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KenD500

Unit Funds

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Reading another topic got me thinking.  At the end of your Unit's Scout year, how much money is left?  Please let us know the size of your Pack/Troop/Crew/Team.

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Reading another topic got me thinking.  At the end of your Unit's Scout year, how much money is left?  Please let us know the size of your Pack/Troop/Crew/Team.

 

We are one of those units that collects pre-payments for high adventure bases, summer camp and other such things. We maintain a very hefty balance (over 10k) and track it well. We know who has paid what and how much is due or due back. Scouts get a monthly update on their "account".

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Somehow we end up never spending up to our budget so every year it grows.  This year over $10k, so we are purchasing major capital investments like a trailer, shed, and sending the boys on a free trip.  We are cubs so they don't have super expensive treks to save for.  But we encourage them to sell popcorn to earn their way to summer & winter camp.

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Holding a payment account is not the same as having an individual income account funded by troop fundraisers.  Collecting up summer camp fees from the individual scouts and keeping track of who paid is not part of the CO's money and probably should be kept in a separate account.  Fundraiser money used for troop equipment, tents, scholarships, and other program activities is altogether different.  THAT is what people contribute money to a troop to do, not pad some kid's "personal" bank account and buy him sleeping bags, and other personal gear that doesn't belong to the CO.  That is income and notification to the IRS needs to be done for tax purposes.

 

I have seen troops use these personal accounts to buy just about anything along the way even if it does't even pertain to scouting and then when the boy Eagles and ages out, a check is written as the troop's gift to him at his ECOH.  That is about as unethical as it gets with this good-old-boy, back-room financing of money laundering.  If I knew a troop did that kind of bookkeeping, I would never financially support them with even a penny.

 

And just because the IRS may not come after such petty practices does not make it ethically correct and the lesson being taught is not one I want my boys to learn.  Too many Scout Laws being broken to justify the practice in any form.  Just because one doesn't get caught doesn't make it ethical.

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Our troop pays for everything equally.  All the boys going to summer camp get a "scholarship" of total camp fees minus $50.  If a scout doesn't go to summer camp he doesn't get the scholarship set aside in his own private little hide-away account.  He's here to participate in the program, if he chooses not to, so be it.

 

Gas to get to camp is reimbursed to the person driving the vehicles.  Equipment is purchased for the troop only.  No personal equipment is purchased.  Sleeping bags and back packs were donated by a military unit in our neighborhood so no boy needs to purchase one unless they want to.  This equipment remains the property of the CO.

 

There are no personal accounts, but record is kept of all $50 camper fees from the boys going.  

 

While we are a new troop, immediately after summer camp and before popcorn sales, I believe we had about $150 in the bank for the troop last year and I don't know what it is this year, but it isn't much better.  I do know that my ASM "treated" the boys to an hour of archery and bow rental last week and paid with her own credit card.    We rounded up a bunch of rent-free kayaks this week so the boys could have an outing on the river for free as well.

 

Next week is the popcorn meeting so things will look a bit better going into the fall activities.  All the parents know that if our fundraising isn't successful, they have to pay out of their pockets for their boys to attend the activities.  So far our financial policies have not raised any eyebrows from anyone.  

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our pack, historically running between 20-30 boys after cross over

used to hope to maintain a balance of approx $3,000 going into summer break

But in all my time and with several different treasurers, we never really got a great financial report/statement.... sad really.

 

but it seemed that $3k was a magic number proven by history

to cover popcorn show n sell product orders, books, t-shirts, and the initial run of general awards & pack expenses in the first part of the year.... with enough cushion to be very comfortable....

How much cushion you ask?.... see my 1st paragraph.... I have no idea despite doing everything but wearing yet another hat... of the treasurer variety... ( I stayed far away from that one)

 

My guess.... around $2k would be ok, so maybe $1k balance for each 10 boys.....

Edited by blw2
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Pack (50 cubs) - ends year with $1000 to $1500 in checking 

 

Troop (30 scouts) - Looks to keep $1000 to $1500 "not assigned".  There is really no end-of year.  We do have a end-of-fiscal-year analysis, but you would see $5000+ in checking.  The difference is committed from camp deposits, etc or product sales.

 

Our attitude is fundraising should benefit the scouts in the unit and too much in the bank can actually cause issues.  We want enough in there to avoid any cash flow hick-ups.  

 

Flip side ...

- Dues ... Don't pay --> not rechartered ... unless special circumstances

- Camping ... pay as you go.

- Unit fundraising offsets leader registration, awards, misc expenses and reduces camping costs.

Edited by fred johnson

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I do know of a troop that formed in a small town without a troop and the council gave them the old trailer and other equipment of a troop that had shut down.

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Our troop of 18-20 boys generally ends the summer with $2000, enough to camp through fall and serve as seed money for our primary fundraiser, Christmas trees. We do not carry individual accounts of any kind, though that may change in the future.

 

The pack (about 30 boys) carries $1500 from  year to year in a reserve fund and generally spends every penny that comes in otherwise. The reserve fund was created several dynasties ago to add stability to the pack, given that the leadership changes frequently and the leaders are often new to scouting. If new leadership has a bad recruitment year or poor popcorn sales, the reserve fund sees the unit through and is then replenished as the new leaders gain confidence and experience.

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$25k left over carried forward every year.... and complain when that amount wasn't getting LARGER.

Our annual fundraiser pays for everything they've decided fits into troop budget (awards, some repair/replace equipment some underwriting of events in that they buy the propane or if the event pays out $ for gas for the poor soul stuck pulling the trailer.)

They want to do a fundraiser to buy new tents and complain if we buy something that isn't "budgeted" or the balance decreases each year. 

 

My pack used to have a plan to have an extra $3-500 to make it from one fundraiser to the next, adjusted to ensure we had enough to pay for the cost of awards for the pack meetings for the next 6 mos or so.

 

 

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Any unit that carries over a $25k fund which is expected to grow each year is systematically stealing from the boys and their program.  Money was raised to be spent on program not squirreled away in the bank.

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Any unit that carries over a $25k fund which is expected to grow each year is systematically stealing from the boys and their program.  Money was raised to be spent on program not squirreled away in the bank.

 

In Cubs or Boy Scout units where leadership transition and fiduciary responsibility may be in question, I can see a rainy day fund being appropriate. $25k though seems exorbitant.

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$25k left over carried forward every year....

 

Yes I have seen a few troops in these parts with this interesting problem. Parents are in the dark about balance. Annual fundraisers continue so scouts continue to "earn" their way as those before them. Troop Committee reluctant to spend on large expenses,say a HA trek or even an annual scholarship to Philmont, as parents would start asking where did the money come from. Council knows and stops by annually, outside of FOS, to "wet their beak" . 

 

Ugh.

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A year's expenses is our upper limit. If the balance is over that our boys aren't equipping themselves or some gear isn't being properly maintained.

 

Note: a troop of 40+ very active scouts could easily cost $25k a year.

Edited by qwazse
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Raise what you need, and spend what you raise!  Keep enough in reserve for startup at the beginning of the Scout year, and enough to replace all your equipment in case of catastrophe.

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