For over 100 years the Boy Scouts of America have shaped the lives of America's youth. You can make a difference in the lives of youth in your community by supporting the quality program of the Three Fires Council. Please use the links below to discover all of the ways you can support the efforts of the Three Fires Council as we shape the next generation of America's leaders.
Each year hundreds of volunteers make contributions to the Three Fires Council and then work with their employer to match their gift. Many companies will do a 2 to 1 match or even 3 to 1 match and some will match your volunteer hours to Scouting. Please look into this unique opportunity with your employer to see how you can have a bigger impact on Scouting.
You Too Can Make a Difference Through Matching Gifts From Your Employer
Contact your Human Resources Department and fill out a matching gift form to match your Friends of Scouting contribution or for your hours of volunteer service. Submit the form to your company or mail it to the Council depending on the instructions. Once the Council receives the form we will verify the gift or the hours of service and return to your employer to match your Scouting contribution. You will make an even greater impact on Scouting!
Each company has its own guidelines for employees, spouses, retirees, and widows/widowers. Most corporate procedures are very simple:
- Request a Matching Form from your company, usually HR or payroll.
- Complete and submit the form to Three Fires Council with your gift.
- Three Fires Council will verify the completed form and return it to the company.
- The company issues a matching gift contribution to Three Fires Council.
Click here for a list of Matching Gift Companies. Please check with your companies HR Department if they are not listed here. Let us know if we should add your company.
For more information on matching gifts please contact Eric McFee by clicking here.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2016
SAVE THE DATE
SPORTING CLAYS CLASSIC
The Sporting Clays Classic is an
exceptional shooting event. Proceeds from
this event will be used to further the impact
of Scouting currently has on our
Where: Max Mcgraw Wildlife Foundation
14n322 Il Route 25
All Proceeds Benefit Scouting
For more information contact:
Eric McFee at 630-584-9250 or by email
FISCAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR BSA UNITS - Frequently Asked Questions
Printable Version - Fiscal Policies & Procedures
Should our unit have a checking or savings account?
Yes. Unit funds should be deposited in a checking or savings account that requires two signatures on every check or withdrawal. The unit leader could be one of the signees, but it is recommended it be a committee person. It could be that the unit leaders have a petty cash fund (with the limit set by the committee) that is accounted for with receipts each month.
Does a pack or troop need its own tax identification number? If so, where do we get it?
All units need a tax ID number (also referred to as an “EIN”—Employer Identification Number). Units should NOT use the Social Security number of an adult leader. If they do, the IRS will attribute all banking transactions, unit purchases, etc., to that leader as an individual. Units may use the tax ID number of their chartered organization, if given permission. This may be especially useful for the unit if that organization is tax-exempt. Most units obtain their own tax ID number by completing IRS Form SS-4. There is no fee involved. The current form and instructions are available on the IRS website (www.irs.gov). Also, the IRS now allows you to provide the information over the phone and immediately receive a unit EIN. The IRS phone number is 800-829-4933.
Who is responsible for the finances of the unit?
The unit committee is responsible for the unit’s finances. A treasurer is assigned and the committee chair should receive the bank statement for monthly reconciliation. All unit funds should pass through the bank account; this includes but is not limited to dues, money from unit fundraisers, product sales, and gifts. An exception might be registration fees that are collected as part of an organized School Night program. In this case, fees are collected by district/council representatives and are transmitted to the Scout service center.
Should our unit consider insuring our unit equipment?
Yes. It is suggested that your unit insure its equipment. Remember, the chartered organization owns the unit, and all funds used by the unit remain the responsibility of the chartered organization as long as the charter issued by the BSA remains in place. It is recommended that an inventory of the unit’s equipment be given annually to the chartered organization, and needs for insurance coverage discussed at that time. Frequently, unit equipment can be added to an existing policy of the chartered organization at minimal cost.
Can our unit deposit funds with the local council?
Yes. Most councils allow units to deposit funds to their credit in the council service center, thus making it convenient for units to make purchases without sending cash. A “unit account” is established for each unit that deposits funds with the council. At a minimum—at least annually— the council should provide a detailed statement of activities of your unit account for your unit to review.
