For Parents Booster Club Question

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Summer Zumini

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Hello, I just became the president of our Gymnatics booster club. Through this forum a member and I have concerns on how our fundraising procedures run.
1. I am wondering how people make it work to benefit all gymnasts.
Our gym has competitive optionals, compulsory and excel. The meet, coaches fees are quite a bit different per level.
2. How do other teams balance this difference?
People who want to fundraise want to benefit their gymnast.
3. How do you change the culture of fundraising?
We have had very little participation in our fundraisers.
4. How do you get more families involved?
I have heard of gyms in our area holding General fundraisers and individual fundraisers.
5. Is this still out of compliance?
Our last fundraiser kept track of families sales on a spread sheet. Then the booster club writes a check to the gym, the gym applies the funds raised to the specific accounts. Out treasurer states we are in compliance, but I don't think so?
Our gym keeps growing with families, and quite a lot of those families are financially able to pay for their gymnasts total bill.
We do hold 2 home meets a year, that parents and families volunteer to help. We sold concessions and did raffle baskets.
I just want to do the right thing for our club, our gymnasts and our level of involvement.
Thank you
 

skschlag

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So, one thing...the money does not have to be equal. That would be impossible. The benefits have to be the same. So if you pay meet fees for one, you pay meet fees for all, even if those are a little different. We do not balance the difference, we just know that when Our gymnast makes nationals, it will be covered.

To make fundraising effective, the benefits have to be worth it. If people do not see the benefit then there is no point to the fundraising.

I think individual, if going through a 501 c3 is not allowed. We do not have accounts. We do not give more benefits to people that do more. You get the benefits of everyone else. I am pretty sure that fundraising into individual accounts is not allowed.

Our club is separate from the gym. MEaning, you do not have to join. You do not have to participate. The club is a completely separate entity.
 
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GymMom4

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It depends on your booster club status. We are 501(c)3 so all fundraising is to benefit the group, not individuals regardless of who participates in the fundraiser. Concession stands at meets are our biggest fundraiser but we are a smallish gym compared to some in the state who earn tons of money every year.
 

Summer Zumini

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So, one thing...the money does not have to be equal. That would be impossible. The benefits have to be the same. So if you pay meet fees for one, you pay meet fees for all, even if those are a little different. We do not balance the difference, we just know that when Our gymnast makes nationals, it will be covered.

To make fundraising effective, the benefits have to be worth it. If people do not see the benefit then there is no point to the fundraising.

I think individual, if going through a 501 c3 is not allowed. We do not have accounts. We do not give more benefits to people that do more. You get the benefits of everyone else. I am pretty sure that fundraising into individual accounts is not allowed.

Our club is separate from the gym. MEaning, you do not have to join. You do not have to participate. The club is a completely separate entity.
Thank you!!!!
 

Summer Zumini

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It depends on your booster club status. We are 501(c)3 so all fundraising is to benefit the group, not individuals regardless of who participates in the fundraiser. Concession stands at meets are our biggest fundraiser but we are a smallish gym compared to some in the state who earn tons of money every year.
What type of food/items do you sell at your concessions? Are there any other fundraisers you take part in? We are a 501(c)3, so I am just trying to figure out how to benefit all our gymnasts.
 

txgymfan

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To benefit all gymnasts you can pay for the team Leo, even if it's different at different levels. You can pay coaches fees for everyone who makes States or Regionals or Nationals. You can give all members team T shirts. Every member will get the benefit but not the same dollar amount.
 
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Summer Zumini

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To benefit all gymnasts you can pay for the team Leo, even if it's different at different levels. You can pay coaches fees for everyone who makes States or Regionals or Nationals. You can give all members team T shirts. Every member will get the benefit but not the same dollar amount.
Yes, we were planning on purchasing team warm ups or Leo's. We have just had parents that were used to fundraising for their specific fees, so I just want this transition to go smoothly. I am excited I think it will encourage and get more families involved.
Thank you all for your clarification.
 
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refugee

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Hello, I just became the president of our Gymnatics booster club. Through this forum a member and I have concerns on how our fundraising procedures run.
1. I am wondering how people make it work to benefit all gymnasts.
Our gym has competitive optionals, compulsory and excel. The meet, coaches fees are quite a bit different per level.
2. How do other teams balance this difference?
People who want to fundraise want to benefit their gymnast.
3. How do you change the culture of fundraising?
We have had very little participation in our fundraisers.
4. How do you get more families involved?
I have heard of gyms in our area holding General fundraisers and individual fundraisers.
5. Is this still out of compliance?
Our last fundraiser kept track of families sales on a spread sheet. Then the booster club writes a check to the gym, the gym applies the funds raised to the specific accounts. Out treasurer states we are in compliance, but I don't think so?
Our gym keeps growing with families, and quite a lot of those families are financially able to pay for their gymnasts total bill.
We do hold 2 home meets a year, that parents and families volunteer to help. We sold concessions and did raffle baskets.
I just want to do the right thing for our club, our gymnasts and our level of involvement.
Thank you

Answers depend in part on the legal structure of your booster club. If a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) then a lot more restrictions.

