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Questions from a New Treasurer

Greetings,

I have recently become the new Treasurer for my Pack. I am in the process of transferring over everything from my predecessor and have a few questions I am hoping someone can help me with.

We are a new pack which was established in 2019. Since we are new, I feel that some of the actions taken in setting up our financials could have been better. For example, the previous Treasurer had established our bank account, Paypal account, and EIN with her personal address. Is this common? I would think that it would better serve the Pack to obtain a P.O. Box to use as it’s official address.

For the EIN, I was told that I would need to apply for a new one using my personal information such as my address. Is this the best way to do this? I assume that because the previous Treasurer used her own information, she wants to be “released” from it being associated with her. I think this is where having an established P.O. Box would be more advantageous.

I was told that our Charter Organization, a United Methodist Church, no longer wants to be associated with our Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop due to legal issues. Although they want to distance themselves from us, they have agreed to still let us use their facilities. What implications does this have on the Pack/Troop? This leads me to my next set of questions.

Would it be to our benefit to apply for tax exempt nonprofit via a 501(c)(3)? Do the benefits outweigh the time and cost? I know this is not recommended by BSA of America, but is not prohibited.

Thank you for your time and thoughts.

Shane Rogers, Treasurer
Cub Scout Pack 222

This might help answer some of your questions:

Fiscal Policies and Procedures for BSA Units FAQs (revised: May 2021)

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I can’t really comment on the financial side of things, and @JenniferOlinger already gave you a pretty good pointer on the BSA policy side. Since your current chartering org no longer wants to recharter you, even if they’re still willing to provide space, you’ll need a new chartering organization. You might be able to find a community organization (PTA, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Elks, etc) or another religious congregation that would be willing to serve as your chartering organization. The chartering org need not be tax-exempt, although that of course does help with reducing the direct costs for purchases.

I know that some units have set up their own chartering organizations in the past (e.g. “Friends of Pack XYZ”), but I haven’t been involved in something like that myself, so I don’t know how it works or what benefits/risks it conveys. I would suggest that your unit Key 3 reach out to your District Exec to get a hand locating another chartering organization. They might already know of entities that have dropped/rejected charters, so you don’t spin your wheels with those. Ideally, they might be able to help y’all locate a new chartering organization.

By the way it wasn’t your charter org that did this, it was a national change. This is a big deal nationwide. I heard about it at a roundtable back in September

You can see the question in the BSA doc on if the [new] charter org’s tax ID needs to be on the account. that’s a question for them since it ties to taxes. If that’s the case you can’t change the account until then or need to do paperwork again when you have this piece figured out.

We switched charter orgs four years ago, the church we were with shut down. We didn’t have a single known authorized individual around so the church had to help us take over control. To change tax IDs on the account I had to redo ALL the account paperwork and re-sign everything.

Your bank may need your old treasurer to be there for the release. Call them and find out.

Not sure I would setup a PO Box. Put the account on the new charter org address and see if you can have statements sent to an authorized individual’s address. You’ll want to get a debit card so same idea there.

If your new org is tax exempt, get a copy of their IRS declaration letter and the standard state exempt letter. The former is more of a formality for your records but if you ever run into needing a W9 (in the name of the charter org) for any reason, they may want that document too. I’ve needed it for one edge case where it was easier than arguing over the need. Then if you have any unit specific online purchasing accounts you setup as tax exempt (ex. Amazon, Home Depot) update this with them.

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Shane,

A PO Box, or a neutral address (chartering organization, etc… ) is a great idea. I highly recommend moving to a PO Box due to a couple of reasons; first of all, you need an address that multiple people can fetch mail from in the event that your mail designee is sick or out of town., secondly, you need an consistent address for other entities to contact you at. As an example, in a different non-profit that I volunteer at we had a bunch of mail going to an officers house, and then unfortunately that person passed away, now mail for that org that hits his closed mailbox gets returned to sender. (same reason why you should use a centralized email address).

If anyone is struggling to find a chartering organization please look to your local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts. Specifically the American Legion has youth requirements to keep their charters as posts, and the American Legion has a doctrine of supporting scouting (About Scouting | The American Legion). Normally in a worst case scenario all it takes at a Legion or VFW post to get chartering is to find out who is a member who was a scout, or has a scout, and that person hands out the finger waging to get chartering cooperation from the post officers. Your best case scenario is your local Legion or VFW has been looking to sponsor scouting but didn’t know who to offer aid to.

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