From the Trenches: Part 3

In this series, we dive into the various issues that athletic directors face and offer up strategies to thrive in the face of these challenges.

From the Trenches: Part 3

The Issues Facing Education Based Athletics & Strategies for Today's Athletic Administrators

By Brent Buttjer and Scott Garvis, CMAA, Bound AD in Residence

Editors Note: This is a mutli-part series offering insight on the most pressing issues facing education based athletics and how they can best be addressed.

Part 3: Leading and Managing Booster Clubs

Many schools have booster clubs that support sports programs by providing funding, equipment, and other resources. While booster clubs can be a great asset to athletic programs, they can also pose challenges for athletic directors.

  1. Establish clear guidelines: Athletic directors should establish clear guidelines for booster clubs, outlining what they can and cannot do, how they should operate, and how they will be held accountable. These guidelines should be communicated clearly to all booster club members, coaches, and administrators, and should be reviewed annually to ensure they are still relevant and effective.
  2. Foster strong relationships: Athletic directors should work to foster strong relationships with booster clubs, building trust and open lines of communication. This can help to avoid misunderstandings or conflicts that can arise when booster clubs operate independently of athletic departments. Athletic directors should also strive to recognize and appreciate the contributions of booster clubs, showing gratitude and respect for their efforts.
  3. Provide training and support: Athletic directors can help booster clubs operate more effectively by providing training and support. This may include workshops on fundraising, event planning, or financial management, as well as access to resources such as templates for budgets or event planning documents.

By providing booster clubs with the tools they need to succeed, athletic directors can help ensure that they operate in a way that supports the goals of the athletic department.

“Booster clubs play a vital role  in supporting our sports programs. Leading & managing these boosters requires a collaborative & strategic approach that aligns with the goals & values of our school community. Let's work together to build strong & sustainable booster clubs that foster a culture of engagement, transparency, & accountability. By communicating clearly, empowering our volunteers, and leveraging their skills & resources." ~Scott Garvis C.M.A.A.

About Scott Garvis, CMAA, Bound AD in Residence

Scott Garvis has been a leader and innovator in intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics development and fundraising for more than 25 years – as an athletics director, coach, association board member, adviser and editorial contributor.

Scott has a record of excellence as Athletics Director, Director of Activities and Assistant Principal, having led the athletics departments at six high schools or school districts in three states.  He has achieved unparalleled success at all levels of high school athletics: large public school districts, a small public high school, a private school, and with state and national athletics administrator associations.