In a tax-exempt, accept the fact that not everyone will participate but everyone must benefit. From what I've seen, benefit does not have to be equal, but it cannot be individual-account based. In one club, benefits depended on ability. A Level 10 athlete family received a larger portion of the club distribution than a Level 3. But all Level 10 athletes got the same share. This was justified on the theory that Level 10 athletes incurred more travel (optionals were required to go to away meets, compulsories were not) and meet (state, regional, JO) expenses. This also has the effect of giving parents an incentive to keep their kid progressing!

Culture of fundraising/family involvement. You are right to recognize the culture aspect. This takes time and dedication. A couple thoughts:
- The 80/20 rule applies here...80% of the fundraising will be raised by 20% of the families. In one gym we were at, one family accounted for almost 25% of the club's gross revenue. Not directly, but as the lead or manager of the fundraising effort. They created/led fun, high-profit fundraisers that also involved many/all of the families (example: car-wash ticket sales in partnership with a local car-wash company--no actual car wash involving the kids, and no set date so customers can go any time. Each family asked to sell 10 tickets--for 100 families, 1000 tickets, profit at rate determined with car wash company--club made over $3500!)
- Try to avoid fundraisers targeted within the gym--that is don't take money from the left pocket and put it into the right pocket. Target non-gym (or at least non-team) families.

BTW--word of warning on the raffles--the kids love them, but in some states, beware that raffles technically fall under the state gambling commission. I've not yet seen a problem with gym meet raffles, but it's been an issue in other environments.
 
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TagMomof3

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I LOVE this question was asked and such informative answers! I was hoping to tack on another question I have about booster clubs and how funds are distributed.
What if you are tax exempt but not as a 501c3, just registered as a non-profit? Are the rules of no individual accounts still applied? I only ask because our boys team booster club allowed their 501c3 status to expire and as far as I know has not renewed it. They have always done individual accounts where parents can earn funding towards their gymnasts coaches/entry fees and also applied to camp costs during summer.
Our girls booster club I believe is due to renew 501c3 status, but when we first started the girls boosters about 2 yrs ago, everyone assumed individual accounts for the girls just like the boys. But, we found out about half way through the year before any funds were allocated to individual accounts it was not legal according to the law. Also that other 501c3 booster clubs have been prosecuted for individual accounts.

So I am wondering if it is only 501c3 status that can't have individual accounts for gymnasts or does it apply to any non-profit booster club? I too want to follow the law and make things fair for all members of the team. Thanks for your input in advance! [emoji4]
 

blueredzone

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Hello, I just became the president of our Gymnatics booster club. Through this forum a member and I have concerns on how our fundraising procedures run.
1. I am wondering how people make it work to benefit all gymnasts.
Our gym has competitive optionals, compulsory and excel. The meet, coaches fees are quite a bit different per level.
2. How do other teams balance this difference?
People who want to fundraise want to benefit their gymnast.
3. How do you change the culture of fundraising?
We have had very little participation in our fundraisers.
4. How do you get more families involved?
I have heard of gyms in our area holding General fundraisers and individual fundraisers.
5. Is this still out of compliance?
Our last fundraiser kept track of families sales on a spread sheet. Then the booster club writes a check to the gym, the gym applies the funds raised to the specific accounts. Out treasurer states we are in compliance, but I don't think so?
Our gym keeps growing with families, and quite a lot of those families are financially able to pay for their gymnasts total bill.
We do hold 2 home meets a year, that parents and families volunteer to help. We sold concessions and did raffle baskets.
I just want to do the right thing for our club, our gymnasts and our level of involvement.
Thank you
5. You can't do that. You are in violation of what the irs deams a 501 3c charitable organization. The money needs to go into a charitable fund.

Concerning raffles. In my state you have to hold a gaming liscence to hold a raffle. Because it's "chance". So it's a way of gambling.

As far as getting more people involved....

The money raised by fundraising helps each athlete on the whole. It lowers everybody's TPO costs. So in a way they are benefiting from the fundraising.

find a way to make fundraising fun. People will get involved. We just had "penny wars" during competitive week and we raised a $1000. In loose change.
 

Summer Zumini

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5. You can't do that. You are in violation of what the irs deams a 501 3c charitable organization. The money needs to go into a charitable fund.

Concerning raffles. In my state you have to hold a gaming liscence to hold a raffle. Because it's "chance". So it's a way of gambling.

As far as getting more people involved....

The money raised by fundraising helps each athlete on the whole. It lowers everybody's TPO costs. So in a way they are benefiting from the fundraising.

find a way to make fundraising fun. People will get involved. We just had "penny wars" during competitive week and we raised a $1000. In loose change.
5. You can't do that. You are in violation of what the irs deams a 501 3c charitable organization. The money needs to go into a charitable fund.

Concerning raffles. In my state you have to hold a gaming liscence to hold a raffle. Because it's "chance". So it's a way of gambling.

As far as getting more people involved....

