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Greater St. Louis Area Council: Boy Scouts of America

Boy Scouts of America:  Greater St. Louis Area Council
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Unit Finance


Unit funds should be placed in a checking or savings account in a local bank. To open an account, the unit will need a copy of their charter and a Federal Employer Identification number. Units should apply for their own; more information can be found under Tax Information for Unit Leadership.

The account should require at least two signatures on each check.  The unit leader could be one of the signees, but it is recommended it be a committee person including the unit treasurer.

Unit leaders and den leaders, for instance, will need a number of miscellaneous articles for the unit or den from time to time. The unit committee should guard these leaders from the tendency to pay small bills, such as postage, out of their own pocket. A petty cash account in the amount of $10 or $20 should be established for these leaders. When they have used most of this fund, they should account for these expenses with receipts each month and be given a new cash advance.

This procedure eliminates a great deal of wasted motion. Larger bills are paid by the treasurer on recommendation of the unit leader with approval of the unit committee at a regularly scheduled committee meeting.

​Businesslike finance management 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 your youth members.
A good unit should neither run on the brink of insolvency nor accumulate surpluses. It should neither spend more than it earns nor earn more that it spends. As much harm can be done with one extreme as with the other.
Therefore, unit finances must be budgeted.
A budget is a plan for receiving and spending money. 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.
In developing the budget, expenses for the year 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 will serve as a guide for judging amounts needed for each budget category -- one-time expenses -- tents, etc.
In keeping with the principles of Scouting, the program of the unit is paid for by the members with money they earn and save themselves. A unit that operates through the generosity of others and finances itself by the efforts of adults fails in its responsibility to teach its members self-reliance.

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 “Policies Regarding Scout Financing and Solicitation.”

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 a cadre of young salesman. Money-earning projects should be designed as a means to supplement, not replace, the budget plan or dues system.

Additional information concerning unit budgets, the treasurer’s job, camper savings plans, forms, and records can be found in:

  •     Unit Budget Plan, Boys, Basics, and Budgets
  •     Pack Record Book
  •     Cub Scout Leader Book
  •     Troop & Team Record Book
  •     Scoutmaster Handbook
  •     Troop Committee Guide Book
  •     Varsity Scout Leader Guidebook
  •     Venturing Leader Handbook
  •     Explorer Leader Handbook