Taught by Linda Richards, former Gilbert Band Booster President


I am not a professional, but have many years experience with PTSO and GBB. Goal today to share ideas that worked (or didn’t) for me and you. I am from the band world, so that is what I know, and will use as examples!

-Follow your bylaws!

Formal vs. informal/Student club.

Formal-tax deductible. Individuals not liable. You are your own entity. Can make own decisions separate from district, however, district may not support.

Informal-individuals liable. Not tax deductible.

Student club-All decisions made by student club. Fall under district. However, can have parent organization to help with fundraising and donate monies to student club. Difficult to get to this money.

-What is the purpose of your organization? (raise funds for new uniforms? Raise funds for band fees? Raise funds for trip? Items for coach?) All your fundraising should support your purpose stated in your bylaws.

-2 check signers. Suggest not be a district employee (but is not illegal), and not spouses. Some organizations do not allow treasurer to sign checks.

Check signers should have access to bank account and should review monthly statements. Easy to do online.

-Bylaws should have provision to modify your budget.

-Per district, audits should be by a third party. Maybe a CPA parent can offer their services for free or discount? AUDIT WHEN CHANGE TREASURER. Suggest internal financial review by board members in bylaws.

-No legal amount of time a treasurer can serve, however, PTA (non-profit) recommends 2 years. Protects organization and individual. Too long and get too attached to funds!


-Following and amending your budget!

THE PLAN-Budgets are a plan and can change over the year. Teacher/coach/advisor should have input as to how the funds are to be used, but should not be a voting member. Boosters/student club/and tax credits should all be considered for the needs of the kids. What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? How much money do you need to get there? Do you need one big fundraiser, or several small?


-SETTING UP A BUDGET…OR 2! (show GBB general and detailed budgets)

-Budget committee of several board members and teacher/coach. Should be defined in bylaws/Standing rules. Teacher is not voting member but the organization should support their needs.

-General budget-Because things changed frequently, we set up a general budget approved by entire board. This is what we showed the parents.

-Detailed Budget-Broke down the general budget into more detail. If the total was not different from the general budget total, no amendments required. Gave more flexibility for the Executive Board (only a few people) to spend as needed without going back to the full board or membership for approval. (this would still show up in monthly treasurer’s report). If over a single budget line, only Executive board had to vote to approve. If over subtotal on general budget, or not budgeted at all, entire board or membership (per your bylaws) had to vote to amend budget.

-Items to include in budget:

-The obvious-fundraising, activities, budget committee suggestions

-Carry over for next year. Don’t leave them with no operating $$

-Costs to maintain parent organization:

AZ Corporation Commission

Website fees

Banking Fees

Office Supplies (teacher can order through district; free

mail through district)

Hospitality (cards for illness, death in family, etc.)

Insurance? If needed for special activity or bond treasurer

-Socials (including facility charges, lights, security, custodial, etc.)

-Miscellaneous-Include small amount in bylaws (suggest $50-100)

that can be spent last minute without approval. Would still

require 2 signatures.

-How will you handle hardships? Kids who can’t pay. Parents should not determine who are hardships. That is up to the teacher/coach. However, parent organization should have a way to help those students. Purpose of 501c3 is to help the entire group. Can’t compel to fundraise. If class, cannot deny participation.

-Can include in detailed budget as “hardship” or “scholarship”

-Keep confidential-Teacher can advise board who will be covered by hardships, but shouldn’t share details.


-SHARE YOUR PLAN-with your board (approve per your bylaws) and your membership/parents. Becomes public record. Good idea to have a parent meeting way in advance of your season (even the school year prior) to share your plan. Teacher/coach should be present and support the plan! Parents will buy into better if the teacher/coach is supportive and then introduces the booster president and shows they are a team.

-Suggest showing pie chart. Get everyone on the same page. Help them

understand how the funds are spent.

-Financial commitment of students/parents. Perhaps sign agreement.

-Suggest parent handbook which includes the purpose; description of the parent organization; volunteer opportunities; schedule for the year (meetings, events, etc.); financial commitment (due dates, what the money is for, etc.); fundraising opportunities and dates; any medical or permission slip forms to sign. Can post on web.

-Fundraising opportunities.

-Tax credits.




-Document expenses/receipts/invoices. Clyde suggest keep records 4 years.

