Unit Finance

Unit finance requires a bit more than keeping track of dues. We hope this collection of unit financial resources will help. If you need additional assistance please contact your District Executive.

CLICK HERE for the Unit Treasurer Guidelines

Popcorn Sale
The annual popcorn sale provides a great opportunity to raise all of the money your unit needs for its annual program. The sale is approved by our council's Executive Board, meaning that your Scouts can wear their Scout uniform while selling/participating. You do not need to fill out a unit money earning application to participate in the popcorn sale.

CLICK HERE for the BSA's Unit Product Sales Guide

Can your unit put money raised by individual Scouts as part of a unit/council fundraiser in their own "Scout account"?

BSA rules allow for Scout accounts, but they have to be operated within the parameters allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. Those rules include that you can't have a private benefit. Private benefit means that when you're raising money on behalf of a non-profit organization, individuals can't benefit from those funds that are being raised. BSA's policy is that we will conduct our fundraising in accordance with the Internal Revenue Services' regulations. We're a 501c3, or a non-profit organization so we're bound to do that or we could put our nonprofit status in jeopardy. The Scout account issue comes up with "how is it getting accounted for"? Tracking dollar for dollar credit where Scouts have fundraising or product sales and they get dollar for dollar credit for those sales IS prohibited by the IRS, but what is dollar for dollar credit?

For example, with our product sales, some of the profit goes to the unit, some to our council, some to the Scout so that dollar for dollar credit may not necessarily mean that the scout is getting all the credit for those sales. So to the extent that the scout is getting some credit, the IRS may allow that and BSA would not prohibit that from being done. To the extent that the scout's getting all the credit; it is prohibited. We've never allowed individual Scout accounts which provide for substantial benefit, which is the IRS term for what is prohibited, but we have allowed Scouts to have accounts which would make them more thrifty, make them more understanding of what does it mean to set goals and achieve goals and to earn their way. That's been part of the Scouting way for many years and to the extent that the Scout is using fundraising as a means to accomplish scouting goals, then the IRS says that may be more allowable than when they're simply out raising money for their own benefit to the extent that scouts are using those funds or the unit is using the funds to offset the cost of Scouting. That gets into the realm of being allowable as opposed to a private benefit. 

So the BSA's position is that as long as the Scout accounts are operated within the parameters of the IRS regulations, then we allow them to the extent that they provide a substantial benefit based on the fundraising done by the nonprofit organization; they're not a private benefit.

Unit Money Earning Guidelines
If your unit opts for additional alternative fund raising projects, you will want to understand the BSA's money earning guidelines. All projects (except popcorn, camp card sales) must be approved by your district's Fundraising Chairman or District Executive. CLICK HERE for the form you'll need to submit for approval of your alternative fund raising project idea (unless you're an Exploring Post, in which case CLICK HERE).

How will your unit know how much money is needed for its program year?

Use the Unit Budget Plan to plan the amount your unit will need

State Sales Tax
Does your unit need to pay state sales tax for purchases that are to be used exclusively by our unit? All stores require a State Sales Tax Exemption Certification (CLICK HERE for a form). Realize some large stores like Sam's, Wal-Mart, etc. might require a tax letter from the State Comptroller (CLICK HERE for some general information).

Checking Account Instructions
Our partnership with A+ Federal Credit Union gives credit union membership to all Scouts, Scouters, their families and units. We encourage you to contact the A+FCU branch near you if your unit needs to open a new unit account or would like to move its unit account. To open a unit checking account at A+FCU, you'll need:

  • EIN (Tax ID) certificate from the IRS
  • Minutes from a unit committee meeting stating the officers of your unit and which ones are authorized to sign on the account
  • Valid Social Security Number for each authorized signer
  • Valid ID for each authorized signer
CLICK HERE to learn more about our partnership with A+ Federal Credit Union.               

EIN or Tax ID Number Application
A+ Federal Credit Union and most banks require an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to open an organizational account.
  • CLICK HERE to get instructions for getting an EIN