Back to Blog

Stolen Dreams: A Cautionary Booster Club Tale

Allan Branch ·

In the realm of high school booster clubs, dedicated parents and volunteers tirelessly work behind the scenes to support and uplift their fine arts programs. These well-intentioned individuals, often without professional bookkeeping experience, assume the critical responsibility of managing their fine arts program’s finances—a daunting task that can be challenging.

Picture this: a local high school marching band booster club, much like yours, with over a hundred talented students and an impressive array of nearly 250 instruments. It's a title one school, where 98% of the students benefit from the "Free or Reduced Lunch Program." In this diverse community, you'll find single moms giving their all, blended families navigating life's complexities, and a few devoted grandparents raising grandchildren as their own. Sadly, a portion of their funds went missing after a recent collection before they could be deposited into the booster club’s bank account. This is just one example of several unfortunate tales we hear each year.

The Cash & Check Dilemma

Here lies the crucial issue: cash and check governance and management. Student fees, collected in cash and checks, are initially counted and then placed in a bank bag for eventual deposit into the booster club's accounts. However, this process opens the door to potential fraud. Money may inadvertently remain idle for an extended period—forgotten or delayed in being deposited—or discrepancies may arise due to miscounting. These seemingly innocent oversights can provide an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of a loosely governed situation.

Protect Your Finances

Fortunately, there is a solution that ensures the security of fine arts booster club funds while providing convenience for all stakeholders: online payments. By embracing online payments, booster clubs can eliminate the risks associated with cash and check transactions. Instead, money is collected and recorded automatically, leaving no room for human error or malicious intent. Parents and supporters can make payments effortlessly, using secure online platforms that protect their financial information. This streamlines the entire process, ensuring funds are accounted for and readily available for the benefit of the fine arts program.

The advantages of online payments extend beyond security alone. They offer a level of transparency that fosters trust among the booster club and program members at-large. Every transaction is meticulously recorded and easily accessible, providing a clear overview of financial activities. This transparency not only encourages accountability but also reassures parents and supporters that their contributions are being put to good use, directly benefiting the students and the program they hold dear.

We all like to think that we or our fellow volunteers would never succumb to the temptation of theft, but the reality is that when individuals are confronted with the opportunity to handle large sums of cash or manipulate financial transactions, resisting temptation can be very hard if the right safeguards are not in place. Unfortunately, theft can occur when a person handling the funds from a concession stand or a fundraising project faces a personal financial crisis, such as struggling to pay a cell phone bill, and sees a chance to "borrow" money from the booster club's funds.

As we navigate the challenges and complexities of managing booster club finances, let us prioritize the security and integrity of our funds. Embracing online payments through tools like CutTime empowers everyone to protect precious resources and dreams while ensuring a smooth and efficient experience for all involved. Together, we can strengthen our fine arts programs, uplift our students, and build a foundation of trust that will support generations to come.

Are you a current next generation CutTime user? 

Go here for more information about setting up your online payment account with Stripe. It’s quick and easy!

Not yet a next generation CutTime user? 

Learn more about our online payments here and cost sharing capabilities here.