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KenD500

Unit Funds

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Not super happy with the way expenses are handled in our Troop..I suspect there is a large balance as well.  More transparency would be good, and if movie is to be saved for big purchases, I think everyone should know that. We do a BIG fundraiser every year, and from what I can tell, Scouts still pay out of pocket for most everything other than equipment.  I think after selling $210 in tickets for our fundraiser, they get $1 from every $6 ticket put into their account for camping.  Similar ratio for silent auction items they donate.  I'd have to see the financials to make a better judgment, but on the face of it, I'd have to guess they have quite a big balance

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yep, and I know of one troop that does over the top trips too, involving air fare and exotic locales....

big money

I've heard of one that does big ticket items like African safaris.

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Canoeing the Yukon...every other year.  Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier on the alternating years.

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

 

 

Similar size Pack, and this is exactly what we try to do. It isn't our money, it is the current parents'/cubs' money.  Saving it up for the future isn't fair to the families who contributed. If we have a signficant surplus (like we did last year), we figure out a productive and fair way to spend it on the current families.

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Similar size Pack, and this is exactly what we try to do. It isn't our money, it is the current parents'/cubs' money.  Saving it up for the future isn't fair to the families who contributed. If we have a signficant surplus (like we did last year), we figure out a productive and fair way to spend it on the current families.

So basic, so simple, yet so foreign for many to understand.  Set your goals for the year (budget), have a plan to raise the money (fundraising), once you meet your goal, spend the money.  If you don't already have a plan for such, agree to set aside "x" percent for catastrophe and/or next year's "startup" (first COH/pack meeting awards, September/October activites).  Make sure EVERYONE knows what you're doing! (transparency)  It's really not rocket science.  Yet adults I have worked with wanted to hoard and save.  I don't get it.  K.I.S.S.  (Keep It Simple, Stupid)   I was astounded years ago at leaders who challenged my methods and had never seen the BSA UNIT BUDGET PLAN!!!!  So-called "experienced" leaders whose eyes bugged when I showed it to them in black-and-white.  YEESH!  Go "by the book" and you can never be "called out'.  I can't see any good reason to have more than $2000 in surplus for a unit of ANY size.  Can you?

Edited by frankpalazzi

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I can't see any good reason to have more than $2000 in surplus for a unit of ANY size.  Can you?

In a word, deposits. These are needed in many cases 12-18 months in advance of a trip. Some families don't have that money right away and need to fund raise for it. Unless your unit plans 18-24 months in advance and fund raises for those events, deposits will be needed.

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 I don't have a problem with $$ being put aside for a specific activity, i.e. Philmont, BWCA, Jambo.  That isn't counted in the operational budget, it's just a holding account designated as basically already spent towards the activity.  I'm having a problem with the units out there that are basically hoarding undesignated, unbudgeted, funds with no purpose other than some nebulous rainy day that when we get down to that day, we do a fundraiser anyway to pay for it.

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Interesting, our troop "budget meeting" is tonight.  All parents have been invited.

When I first joined the committee we carried a balance of $9000 or so.  We didn't think that we should be just sitting on that large of a balance because it was money the boy's raised.

We started charging only $5 per campout per person for food and the troop would reimburse up to $7 extra per person.  Site rental has always come out of the troop's operating budget.

We have only done the popcorn fundraiser for years.  Now, after very lax record keeping from a former treasurer our bank balance is suffering.  We suspect several scouts have gone years without paying dues and probably overpaid our "fair share" (or whatever it is called) to council.  Our top popcorn seller has aged out so we are going to be hurting there, he made over 1/2 of our total sales.  We get donations of bottles from a couple businesses that bring in about $900 a year but no one has volunteered to help with that so I am the only one taking care of them.  We have been talking about other fundraising options but no one wants to run them.  It will be interesting to see how it all goes tonight.

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Interesting, our troop "budget meeting" is tonight.  All parents have been invited.

 

At some point I hope the boys get to help. We used to be adult driven at that level but changed that 10-12 years ago. Now our boys know how much to budget for food ($13), how much for site rental (varies), gas (varies) and incidentals (propane, mantles, etc.). We helped them develop an event budget sheet which they fill out at annual planning for every event and submit to the troop committee. The TC refines but the budget came from the scouts.

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We keep a balance around $20k, with a troop of 90. We consider $90k to be zero, and do all annual budgeting on that concept. Why?

 

Trailer gets stolen: that could be a $5k trailer, plus another few thousand for the gear. Nice to know that we can cover it immediately without impacting the program. We would then work on backfilling the cost.

 

Tent replacement: We watch for sales on known, quality tents. The Quartermaster likes to keep a few back in case of problems (like returning to camp when after a windstorm lifted staked in tents full of gear and shredded them on the barbed wire 100 yards away). No impact on the Troop again, aside from kicking off some fundraising.

 

Summer Camp deposits: Some camps provide a discount if you pay in advance and early. We can do that, before some of the Webelos have even bridged, and then they pay for their slots.

 

This balance has been maintained in the Troop for at least 10 years, possibly longer. We aren't trying to actively grow it, just keep a safety net. The same thing I teach in Personal Management - you should have access to 3 months of spending money in case you lost your job.

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