Chris Carneal is Founder and President of Booster Enterprises. Since 2001, the Boosterthon Fun Run team has been serving schools across America, providing a fun, healthy alternative to sales-driven fundraisers. The Boosterthon Fun Run is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and this year will serve more than 700,000 students at 1000 excellent schools in 22 states across the U.S.
Booster Enterprises is proud to have a team that has consistently and passionately bought-in to their mission. Scott Barron, CEO of School Growth, had the opportunity to interview Chris Carneal about how they maintain such a high level of organizational commitment on their teams across the U.S.
Every year, Booster Enterprises hosts BoosterU for all their team members. BoosterU started 7 years ago in Chris’ basement with 5 people. The goal was to kick-off the school year and talk about their mission, vision and values.
Chris likes to remind his team of this quote from C.S. Lewis: “People need more often to be reminded than instructed.” Sometimes you impart information for the first time, but most of the time we’re just reminding people what they already know to be true, and doing it in a creative and engaging way that re-prioritizes and re-energizes what actually matters.
There is always going to be a countless list of priorities, but BoosterU brings together all 210 full time team members together in Atlanta to answer these questions: What really matters? How can they best serve the customer? Who is the customer? What does the client look like? How can they serve and create raving fans of them? This exercise refocuses their efforts and reaps incredible dividends for their team.
When they come together once a year and share their stories, show their world-changer results (how teachers, faculty and staff impacted their team and how their team was able to give back), it clarifies the vision. Chris says, “Alright, that was last year, and we want to do even better this year. Let’s raise the bar!!”
Commitment to the Mission: Boosterthon’s Secret Sauce
Boosterthon’s "faculty" is completely sold-out to the company's vision. This kind of commitment starts with the leader saying, “It’s not enough to just agree with the mission, you’ve got to advance the mission!” Every team member, year one or year ten, is expected to deliver on that result.
Chris recognizes that people sometimes feel like they have to make a choice between business excellence and their mission of making a difference. Boosterthon says "no," you’re doing both daily. By performing their jobs excellently, team members advance the mission of schools around the country and make a huge impact on students. Boosterthon strives to empower each team member with the opportunity and ability to grow professionally and personally. Chris has such a great team because they begin with finding, attracting, and developing the best talent.
Boosterthon recruits a fairly young demographic. Millenials want to be challenged - Chris believes if the right leader challenges them towards a mission in which they feel compelled to be involved, they respond better than any other generation with which he has worked. When Booster brings on new team members, they’re not just looking at how their company culture can influence this new individual, but how each man or woman can make the team better.
Change The World
Chris emphasizes that it’s not just about raising money; it’s about how that money is used to bless teachers, and how it can be used to create opportunities for students. The money raised from a Fun Run goes towards technology, new gym floors, faculty salaries and benefits, and much more. Boosterthon is fighting along side school leaders to give them the resources they need, and for the difference that makes in the next generation of students.
Booster is serving over 700,000 kids this school year! The average school net proceeds from a Fun Run is $24,000, and some schools raise over $100,000. Boosterthon is currently expanding to offer a “Preferred Choice” option for schools that are outside the areas currently served, but wish to host a Boosterthon fundraiser for their school. If you would like more information, check out their website here!