BSA Troop Finance Problem
Bob Myers (rmyers@ONE.NET)
Fri, 21 Apr 1995 10:44:33 -0400
Hi Folks. I need your advice.
At last night's troop committee meeting, a brief financial report was
presented that contained an item of concern for several of the people present.
It was a 10% tax or tithe that the Salvation Army's Captain (funtioning as
committee chaplain and institutional head) explained was assessed by the
parent Salvation Army organization. Let me explain.
We started last November in reviving a troop at the local Salvation Army Corps
that had been languishing for three years since it was originally chartered.
Last year they had 5 Scouts, no activities, no uniforms, no advancement, no
program of any type, but did meet weekly. We now have a full program running
with 15 registered and 13 active Scouts.
Financially, we were told going in that Salvation Army rules would not allow
the troop to have a seperate bank account, but there was a seperate account on
the Corps' books for the troop. We were explicitly told that we would use
that account "exactly like a bank account" and that all monies would be
accounted for indepently.
Since the troop had zero equipment and the Salvation Army was not able to
help, several thousand dollars in donations from a variety of sources (a large
portion from me) have been used to date to kick start the troop and supplement
the low/no income Scouts in the troop.
The appearance of the tithe on the troop's books was a total surprise to all
of us. The amount is calculated on 10% of the financial donations along with
10% of any substantial "capital" equipment donations such as tents, sleeping
bags, backpacks, stoves, etc.
Emotionally, this is not good for me personally because I am not a member of
the Salvation Army, an organization with both religious and social outreach
goals. Although, I was aware from the beginning of the dual purpose, I was
only interested in signing up to their social program and want no part in
contributing to their religion. Also, we have told our friends and associates
that "100%" of their donation goes to the Scouts and does not get siphoned off
in any way as in United Appeal and FOS campaigns. We now find that this is
I know that most troops have their own bank account as recommended by BSA in
the Troop Committee Guidebook, but the solution of using the Corps as a "bank"
sounded just fine in the beginning, but not so fine now.
1. Do many other troops not have separate bank accounts and use the books of
the chartered organization?
2. Has any other troop been taxed or tithed by their chartering organization?
3. Is tithing even allowed under the unit's charter?
4. What would you do?
Thanks in advance for you advice.
Bob Myers, SM Troop 575, Dan Beard Council, Cincinnati, Ohio
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City