Booster clubs and parent teacher organizations or associations are organizations that are separate individual entities from the school district. As such, they have their own governing board, establish their own policies and maintain their own set of accounting records. They also must have their own checking account along with a separate federal tax identification number. These organizations are generally formed as non-profit entities and as such must follow federal and state tax regulations. These organizations MUST NOT take advantage of or use the tax identification number of the district. If tax exempt status is desired, they must obtain such status individually with the appropriate taxing authority.
These valuable organizations provide a needed source of financial support for school activities. Without them, the district's schools would not be able to provide many of the opportunities that students enjoy through the programs supported by these organizations. However, a separation between these organizations and the school district must be maintained so that third parties are not misled into believing that the organization is part of the school district. This protects both parties in case of litigation. It is imperative that strict and proper accounting practices are followed in order to insure this separation.
School support organizations are organized for the purpose of supporting schools or specific school programs within a school. The relationship with the school must never be forgotten. The mission, vision, and goals of the support organization must mesh with those of the school. For this reason, the support organization's officers and board must work closely with the school principal to establish an atmosphere of cooperation and confidence to ensure that the programs operate smoothly within the school's and district's policies.