coaches are paid an agreed upon amount for meets, travel and expenses, including to our home meet. Judges for our meet are paid fairly and consistently regardless of where they are from. We are not obligated to pay for any gym business expenses - in fact because we are designated as a 501c3, we are strictly forbidden by law for paying for things that benefit the business operation such as equipment. No imaginary mats, no slush funds. It is all out in the open, and the BC doesn't make money as evidenced by keeping a very low balance year over year. Everything that is raised goes right back to the member families.

I agree that an open an honest conversation with the coach is the only way you be able to judge their motive. First, I would want to know exactly what benefit they hope to get by moving the meet in-house? What do they hope to accomplish? Maybe your coach has a valid concern that we are all overlooking here.

In my experience, the best way to avoid this issue, and the most fair for all, is for the gym to charge the booster club a flat rate for "renting" their facility to use at the meet, just like any other facility would do. Rather than collecting your admission and entry fees, which is the main profit, and completely unfair to the working parent volunteers. We went through this with our old gym, and our parents were very upset as well. This is how we solved it. Ultimately, if your gym has only 18 team members, the coach NEEDS you all to keep their business up and running!
 

2G1B

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Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2013
2,226
I agree with BachFlyer, talk and find out what the reasoning is.

From my experience, to several points made though this post... My family has always paid booster fees for each kid in the family on team, we don't get any break in booster fees for having multiple kids (we do for tuition to the gym). We do NOT have to do 3 times the volunteer hours though. Those are usually per family rather than per gymnast. I agree with BF about renting the facility (or equipment) from the gym. A well run meet can really, really help to offset the competition costs. My DS is now at a different gym than my girls and the boys' boosterclub hosts a meet that significantly cuts down on our booster fees. We do have an arrangement worked out with the gym to cover renting the gym for the day. We then run everything. And we take the money from everything. At our former gym the parents were required to volunteer at meets to run them; but the booster club only got the money from concessions (but we worked set up, break down, scoring, hospitality, etc). Everything else went to the gym. It worked out to be at best $2.00 per hour off of our quota to work those meets. I would have rather paid that extra $20 or so per meet (we had 3 that we had to work, so $60) than have worked all of those hours for the meets. And if you couldn't work (say you were out of town - happened some since we hosted meets in both seasons and sometimes your kid(s) weren't competing in that season) you had to pay $50 to a coach to work in your place. So $30 MORE than you would get towards your quota from working!
 
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