Bylaws are the operating rules specific to your club and are required by Plano ISD and the IRS. Bylaws help resolve conflict, define processes and provide a road-map for future officers. Bylaws should be signed and dated by the president annually and updated throughout the year when there are any changes. A sample template can be found here. Per Plano ISD Policy GE-Local, Booster Clubs are required to submit a copy to the campus principal or designee annually.
For more information about bylaws take a look at the following resource:
Article I - Organization
Section 1 - Name
This first section provides the official name of the organization, the school affiliation, school address, organizational non-profit designation (Required by Policy GE(Local) [501(c)(3) status is recommended] and date the organization was established. (Required by State & Federal Laws)
Section 2 - Purpose
This is a general statement of purpose to direct the work of the organization. This can include fundraising efforts in support of a specific school program, volunteerism that supports the students in the program and general advocacy for the program at the school, district and community level.
District Policy GE(Local) states “booster clubs exist to promote communication and greater involvement between the school and the community, including parents and other interested citizens, and to support the students of the district.”
UIL Booster Club Guidelines also state the role of booster clubs is “to help enrich the school’s participation in extracurricular activities.”
This section should avoid defining the purpose of the organization in any fashion that would direct the daily instruction or activities of this program, compensate any staff member connected with the program for work that is within the scope of their contract duties, or mandate how funds donated to the program will be used.
Article II - Membership
Section 1 - Membership
This section defines who is eligible for membership in the organization and how membership is obtained. Membership does not have to be limited to individuals with students currently involved in the program. Membership could be open to alumni and parents of former students or community members with an interest in support the program.
All active coaches/sponsors/directors, the Principal (or designee) shall automatically be considered ex-officio members of the association. The Principal, or designee other than the coach/sponsor/director, should be invited to all meetings. All meetings of the organization should be open to the public.
Section 2 - Dues
If specific annual dues amounts are listed as part of this section, be aware that an increase in this amount would have to be approved through a formal amendment process. To avoid the need for such action on an annual basis, this section can define a process by which the Executive Board, in consultation with the coach/sponsor/director, establish membership fees for all membership categories at a designated point in the year.
Section 3 - Rights of Membership
This section defines the rights of individual members in good standing, which generally include eligibility to vote on actions before the full membership, to vote for candidates for board positions, serve on committees, run for positions on the board and bring business before the general membership.
Article III - Meetings
Section 1 - General Membership Meetings
This designates the number and regularity of meetings of the full membership of the organization. At least one meeting per year should be open to all members in order for the general membership to remain engaged and informed about the activity of the booster club. Times and locations for such meetings should be coordinated with the coach/sponsor/director.
Section 2 - Executive Board Meetings
This designates the number and regularity of meetings of the executive board of the organization for the purpose of conducting the business of the organization. Times and locations for such meetings should be coordinated with the coach/sponsor/director.
Section 3 - Special Meetings
Typically, the organization President is given authority in the section to call an unscheduled meeting of either the general membership or the executive board for the purpose of conducting time sensitive business that can’t wait until the next regular meeting.
Section 4 - Notice of Meetings
This section describes the ways in which both general membership and executive board meetings will be announced to the members. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines) It is a good practice to specify a minimum time prior to the meeting that such notifications will be made, so as to give members ample opportunity to make plans to attend. It is also recommended that all possible forms of notification are used including, but not limited to e-mail, social media, web pages and physical posting on the campus.
Section 5 - Quorum
Quorum is the minimum number of members of the organization that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid. This can be defined by a specific number of members, a designated percentage of the membership, or simply that the members present at any properly announced meeting shall constitute a quorum. If quorum does not exist at a given meeting, no formal business - such as voting on activity, or authorizing payments - can take place.
Section 6 - Voting
This section should define how voting on issue, both by the executive board and the general membership, shall be conducted. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines) General parliamentary procedure requires that any issue be duly moved and seconded prior to the call for a vote. For most organizations a simple majority of those present is sufficient for passage of any vote, but this should be stated explicitly here. If a larger percentage is required for certain issue (e.g. ? in the affirmative to approve purchases or payments) this requirement should be outlined in this section.
The manner of voting should also be defined here. Voice or hand votes are generally acceptable, however some organizations are now allowing electronic voting, which would need to be authorized in this section. Some issues, such as the election of officers or changes in the bylaws might be required to be a written ballot. The President is also typically given the authority to call for a written vote on any issue they deem appropriate.