The money raised by fundraising helps each athlete on the whole. It lowers everybody's TPO costs. So in a way they are benefiting from the fundraising.

find a way to make fundraising fun. People will get involved. We just had "penny wars" during competitive week and we raised a $1000. In loose change.
Thank you for your response. Can you give me more details on penny wars?
I am looking forward to changing the outlook of our fundraising.
 

blueredzone

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Penny wars... Each team has a jar. Pennies count as a negative number. All other money is counted as a point relative to cents. So $1 would be 100 points. But if someone put in 50 pennies that $1 would now be worth 50 points.

There has to be a goal to get to so a coach has to do something. ( we did pies in the face). For the week we raised $1000. Most of it in pennies because people have tons of those laying around. Lol
 

txgymfan

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We did a similar fundraiser for a "Buddy Bench" at the elementary school. The grade with the most money had a designated teacher pie the lowest fund raiser. The admin office also collected. The teachers did silly pleas for money during announcements. We liked that it did not involve selling stuff.
 

GymMom4

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Penny wars... Each team has a jar. Pennies count as a negative number. All other money is counted as a point relative to cents. So $1 would be 100 points. But if someone put in 50 pennies that $1 would now be worth 50 points.

There has to be a goal to get to so a coach has to do something. ( we did pies in the face). For the week we raised $1000. Most of it in pennies because people have tons of those laying around. Lol

My kids did that at school but it could be a great fundraiser with levels as teams!
 

kayjaybe

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Penny wars... Each team has a jar. Pennies count as a negative number. All other money is counted as a point relative to cents. So $1 would be 100 points. But if someone put in 50 pennies that $1 would now be worth 50 points.

There has to be a goal to get to so a coach has to do something. ( we did pies in the face). For the week we raised $1000. Most of it in pennies because people have tons of those laying around. Lol

The thing with this is....isn't really just the team members/families participating? I don't consider it a true fundraiser if it is simply the team parents doing all the funding. I guess it is more fun for the kids to possibly get a chance to throw a pie in the coach's face or something, but it really doesn't off-set any team expenses from the team parents. They are just paying for it a nickel at a time rather than writing a bigger check. (Or do I not understand how this works? I could see this being a better option at a school where there is no other mechanism to collect money from parents, but for a team/gym, you can just charge the parents for whatever you need.)
 
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curlygirls

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The thing with this is....isn't really just the team members/families participating? I don't consider it a true fundraiser if it is simply the team parents doing all the funding. I guess it is more fun for the kids to possibly get a chance to throw a pie in the coach's face or something, but it really doesn't off-set any team expenses from the team parents. They are just paying for it a nickel at a time rather than writing a bigger check. (Or do I not understand how this works? I could see this being a better option at a school where there is no other mechanism to collect money from parents, but for a team/gym, you can just charge the parents for whatever you need.)

Agreed. This can work if you get the rec kids involved, otherwise it's not really raising money. It's just pre-paying a portion of the fees in advance. I've had this conversation at our gym several times regarding fundraising ideas. To really raise money, you have to get the fundraisers out of the gym, or bring outsiders into the gym.
 

sce

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Penny wars... Each team has a jar. Pennies count as a negative number. All other money is counted as a point relative to cents. So $1 would be 100 points. But if someone put in 50 pennies that $1 would now be worth 50 points.

There has to be a goal to get to so a coach has to do something. ( we did pies in the face). For the week we raised $1000. Most of it in pennies because people have tons of those laying around. Lol
So I assume if you have pennies you put them in the opposing team's jar?
 

blueredzone

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So I assume if you have pennies you put them in the opposing team's jar?
Yes.

And as far as its not a "fundraiser" people. If your definition of a fundraiser is: only a few people doing it for everyone, having to sell stuff to people that you bought Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn from, backlash from people because it doesn't directly benefit them;

Then no it's not a fundraiser.

But if your definition of a fundraiser is to raise funds.


Then yes it is.

Fundraising doesn't have to be knocking on doors and selling stuff.
 

sce

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Yes.

And as far as its not a "fundraiser" people. If your definition of a fundraiser is: only a few people doing it for everyone, having to sell stuff to people that you bought Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn from, backlash from people because it doesn't directly benefit them;

Then no it's not a fundraiser.

But if your definition of a fundraiser is to raise funds.


Then yes it is.

Fundraising doesn't have to be knocking on doors and selling stuff.
I think people aren't bashing it, they are just saying well planned fundraisers for teams are best if the money can come from people other than the team families. Otherwise it's just paying the fees a different way. I could see how the jar one is great if everyone who comes into the gym puts money in, or rec families.
 
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looly

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There's another way to do the penny game that might make it more appealing for the rec kids to contribute to - you recruit a number of coaches or maybe even office staff or owners and have jars out for each of them. Whoever has the most money (with pennies being negative cents) agrees to wear something silly all week, or get a pie in the face, or something. At our gym there are a few coaches that, due to their personalities, are better known or are kid favorites across rec and team, and I could see rec kids just as excited about putting cash in coach x's jar to see their favorite coach win.

An office I know does this, and one of the big shot's friends (who doesn't even work there) slips in a hundred to try to guarantee his friend gets embarrassed, which makes everyone else bring in every penny they can find to even out the odds.
 
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