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