1. Our club has considered giving “book awards” as a means of encouraging meeting attendance. At each meeting attended, our members would have the opportunity to submit their students’ names for a drawing. The drawing would be held at the end of each semester and “book awards” or gift certificates to College Station area bookstores (for book and school supply purchases) would be awarded to the winning students. Have other clubs used this idea with success?
Answer: Remember, as a 501(C)(3) organization, you cannot reward members solely for attendance. Also, your club’s mission and purpose are to support Texas A&M and Aggie students from your area. Therefore, you should refrain from initiating any reward program that would benefit only your members because that would be inconsistent with tax-exempt organization guidelines.
Several clubs conduct “book awards” programs. I suggest that you advertise the program well within your area through your website and local newspapers and newsletters as you advertise your meetings. Both member and non-member moms should have a way to contact the person responsible for the program to submit a student’s name without attending each meeting.
Several University area bookstores have worked with our club to distribute “book awards” to students from our area. In general, a letter (with a check for the total amount of the awards) has been sent to the bookstore with required student information and distribution instructions. Gift cards or certificates are then mailed back to our treasurer for distribution or the bookstore distributes the gift cards or certificates after proper ID is provided by each winning student recipient.