In the world of school parent groups, there can sometimes be confusion about the differences among all the types of groups and their acronyms—PTO, PTA, PTSO, HSA, and the like. One such type of group stands alone with more easily recognized words as the name: booster clubs. But what is a booster club, really?

Generally, a booster club is simply a type of volunteer-based parent group—just like a PTO. While there can be differences among all the different groups, they typically have several characteristics in common:

Goals: They all do great work for schools and students in their communities by offering financial support for equipment and programs that aren’t covered by a school’s official budget. In fact, the support parent groups provide runs the gamut from planning events to supporting teachers in the classroom, and much more.

Structure: They operate according to bylaws and manage themselves with a board that is elected by members. They can incorporate as 501(c)(3), nonprofit organizations.

Needs: Groups need to raise funds and require volunteers to facilitate activities and keep costs down. They may be required to submit financial reports, especially to comply with 501(c)(3) regulations. Insurance is often required for activities like fundraisers held on school property, in case of accident or injury.

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What’s the Purpose of a Booster Club?

The significant difference between booster clubs and other parent groups is that they focus their support on specific needs such as athletics, music, theater, arts, and other programs. There’s typically only one parent group at a school, but there may be several specific booster clubs.

Together, groups like PTOs, PTAs, and booster clubs are responsible for an average of $4 billion in spending each year. If you’re part of a booster club, your contribution of time, effort, and money adds tremendous value to your community.

PTO Today and Booster Club Support

Using the PTO acronym in our name helps us communicate our basic mission—helping parent groups do their great work—but it’s always included all parent groups, whatever their name. PTO Today provides any parent group and booster club with information, advice, and products, such as our PTO Today Plus and Booster Club insurance, which are tailor-made to fit the needs of booster clubs.