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Everyone Pays Same Amount - Booster Fees

Would you pay seasonal fees if they were the same for all levels? (ex. L2-L10/Xcel/Boys=$1000/year)

  • Yes - We are a team and should be paying for the team no matter our child's level.

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • Yes - But I would not be happy about it.

    Votes: 8 57.1%
  • No - I would leave and go to another gym that does not do it this way.

    Votes: 3 21.4%

  • Total voters
    14
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wallinbl

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Jan 30, 2012
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This article does not do justice to the ruling. I think it could raise the scrutiny of booster clubs and everyone with a booster club should read the decision. However, the key issue was the private inurement based on the specific fundraising outlined in the facts. The court noted the lack of any scholarships based on need. They also said certain fundraising was directed at individuals - not the whole club (a red flag of private inurement). Plus, they noted the statement that the "primary purpose" of the booster club was fundraising. Folks should read it, compare it to their facts, and seek professional guidance if they feel it is warranted.
The IRS has some documentation on this kind of thing, even specifically gymnastics booster clubs. They're not always as clear as they could be, but they do give "scenarios" and tell you whether those scenarios are legitimate for 501c3 or not. In general, you want to avoid the booster club only benefiting members, and you want to avoid there being any relationship between how much an individual contributes and how much that individual benefits.
 

Seeker

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Yeah....if I were a L2 or L3 parent I might scoff at that. That is a lot to pay as an entry level gymnast. I think a scaled version would be more fitting/fair.


What I'm really trying to figure out is what everyone things of everyone paying the same amount regardless of level. We are looking at L2-L10 girls / boys and Xcel all paying the same amount.

This means that the upper end will get a good discount.
 

mommyof1

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Last club, parents would not have tolerated such a thing, but that was very much an "every man for himself" kind of place (meet/coaches fees were paid by parent to club based on actual cost, not through booster club). Current club, it's a flat fee to the booster club, but it's definitely a more "team" environment. Any thoughts as to which is more pleasant?
Well, I have been paying booster club fees for two years and my daughter does not even compete yet. Subsidizing other people's kids does not make me feel like part of the team. I just feel exploited.
 

sevenatenine2

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Dec 22, 2013
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I've been at a couple of different gyms, neither with booster clubs or fundraising. At one, compulsories and options paid different amounts. However, knowing coaches costs and meet fees, there would have been a significant amount left over. My assumption is that the extra went to the optional girls who traveled to some out of state invitationals and regionals, JO Nationals at times, etc. I was actually okay with that, as a parent of a lower-level, because as athlete I was the highest level in the gym and no way could my parents have paid for all of that out of their pocket. There are so many lower levels that it makes sense for them to pay a little bit more and still have reasonable fees and pass on some savings to the older girls, with the assumption that if your child stays in the sport, she will benefit as well someday.

The other gym had very low levels that paid quite a bit in travel fees. I coached there, and I know a.) what the entry fees were b.) what they paid the coaches for the meets (and what they DON'T pay the coaches for the meets) and I know there is a ton of money left over. The owners of the gym either pocket the extra money, or use it to travel lavishly to the competitions and sit in the stands to watch the kids. I'm actually a lot LESS okay with that, as I feel pretty strongly that the travel and competition fees the parents pay should go toward the travel and the competition fees of the gymnast and their coaches, or at least SOME gymnasts on the team.

Jeesh. Soapbox there. :)
 

MILgymFAM

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Feb 6, 2014
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The gym my girls aren't doesn't have a booster club. Parents pay the gym directly for the fees owed for their gymnast, which are all itemized at the beginning of the season and broken up into four equal payments. The club has just decided to start fundraising, and our first fundraiser is a run. The girls gather sponsors and will have a race. The money raised will pay meet fees and coaches fees for the states/regionals/nationals/worlds. My daughter was excited to raise money for her team, even though she will definitely not be at most of those (not her team's part of the overall team), and will possibly be at none of these meets. She is just happy to ensure the girls who earn their spots can go. I don't mind helping her with the fundraiser because it's voluntary and she wants to- if it was required, I would probably feel differently.
 

skschlag

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Jul 19, 2011
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Our booster club works very differently, but has been doing it for 20+ years and been thru at least one audit, so I know it is good :)

We have to join our booster club. It isn't automatic, and you don't have to do it. We do benefit everyone by coaching clinics, gifts for kids, etc, but only the members get teh bulk of the reward. (meet fees, camp, uniforms, travel, etc. ) It works very well.
 
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Quadqueen

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May 14, 2011
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Well, I have been paying booster club fees for two years and my daughter does not even compete yet. Subsidizing other people's kids does not make me feel like part of the team. I just feel exploited.
Well, that's just nuts.
 
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cbifoja

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Well, I have been paying booster club fees for two years and my daughter does not even compete yet. Subsidizing other people's kids does not make me feel like part of the team. I just feel exploited.
I would balk at 2 years but we do ask our pre-team parents to begin participating because the money we are raising right now, this year, will be used to supplement next year's team. We raise money for camps, clinics, leos, warm ups and then a small amount of meet fees. So yes, it feels fair to ask the pre team parents who will benefit next year to help raise the money.
 

mommyof1

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Well, that's just nuts.
It is not a lot of money so I just rationalize it as part of the cost of being in the program, but the principle of it irks me.

cbifoja, I wouldn't mind so much if I knew exactly what the money was used for, but preteam parents don't get any of this information and are not allowed to participate in the booster club in any way other than paying our assessments.
 

HoldThePhone

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Jul 12, 2012
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Our booster club is not a 501c3, and each level pays different amounts, and working meet shifts are required. That said, we host SEVERAL home meets, and our fees are much lower than most of the gyms in our area, even for our optionals and elite hopefuls, I want to say the amount is under $1000.
 

rjb123

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Aug 17, 2013
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I would actually be okay with everyone paying the same amount. The reason is that there is a good shot of "most" girls doing one "double season" and that year (from what I hear) the costs are insane. It is double assessments for several months and is a pretty big financial strain for most. (I am already starting to save up for that as we might be in that situation this year with DD!) Also, I do believe that supporting our higher level girls does nothing but HELP us, as their success as L10's will only help our girls when they are L4, 5, 6,7 etc. We ARE a team, and though gymnastics IS an individual sport, DD does (as do I!) take pride in her being part of such a great team! Now, that said, I think it should only be for COMPETING girls, maybe half or 1/3 cost for those on the last year of developmental team? Not sure how that would work though.
 

wallinbl

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Jan 30, 2012
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Well, I have been paying booster club fees for two years and my daughter does not even compete yet. Subsidizing other people's kids does not make me feel like part of the team. I just feel exploited.
Many booster clubs do more than just pay meet fees for team gymnasts. They may be benefiting you in other ways, directly or indirectly.
 

mommyof1

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Many booster clubs do more than just pay meet fees for team gymnasts. They may be benefiting you in other ways, directly or indirectly.
Yes, it would be nice to have more information about how those fees are actually used.
 

Bajanswife

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Our booster club is not ran like that. Membership is optional and fee is minimal, less than $50. We hold fundraisers and profits are divided equally among members, whether or not they participated. We are given a list of meets that the coaches will attend and we are allowed to choose which meets we attend based on personal budgets. We then can choose to pay out of pocket for the meet or use our booster club funds.
Ours work like this too.
 

MaryA

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Our meet fees do not come out of the booster club. In the spring it is decided what meets each level is going to and how much it is likely to cost (meet fees, coaches fees, etc.) and then each level is given an amount to pay per month over a 6-month period (June-November, I think, which is nice because then you're not paying installments when you're also paying for meet travel). Lower levels do end up paying less than upper levels. On one hand, it is sort of a nice idea to "reward" the upper levels for sticking it out by helping to subsidize their meet fees by having all parents pay the same. On the other hand, you're going to have a lot more compulsory parents than optional parents, so they may be the squeakier wheel against this proposal.
 

aerials

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We have a one time low booster club fee and you are not required to join. Fundraising goes directly to you to spend on your meet fees, never tuition. We pay all of our travel and meet fees separate. You are required to go to all meets but because the fees are paid by meet some of the families pick and choose which meets they want to go to. Crazy.

I do know that all of our meet fees are double what the host gym is charging. This overage covers the travel costs of the coaches, and we guess the rest goes to the gym.
 

raenndrops

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What I'm really trying to figure out is what everyone things of everyone paying the same amount regardless of level. We are looking at L2-L10 girls / boys and Xcel all paying the same amount.

This means that the upper end will get a good discount.
But... it says it is PER FAMILY... so families with multiple gymnasts would actually be getting the greatest benefit from this. At our gym, there is no booster club, but if there was, a "per family" deal would most benefit 8 current families with 2 gymnasts each and one family that had to take this season off due to costs for 3 girls and the fact that mom found out last May that she was pregnant with #7 (#s 4, 5, and 6 are too young for team... ages 4, 2, and still a baby).
With that family, it would be 51 gymnasts... but only 41 families. (Now, 48 gymnasts and 40 families), so a set amount PER family would be good for these families. Without the "hassle" of a booster club, the most I would have had to pay in a year since both gymmies have been on team is $1550 or $ 775 each. Less than $60 a month per girl for gym time, meet fees, and team leos, warm ups, and bag - not too bad... & that's without any fundraisers other than the home meets - that money goes to the gym program to keep costs down.
One of the gyms we compete against has a booster club. They have all the requirements listed in the Twistars document, but the booster club fees are PER gymnast. They have constant fundraising (Kroger and Scrips things) and home meets and occasional fundraising- all of which is divided equally amongst ALL gymnasts. They get monthly updates of their individual balances with all ins and outs recorded.
 

sfts

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My gym has no booster club and there is no required fundraising. The "team fee" is $75/year to cover USAG membership and the coaches' memberships. You pick and choose which meets you go to; each meet, the fee is broken out so that you see the entry fee & the separate coaching fee. Since we're in an area with a lot of meets, there is limited travel and the coaching fees are, to my mind, quite reasonable ($25-35/meet).

Honestly, I would not join a gym with a required booster club or set fees, but then I'm on an Xcel team partly because I don't want the commitment of a JO team.
 
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