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Bay Area CouncilUNIT RESOURCES

Unit Resources

Unit finance requires a bit more than keeping a shoebox to track what you are doing.  We are hopeful that this collection of unit financial resources might prove helpful.  If you need additional assistance please contact your district executive.

Business-like management of unit funds not only assures good fiscal responsibility and meeting the youth program needs, but it also provides a fine example for your youth members.

A good unit should neither run on the brink of insolvency nor accumulate surpluses. It should neither spend more than it earns nor earn more that it spends. As much harm can be done with one extreme as with the other.  Therefore, unit finances must be budgeted.

A budget is a plan for receiving and spending money. A unit budget is made up a year at a time, usually for the year covered by the unit charter -- though it may be based on a calendar or program year.

In developing the budget, expenses for the year must be estimated and a plan devised for meeting those expenses.  To determine what the unit expenses will be for the year, the unit annual program must be analyzed. Past expenses will serve as a guide for judging amounts needed for each budget category -- one-time expenses -- tents, etc.

In keeping with the principles of Scouting, the program of the unit is paid for by the members with money they earn and save themselves. A unit that operates through the generosity of others and finances itself by the efforts of adults fails in its responsibility to teach its members self-reliance.

Building and supervising the unit budget plan is a major responsibility within every Scouting unit. Although packs, troops, crews, and posts use a different means to determine their own budget needs, each Scouting unit falls within the official BSA fiscal policies and procedures for BSA units.

Many units express concern or violate policy simply because a lack of understanding as to intent exists. We must recognize (A) the value of the good name and good will of the Boy Scouts of America, (B) the philosophy of value given for value received, and (C) the fact that Scouting exists to provide a wholesome program to the youth of our community and not to develop a cadre of young salesman. Money-earning projects should be designed as a means to supplement, not replace, the budget plan or dues system.  BSA Product Sales and Policy Issues Manual

Additional information concerning unit budgets, the treasurer’s job, camper savings plans, forms, and records can be found in:

  • Unit Budget Plan, Boys, Basics, and Budgets
  • Pack Record Book
  • Cub Scout Leader Book
  • Troop & Team Record Book
  • Scoutmaster Handbook
  • Troop Committee Guide Book
  • Varsity Scout Leader Guide Book
  • Venturing Leader Handbook
  • Explorer Leader Handbook

 

Funding Your Unit

The annual popcorn sales provide great opportunities for money earning projects.  These projects provide no risk opportunities for your unit and are all pre-approved by the council (no unit money earning application is required).  You will want to be sure you participate in:

 

Unit Money-Earning Applications 

A unit must submit a Unit Money-Earning Application at least two weeks prior to committing to any fundraiser.  Applications are not required for the Bay Area Council popcorn sale. Whenever your unit is planning a money-earning project, refer to the BSA's "Guide to Unit Money Earning Projects."  Understanding money earning guidelines will help you in the selection of your project. Money earning projects help boys learn to pay their way. All projects except the Council popcorn sale must be approved.

 

Tax ID Number

Banks require an EIN number to open a checking account.  Use an IRS SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number to get an EIN.  Note: The EIN can only be used for checking account identification purposes).

    

Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising Application

The Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising Application (page 17 of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook) must be used by Scouts to obtain approval for Eagle Scout project fundraising or securing donations of materials for their Eagle projects. This is necessary in all circumstances except when all contributions are from the candidate, his parents or relatives, unit or chartering organization, parents or other members of his unit, or the beneficiary of the project. Scouts should submit the fillable form to the Council for consideration. The Scout should also print a copy and include it with his project plan. Within two business days, the Scout will receive an email response either seeking additional information or providing project funding approval. When approved, a copy of the approval email is to be included with the fundraising application as a part of the Scout's project plan.

