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Council Unit Charters - Bank Accounts?


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I suspect the answer to this is going to be "you need to call your council" but I've seen a lot of Charter orgs pulling support and have seen that you can now do a "Council Unit" charter directly with your council if needed vs. a traditional nonprofit organization.

For anyone who has done that, how does banking work?  Can you still obtain a bank account to conduct business or do you need to do everything via reimbursement?  I can't find a lot of details on how a Council Unit works.

The agreement is here:
https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Annual-Registration-Agreement-Council-Units.pdf

It says nothing about finances.  Over the past years I've worked with two scouting units, both with the same charter org, and both had bank accounts under that org's EIN.

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PAST ... Opening a bank account has drastically changed over the last 20 years.  Last time we did it, the bank employee routed us to a gov site to create a non-profit EIN.  Then we used that one.  Probably ... no definitely not the right choice.  BUT, that's how it was opened.  

NOW ... ???   Policies and procedures are lagging and don't address it.

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EIN’s are easy to get. Get one and open a checking account. It will NOT entitle the unit to non-profit privileges, but allow you to operate. 

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I found this doc:

https://www.bsacac.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Fiscal-Policies-and-Procedures-for-BSA-Units_CAC_FINAL.pdf

I think it answers this question:

Quote

Unit Banking
- Checking Accounts: Unit funds should be deposited in a checking account that requires two
signatures, typically the Treasurer and a member of the Unit Committee.
o Charter Organization Units: Contact your charter organization for permission to use
their EIN and direction on who to use as the responsible party. In the alternative, many
councils allow units to deposit funds in custodial accounts in the council service center.
o Council Registered Units: Contact your council for permission to use their EIN and
direction on who to use as the responsible party. Council Registered Units previously
using separate bank accounts through a Charter Organization should close those
accounts and follow the local council policies for a new account. Council registered units
should not use custodial accounts

 

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I wonder if SEs will be able to raid those unit accounts. Sadly i saw a SE raid the OA lodge's account that was to be used for camp improvements for conclave. When all the bills started arriving, there was no money to pay them. 

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15 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I wonder if SEs will be able to raid those unit accounts. Sadly i saw a SE raid the OA lodge's account that was to be used for camp improvements for conclave. When all the bills started arriving, there was no money to pay them. 

I would NEVER willingly put "troop" monies into an account our local council had access to.  I have no problem at all imagining a SE deciding "un-designated bank funds at the end of the fiscal year get shifted to the Council general fund".  If I was forced into a situation where a Council chartered troop was my only option, I'd probably establish a new charity with the sole function of acting as our "banker".  We would "volunteer" for a fundraiser and the "Troopfund X" organization would simply hold our funds until needed and then they would cut a check for whatever needed paying.

Kind of like what we are going to be doing with donated (high-value) equipment like canoes.  They don't get donated to our CO, they get donated to a separate non-profit that exists strictly to "own" the equipment.  That way we don't end up with a problem if we have to change COs and someone at the CO decides they want to retain the gear.

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Has anyone here done what @elitts suggests and create their OWN not for profit to serve as a charter?  I have never heard of this, curious to see if it's a common and successful practice. 

It seems like if you find yourself suddenly charter-less and need to act fast, if the Council Unit option does not appeal the best other alternative is the "group of citizens" charter option.  But then some person has to volunteer to have the finances attached to their own SSN which these days seems like it would create tax complications for that person.  I know I'd be reluctant to put my own SSN on the line.

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