Unit finances is more than just keeping track of dues. Management of your unit as a business not only assures that your unit will remain solvent and have what it needs when it needs it, it also provides a fine example for all members.
We are hopeful that this collection of unit financial resources might prove helpful. If you need additional assistance please contact Alex Alcalde at Alex.Alcalde@5creeks.org
A good unit should neither run on the brink of insolvency nor accumulate surpluses. As much harm can be done with one extreme as with the other, unit finances must be budgeted.
As a result a budget for receiving and spending money should be created yearly. A unit budget is made up a year at a time, usually for the year covered by the unit charter -- though it may be based on a calendar or program year, or even 18 months at a time.
In developing the budget, expenses must be estimated and a plan devised for meeting those expenses. To determine what the unit expenses will be for the year, the unit annual program must be analyzed. Past expenses may serve as a guide for judging amounts needed for each budget category -- one-time expenses -- tents, etc.
Building and supervising the unit budget plan is a major responsibility within every Scouting unit. Although packs, troops, crews, and posts use a different means to determine their own budget needs, each Scouting unit falls within the official BSA fiscal policies and procedures for BSA units.
Additional information concerning unit budgets, the treasurer's job, forms and records may be found in:
- Packs: Cub Scout Leader Book, Pack Record Book
- Troops: Troop Record Book, Troop Leader Fundraising, Troop Budget, Scoutmaster Handbook, Troop Committee Guide Book
- Crews: Venturing Leader Handbook
We have found that many units express concern or violate policy simply because of lack of understanding as to intent. We must recognize (A) the value of the good name and good will of the Boy Scouts of America, (B) the philosophy of value given for value received, and (C) the fact that Scouting exists to provide a wholesome program to the youth of our community and not to develop young salespeople. Money-earning projects should be designed as a means to supplement, not replace, the budget plan or dues system.
Popcorn Sales provide great opportunities for money earning projects. These projects provide no risk opportunities for your unit and are all pre-approved by the council (no unit money earning application is required). You will want to be sure you participate in:
If you need additional funds, a unit must submit a Unit Money-Earning Application, BEFORE undertaking the fundraising project.
A unit must submit a Unit Money-Earning Application at least two weeks prior to committing to any fundraiser. Applications are not required for Popcorn sales. Whenever your unit is planning a money-earning project, refer to the BSA's "Guide to Unit Money Earning Projects." Understanding money earning guidelines will help you in the selection of your project. Money earning projects help scouts learn to pay their way. All projects (except for popcorn sales) must be approved.
- Online Application (sent to your 5 Creeks District Executive)
Unit funds should be deposited in a checking or savings account that requires two signatures on every check or withdrawal. The unit leader could be one of the signees but it is recommended it be a committee person. Information on how your unit can open up a checking account is available here.
The Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising Application must be used by Scouts to obtain approval for Eagle Scout project fundraising or securing donations of materials for their Eagle projects. This is necessary in all circumstances except when all contributions are from the candidate, his parents or relatives, unit or chartering organization, parents or other members of his unit, or the beneficiary of the project. The Scout should print a copy and include it with his project plan.
- Project must be approved in advance: Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising Form
- Project must be done in the name of the beneficiary (not the troop).
- Beneficiary organization retains leftover funds.
- If the troop is holding project funds, these funds must be turned over to the project beneficiary immediately after expenses have been paid.
- Gift documentation must come from the project beneficiary
- Realize that approaches to big box stores will be met with a request for a tax letter, which you may or may not be able to secure from your project beneficiary.
- Parents should let their Scout provide leadership and resist the temptation of raising funds or using their influence.
- Guide to Advancement 2019
Banks require an EIN number to open a checking account. Use an IRS SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number to get an EIN. Note: The EIN can only be used for checking account identification purposes).
Unit accounts allow convenient checkless transactions at the Scout Shop and the Council office. Unit account funds can be applied to recharters, membership, activity, event and camping fees, advancement, uniforms, literature and other supplies.
Accounts may be set up using signature forms available from the Scout Shop. Signature forms authorize up to three people and the committee chairman to use the account. Funds can be sent through the mail by a check sent to the Council Office or by phone using a credit card. Please contact the Scout Shop for additional information.
Healthy unit finances go a long way to help make for a healthy program. These resources should prove helpful:
- BSA Fiscal policies and procedures for BSA Units
- BSA Product Sales and Policy Issues Manual
- Unit Budget Plan
- Planning your "Ideal Year of Cub Scouting" program budget