Section 7 - Order of Business
Robert’s Rules of Order are generally used as a guide to parliamentary procedure and are typically used here to outline the basic structure of both board and general membership meetings. Defining this process within the bylaws provides a clear structure for new chairs to follow and establishes a template within which the Secretary can take minutes.
A general meeting outline:
- Call to Order
- Official opening of the meeting
- Introductions – Roll Call
- Introductions of new members or visitors
- Affirm the presence of required officers
- Confirm quorum (as defined above)
- Adoption of the Minutes of the preceding meeting
- Secretary may read the meeting aloud - or they can be provided in written/electronic format during or prior to the meeting
- An opportunity to make corrections to this official record of the previous meeting should be provided.
- Adoption should be a formal action - moved & seconded
- A final, corrected, version of the minutes should be made available to membership and filed for historical record (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines)
- Reports of Committees
- Finance - each meeting should include a current report of expenses, income and current balance of assets recorded in the minutes (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines)
- Other committee within the organization may present reports of their work, as it is appropriate to keep members informed
- Beyond finance, no committee should be required to report at every meeting, but the opportunity should always be available
- Old and Unfinished Business
- Any discussion or action items that were presented at a previous meeting and tabled without action or conclusion
- New Business
- All new items for discussion and/or action are presented here.
- If action is required, a formal motion should be moved & seconded and then voted in accordance with the process outlined in Section 4 above.
- Announcements for the Good of the Order
- Non action items that may be of interest to the members present are appropriate at this time
- The official closing of the meeting
Article IV - Leadership
Section 1 - Role, Size, Qualifications & Compensation
This section defines the number of leadership positions, the relative organizational structure of the board and who is eligible to serve in such a capacity. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines) Some organizations make a distinction between the “Executive Board” (generally Pres, Vice-Pres, Secretary, Treasurer & either Pres Elect or Past Pres) and the large “Board of Directors” that may include Members at Large, Committee Chairs or others. The Principal (or designee), and the coach/sponsor/director should be ex-officio members of the executive board. The Principal, along with the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent or Executive Director for Campus Service, shall have veto power over any action of a school-related club or organization. (Policy GE Local)
It is a best practice for a non-profit of this sort to state openly that board members serve in a purely voluntary capacity. Board members should receive no compensation other than reasonable expenses pre-approved by the Executive Board. (Prohibited by Texas Business Organization Code, Chapter 22A Sec. 22.053)
Section 2 - Terms of Service
This section defines the length of time that individuals are allowed to serve in a given role. Indefinite terms are neither practical nor best for the health of an organization. Some critical officer positions (eg. Treasurer) may be elected for a multi-year term, or might be eligible for re-election to the same post. Some organizations elect a President Elect who then becomes President the following year and Past President the year after that. In which case that sequence would be defined here.
Section 3 - Election Procedures
This section outlines the specific procedures for conducting electing officers for the organization. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines) Generally a nominating committee (that includes the coach/sponsor/director) is charged with putting together a slate of candidates. The slate is presented to the general membership at a regular meeting, followed by an opportunity for any member to propose a candidate from the floor. If desired, a time period can be set between the announcement of the slate of candidates and the election, but this is not required.
The voting procedure for officer elections outlined in Article III - Section 4 should be reiterated here for clarity.
Section 4 - Officers and Duties
This section names the various officer positions and provides a brief description of the role and responsibility of each. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines) Plano ISD Policy (TBD) prohibits any Plano ISD employee from serving as Treasurer or being an authorized signer for organization accounts. Below is a generic list of executive board positions as a starting place. This should not be considered a comprehensive list of possible officer positions.
- President shall convene regularly scheduled Board and General Membership meetings, shall preside at each meeting and may appoint committee chairs as needed.
- Vice-President shall preside over any meeting in which the President is unavailable, chair the nominating committee, and any committees on special subjects as designated by the President of Board of Directors.
- Treasurer shall make a report at each Board and General Membership meeting regarding the finances of the organization, assist in the preparation of the budget, help develop fundraising plans, execute payment for all expenses authorized by the Board, keep detailed records of all receipts and expenditures, file all required IRS reports and documents and make financial information available to members. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines)
- Secretary shall be responsible for keeping records of Board and Membership actions, including overseeing the taking of minutes at all meetings of the Board and General Membership, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes and the agenda to each member, and assuring that membership records are accurately maintained. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines)
- President Elect (optional) shall chair designated committees and shadow the President to learn the duties and responsibilities prior to taking office.
- Past President (optional) shall serve in an advisory role to the President and Board during the year immediately following their term as President.
- Members at Large or Committee Chairs (optional) shall represent the general membership or specific sub-groups or committees within the organization.