  • Submit fundraising applications via email to your District Executive
  • Project must be approved in advance
  • Project must be done in the name of the beneficiary (not the troop).
  • Beneficiary organization retains leftover funds.
  • If the troop is holding project funds, these funds must be turned over to the project beneficiary immediately after expenses have been paid.
  • Gift documentation must come from the project beneficiary
  • Realize that approaches to big box stores will be met with a request for a tax letter, which you may or may not be able to secure from your project beneficiary.
  • Parents should let their Scout provide leadership and resist the temptation of raising funds or using their influence.
  • A Scout is courteous – and should follow up with a note of thanks

 

State Sales Tax

Information on state sales tax issues is available on the state of Texas site.  In order to make a sales tax exempt purchase for your unit, use the State Sales Tax Exemption Certification. Realize some large stores like Sam's, Wal-Mart, etc. might require a Tax letter from the State Comptroller.

 

Unit Accounts at the Bay Area Council Scout Shop

Unit accounts allow convenient transactions at the council Scout shops.  Unit account funds can be applied to recharters, membership, activity, event and camping fees, advancement, uniforms, literature and other supplies.

Funds can be sent through the mail by a check sent to the council office or by phone using a credit card.  Please phone 409-744-5206 for additional information.

When a unit purchases merchandise through the council Scout shop, the unit receives the goods tax free.

 

How to Update "Be A Scout"

The new "Be A Scout" Campaign has launched and the new Map feature is now Live on the National BSA site.  This means that Youth and Parents IN YOUR AREA will be using this Map feature to find Scout Units.  Only the following Registered Leaders in your Unit have the ability to update your Unit's Meeting Location on the "Be A Scout" Map, and to change your Unit's

(A) Unit Leader: this means your Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach, Crew Advisor or Skipper.

(B) Unit Committee Chair

(C) Chartered Organization Representative

Here’s what you need to do - the whole process should take less than 10 minutes:

Step 1. Log onto your account at “MyScouting.org” and select “BeAScout” from the Unit Tools section on the left-hand Menu.  A new page will be displayed: There are two "tabs" on this Window, and you should be on "Unit Pin Management" - if not, then click the "Unit Pin Management" tab. 

Step 2. Take a moment to look-over the Unit Pin Management screen: If at any time you are lost, look for the "Help" link in the upper right-hand corner of the page for help.  Also, note that the "Google Pin Preview" section, in the bottom-right area of the page, will display what will appear on the Google Map.  It will change as you enter/edit information in these steps. 

Step 3. Check the "Unit Description" - this box contains a combination of your unit name & your chartered organization. If that the information is incorrect then reach out to your District Executive (DE) for assistance. 

Step 4: if your Scout Unit has a web site, then enter the web address (URL) here.  Otherwise, enter www.bacbsa.org so they will be directed to the Council web site.  You can always edit this field later if your Unit establishes a Web site. 

Step 5. update the Alternate Unit Description: many Units opt to type their Unit type & number followed by their Meeting location (example: "Pack 333 - St. Matthew's Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall")

Step 6: make sure the Pin Status says "Active" if you want your Pin visible to perspective Scouts and Parents on the Google Map. 

Step 7a: select your Primary Contact.  This person will receive all emails from prospective Scout parents, so be sure to let the person know that they will be responding to all parent leads. If the fields in this section are "grey" then you must check the "Contact Person" box in the "Fields Displayed on Google Pin" section at the bottom-left side of the page.  If the person is already a Registered Adult Leader in your Scout Unit, then their name will be selected from a list.  Once selected, all information is automatically provided in this section's fields. 

Step 7b: Also be sure to check all the information with the Primary Contact Volunteer & edit fields that are no longer current (Example: a phone number or email address changes).  It is very important that you keep this information up-to-date as Volunteers & contact information will change over time.

Step 8. Enter the location where your unit holds its meetings (address information). This address will dictate where your unit pin will appear on Google Maps.  Note that it may be helpful to enter the name of your Meeting Location "Address 1" and the street address on "address 2"

Step 9. Check the Google PIN Preview - this is a preview of what will appear on the map. Parents will only be able to see what is in this box, so please Review it carefully for accuracy. 

NOTE: There is an option to change the icon from a Scouting map symbol representing your unit type to something else. Please DO NOT change the unit logo icon. 

Step 10. Once you are done, click the “SAVE” button and your information will be uploaded. 

That’s all you need to do to set up your unit for BeAScout.org. Be sure to do this as soon as possible so your unit will get recruiting leads.

 

Links

Healthy unit finances go a long way to help make for a healthy program.  These resources should prove helpful: