Managing your Unit's Budget

Good finance management not only assures that your unit will remain solvent and have the financial resources to purchase what it needs, when it needs it; it also provides a fine example for your youth members.

A good unit should not spend more than it earns, nor earn more than 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.

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.

Setting up and supervising the unit budget plan is a major responsibility within every Scouting unit. Although Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Venture Crews use different means to determine their own budget needs, each Scouting unit must follow guidelines written in the official "Policies Regarding Scout Financing and Solicitation".

We have found that many units express concern or violate policy simply because they hadn't been aware of the policy. 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 salesmen. Money earning projects should be designed as a means of supplement, not replace the budget plan or dues system.