Section 5 - Vacancies
This section outlines the process for filling a vacancy when an officer resigns or is terminated before the end of their term. This may include a special meeting for the purpose of an election, or the appointment of an individual to complete the remaining portion of the term.
Section 6 - Resignation and Termination
This section specifies the way in which a sitting officer notifies the board of their intent to step down (typically in writing). It should also provide a mechanism for officers to be removed through some sort of vote of the other board members if it should become obvious that they are no longer willing or able to complete their duties.
Article V - Committees
Section 1 - Committee Formation
This section should define how committees are formed, how committee chairs are selected and how committees are disbanded when no longer needed. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines) This section should address “standing committees” that are needed for the ongoing work of the organization and provide for the creation of “ad hoc” committees to address temporary, special needs.
Section 2 - Specific Committees
The next set of sections in this article should outline the specific work of the various “standing committees.” It should define the particular areas of responsibility for each committee and which board position to which the committee chair would report.
Article VI - Financial Practices
Section 1 - General Finances
This section outlines the basics of organizational finances. It should specify a process for authorizing all organizational expenditures that includes obtaining approval from the Principal before making purchases on behalf of the program. All expenses of the organization should be subject to review and approval in advance.
This section should also define the fiscal year for the organization and specify at least two signatories on club accounts. Refer to the Finance Guidelines regarding making monetary donations to the program activity fund and the recommended process for making purchases of equipment and materials for the school program.
Coaches/sponsors/directors are prohibited from having direct access to club funds either through signatory privileges on organizational accounts, petty cash or miscellaneous discretionary funds. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines)
Section 2 - Fundraising
This section must specify how specific fundraising activities are to be selected and approved and clarify how the funds raised are to be used. All activities designed to raise funds for the school program by the club are subject to approval by the Principal and must be conducted within the boundaries of district policy, UIL Guideline and state regulations. Organization fundraisers must be planned, executed and supervised by club members in order for the proceeds to be considered club funds. (Policy GE(Local))
Section 3 - Record Keeping
This section must specify the format and timeline for periodic itemized financial reports and should include a requirement for an annual audit. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines) Itemized receipts and invoices for purchases should be reviewed by the Executive board prior to payment and should be filed for the auditing committee. The approval of all payments should be documented in the minutes of the Executive Board as additional back-up for all purchases. Formal reports of income and expenses should be made at each meeting of the Executive Board and the General Membership. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines)
Article VII - Amendments
Section 1 - Amendments
This section should define the procedure to be followed when making changes to the current bylaws. (Required by UIL Booster Club Guidelines) General parliamentary procedure typically requires changes to current bylaws to be presented first to the board for consideration, then to the general membership for approval. Proposed changes should be published in advance, discussed in an open membership meeting and voted on by the membership (not just the board). This section should define when a simple majority or some higher standard is necessary to adopt changes to the bylaws.
The date of adoption of the most recent changes to a set of bylaws should be listed below the final section with the signature of two board members.
Article VII - Dissolution
Section 1 - Dissolution of the Club
This section should specify how the club leadership would formally decide to dissolve the club (typically via a vote of the membership. It should also state that the district, under the direction of the Board (Policy GE(Local) has the authority to dissolve or reorganize any club that fails to adhere to district policy or guideline, UIL rules or statutory requirements.
Section 2 - Records Retention
This section should specify that all records of the organization would be returned to the campus within 30 days of the dissolution as specified by the Texas Secretary of State.
Section 3 - Distribution of Assets
This section should require all assets, whether funds or property, to be handed over to the district, should the organization cease to exist. Funds should be deposited in an Activity Account at the campus. (Policy GE(Local)
Recommended Optional Components
Article 1a - Restrictions
Section 1 - Distribution of Earnings
No part of the net earnings of the organization shall be used for the benefit of or be distributed to its members, coaches/sponsors/directors, officers or other private persons. The Booster Club shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in the furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article One, with approval of the Executive Board and within the boundaries of UIL Guidelines, IRS Rules and Plano ISD Policy. (Texas Business Organization Code, Chapter 22 A Sec. 22.053)
Section 2 – Limits on Authority
This organization and its officers have no authority to direct the duties of any school district employee, nor may they assume any of the responsibilities of district staff. Further, they have no authority to guide, direct, or establish guidelines for any school or student activity. (Policy GE(Local) and UIL Booster Club Guidelines)
Section 2 – Political Activity
The organization shall not participate, nor intervene, in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office, including the publishing or distribution of statements.