We have a group of parents doing a fundraiser for the troop, or should I say for the ones in the troop that participate in the fundraiser. The parents are wanting to create a separate bank account for these funds, so these parents have access to these funds for said scouts that participate. At first it was said these funds would be for fun activities for the troop, but since it was stated that the funds would be available for said scouts to use for uniforms, handbooks, camp fees, etc. These parents want two parents names on the account, along with the ASM. Does anybody besides me see a problem with this? Thanks in advance for the feedback.
@ChristineWilliams2 - I would suggest a search on BSA fundraising guidelines. What I gather from this is raising funds to benefit individuals which is not a good plan and runs a foul of the IRS, and who likes or wants the IRS to invite themselves to your fun.
It sounds like they basically want to have scout accounts, which many troops do. The key is that there can’t be significant individual benefit. Some info about it can be found here: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/12/03/individual-scout-accounts/amp/
Now, the part about having a completely separate account with non-registered leaders administering it sounds like a bad plan. The funds were raised in the name of your unit. They need to belong to your unit with your treasurer overseeing it and giving full transparency to your CO.
Simple answer is “NO”.
More complete answer is "Thanks for the hard work you put into this. As you know, one of the most important things we teach in Cub Scouts is TEAMWORK. So far, you’ve demonstrated a commendable effort to make this Pack a success for everyone involved. Don’t make us get the IRS involved now… "
If the unit committee approves and the charter organization approves, then you do it. There may be income tax consequences, but I’m not a CPA. I’d recommend asking a qualified advisor about that and not leave this decision up to an internet discussion group,
Also make sure your charting organization is aware that this could impact their non-profit status, if they are a non-profit.
Frankly, if they want to do that just for themselves, nobody’s gonna stop them. But, if they want to “do their own thing” why would they want your Troop # stamped on it?
At a certain point, the parents are starting their own corporation and it’s either the kids earnings or the parents’ earnings for income tax purposes. That’s not a bad thing, starting their kids off earning their own money. That way the scouts can also use it for other activities like sports, music, or video games.
So, it is possible for you to decline their offer and be positive about it.
On the other hand, the deal could be that 15% of their net goes into the troop general fund. The other portion is under the stewardship of the scouts with the understanding that any gently used gear and uniforms bought with those funds gets handed down to troop QM for the benefit of future scouts. This is how we handle “scout accounts”. It’s a benefit to the troop if scouts have the right gear and look sharp in their uniforms, and often the boots that work for one scout will soon be outgrown and ready for the next scout to use.
So, there’s pros and cons for parents, scouts, and troop.
There’s been a lot of good advice regarding getting professional advice and consent from your unit’s charter & committee. One thing that I think may not have gotten too much attention is how this might impacts the unit’s other fundraising activities. If the same people are being tapped for donations to this meta-unit fundraiser (your description makes it sound like there’s at least some individual benefit to the scouts doing the fundraising), that may draw off some of the funds your unit needs for general operations.
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