A Case for Booster Clubs

by Michael Garcia on May 16, 2014

Did you know that:

  • 79% of high school students participate in some sort of extra-curricular activity
  • The mean GPA for athletes was a 2.98, while the mean GPA for non-athletes was only 2.17.
  • The average number of absences was significantly lower for athletes than nonathletes. The mean average number of days missed by athletes was 6.3 days per 180-day school year, as compared to 11.9 days for non-athletes.
  • The percentage of discipline referrals by the reporting schools was lower for the athlete group than the non-athlete group; referrals for athletes ran at a 33.3 percentage while the referral percentage for non-athletes was 41.8 percent.
  • There was a dramatic difference in the dropout rate; the mean dropout percentage for athletes was miniscule 0.6 percent, while the corresponding percentage for nonathletes was 10.32 percent.
  • The percentage of graduates was significantly higher for the athlete group than the non-athlete group; the mean graduation percentage for athletes was 99.4 percent as compared to 93.5 percent for non-athletes.                                                                                                                                                            -- North Carolina High School Athletic Association Bulletin, Vol. 54, No. 1, Fall 2001

Did you also know that:

Clubs and Extra-Curricular Activities rated the best in terms of favorite high school memory?                                                                                                                                                                           (Article)

So in short, high school arts and athletic activities create smarter, healthier, rule-abiding students who go to class, graduate, and when they think back about their high school years, it’s the arts and athletic activities they were involved with that puts a smile on their faces. That’s some powerful stuff!

Why then, are booster clubs important?

Today, due to the growing costs and tightening budgets for these arts and athletic activities, booster clubs have become the vehicle that provides the needed support for these arts and athletic programs and serve an essential role to ensure that these extra-curricular opportunities are available for the kids. Additionally, today’s high school booster clubs are unsuccessfully fighting steep budget needs with the same worn out fundraising tools that have been used for the past 20+ years.

Because of this, booster clubs have become more like “survival clubs” with a goal of gathering up enough support, both financially and volunteer-wise, to make it to next year, when it becomes another parent’s problem. To accomplish this lofty goal, they throw fundraiser after fundraiser, event after event, and do a ton of work with little payoff… just to survive! It doesn’t need to be like this. Arts and athletic programs deserve better and the kids deserve better. Opportunities should be multiplying and not cut due to dependence on a shrinking budget.

What high school booster clubs need is a way to create substantial and sustainable funds coming in, increase program participation, and cultivate, communicate with and involve alumni. One of the most important statistics from above is that extra-curricular activities are seen as the best and fondest memories from high school which is a huge opportunity that high schools fail to capture and capitalize on.

Colleges and universities understand this fact and that is how their booster club operations are so successful. They think big, they know that arts and athletics are intimate interests of their alumni and supporters, and they capitalize on that relationship. What we’ve done at Better Booster Clubs is created and proven that college/university booster club model and we take you through, step by step, how to accomplish sustainable fundraising and building your arts and athletic programs via your booster club… through our Comprehensive e-Course. This process is further streamlined, automated and facilitated by our Better Booster Clubs Online Database.

At the end of the day, arts and athletic activities are another classroom outside the school walls. They teach life lessons and values that other activities cannot replicate. Being able to give the best and most abundant opportunities available for these kids is our goal…and you accomplish that by creating self-sustaining booster clubs that grow on themselves each and every year. It’s time to think big, streamline your booster clubs' processes, start winning in all aspects of your program and become a better booster club.

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