-Important that members turn in receipts for reimbursement. You need documentation. You should require all members to have approval and know their budget before spending. You can have them fill out a reimbursement form with date of expense, what the expense was for, what budget line it is to be deducted from, who reimbursement is to be made out to, and attach receipt. Set a deadline of 30 or 60 days for reimbursement so that you don’t have receipts coming in a year after the fact.

-2 people to count and make deposits. NOT SPOUSES. Personally, I like one of them to be the chairman of the event. PTA suggests treasurer and event chairman. The accounting of the funds counted that have been initialed should remain with a third party (not the same people who make deposit).

-Suggest separate envelopes initialed and sealed by people working the table at large events (such as invitational). Can write on envelope location (concessions, ticket sales, etc.), time picked up (to plan for future so you see how much came in at different times), amount started with, amount ended, signatures. Treasure picks up throughout day. Will be unsealed and recounted at end of event.


-Minors should not be allowed to handle money.

-Your board should approve all financial commitments/contracts/etc.. Should be in your bylaws. Your board will be liable, so set up an approval process so that your board agrees before signing any contracts. We required a minimum of 2 quotes for vendors. This is especially important if a parent is the vendor. We didn’t always go with the lowest bid. Other factors may be quality of product or service, delivery fees, can they meet the deadline, etc.. If a big dollar amount, check with Clyde regarding sealed bids and using district approved vendors.

-Credit cards-GBB had a credit card at one point but it was easy to abuse.

-If you take credit cards as payment of fees, you can rent a credit card machine, but there is a fee. GBB used it for big trip payments (Ireland) but for the most part, parents pay with tax credits, fundraising, or personal checks.

-Old debts to be paid off first.

-Financial review by members of the board who verify and sign all is in order.

-Treasurer should attend the board meetings and provide treasurers report.

-When item is donated to your non-profit organization, the receipt should specify the item donated, not the dollar amount. Value is left up to the individual to determine and take it up w/the IRS!



-Again, follow your bylaws for making amendments. Do you go back to your board, or entire membership?

-If you go over budget in one area, you must compensate for it from another budget line.

-GBB Executive Board could vote to go over budget on an item without amending budget with entire board or membership. However, if an item was not in the budget at all, the budget had to be amended to include the item by the full board, according to our Standing Rules.





Tax Credits-Explanation of what they are, if needed.

-Tax credits belong to the district, not the parent organization.

-Teacher/coach/advisor must request for the tax credits through district.

-Paid to vendor, not through parent organization.

-Pay tax credits through GPS website with credit card. District will send electronic receipt that can be forwarded to your treasurer. Easy!

-Parent organizations can keep track of tax credits with copy of receipt. District is very cautious about giving out that info. to the parent groups. So, stay on top of it.

-How can non-profit, parent organizations show tax credits as part of their budget?

-Show band budget with “paid by tax credits” in the margin.

-If using tax credits or booster funds to pay for specific items, such as helmets, shoes, etc. it doesn’t matter if student paid with other forms.

-Don’t give legal advice regarding tax credits. Refer those who donate to their accountant.


Student “Accounting”…not accounts!

-Leave it up to you to decide what is legal. Refer to IRS website for non-profit. Cannot have individual accounts and “members” cannot benefit individually.

-That being said, explain how GBB “kept track of individual fees” but did not have separate accounts. Sent monthly statements.

-AZ state law requires that if a student participates, must directly benefit.

1-Give students that participate a percentage. Law does not state what the percentage is. Determined by your board IN ADVANCE of fundraiser. Example, carwash ticket pre-sales, or Country Thunder and ASU.

2-OK to put full amount towards something that benefits all students equally, such as a trip or uniforms, but not an individual item, such as a tuba.

3-Give percentage to student club account, which is managed by students, not parents.

-Can’t post student names and amount owed. Can post with student ID, however,

not recommended by district.

-Parents cannot contact other parents to collect fees.

-Excess fees/debts of individuals can roll over to the next year.



-Follow approval process or district will not back you if something goes wrong. Also gets on school calendar so not overlapping.

-District will not cover your group if you do not hold up your contract.

-GBB decided to give percentage of all individual fundraising to general fund since GBB does all the paperwork, contracts, distribution, and uses our EIN, etc..