What happens to the unit funds and equipment should the unit dissolve?
In the event of the dissolution of a unit or the revocation or lapse of its charter, the unit committee shall apply unit funds and property to the payment of unit obligations and shall turn over the surplus, if any, to the local council. In the case of a chartered organization, any funds or equipment that may have been secured as property of the unit shall be held in trust by the chartered organization or the council, as may be agreed upon, pending reorganization of the unit or for the promotion of the program of the Boy Scouts of America.
When should our unit submit a BSA Unit Money-Earning Application?
For all unit fundraising. All unit money-earning projects must be approved in advance by using the BSA’s Unit Money-Earning Application. Approval must be made by the chartered organization and the local council.
Is our pack or troop considered tax-exempt by the IRS?
That depends on who charters your unit. The only time a unit can be considered “tax-exempt” is if its chartered organization is also tax-exempt and includes the unit. The BSA National Council grants a charter to religious organizations, service clubs, businesses, and others who want to charter a Scout unit. A unit is actually “owned” by its chartered organization. Chartered organizations vary widely in tax status.
What is IRS Form 990-N and does our unit need to file one annually with the IRS?
Form 990-N is an abbreviated filing for small tax-exempt organizations with annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less. The BSA national office consulted with the IRS and outside counsel about whether this filing requirement applies to Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews, and other units. In their opinion, most Scout units do not have to file Form 990-N. For most units, no filing is required. The only exception is for the very small number of units that have filed for separate, federal tax exempt status under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Those units must file either Form 990-N (if their annual gross receipts were $50,000 or less) or the more detailed Form 990 or 990EZ (if annual gross receipts were more than $50,000).
Can our pack or troop be covered under the BSA’s group exemption?
No. The IRS allows only local councils (and council trust funds) to be included under the BSA group exemption. Packs, troops, and other Scout units cannot be included under the BSA group exemption because they “belong” to their chartered organization. (Note: Tax issues for Girl Scout troops are handled differently by the IRS because of how Girl Scout cookie sales are structured.)
IRS Form SS-4 asks for a “GEN.” What is that, and do we have one?
The “GEN” is the Group Exemption Number for the BSA. As discussed, only councils are covered under the BSA group exemption. Units cannot use this number. However, once your unit receives an EIN, the unit may still qualify for a number of state and sales tax exemptions as a nonprofit organization under your state laws. Check with your state; this varies widely across the country.
A volunteer suggested that our unit apply for its own tax-exempt status. Can we?
Units should not incorporate or apply for their own tax-exempt status. For one thing, units are not legal entities. Even if they were, this is an expensive and time-consuming process. Units are only permitted to raise funds through approved unit money-earning projects. Units could lose their charter if they tried to get their own tax-exempt status and solicit tax-deductible gifts.
We can’t solicit gifts for our unit?
No. Simply put, units are not permitted to solicit any gifts. Both the Charter and Bylaws and the Rules and Regulations of the BSA make this very clear; only local councils may solicit individuals, corporations, United Ways, or foundations for gifts in support of Scouting. Units, unit leaders, and youth members may not solicit gifts in the name of Scouting or in support of unit needs and activities (except in unusual circumstances where the unit has received permission to do so from the local council). Units are also prohibited from soliciting gifts on their websites.
Does that mean people can’t make gifts to our troop?
Units are not supposed to solicit gifts, but they can receive gifts. Anyone can contribute to a Scout pack, troop, or unit—and many donors don’t need or care about charitable deductions. Obviously, defining a “solicited gift” is not always easy. But we rely on our unit leaders to set good examples and honor the intent and spirit of these important guidelines. We know it’s hard to stop people from being generous, especially toward Scouting.
Can gifts go to the local council to benefit our unit, then “pass through” the council to us?
No. Your unit “belongs” to your chartered organization, not to your local council. IRS guidelines prohibit any charity from accepting gifts that are “passed through” to a person or unrelated entity. A council could accept a gift in the name of your unit and hold it in a unit account. The unit could then “draw down” on the account for camp fees, uniform and supply needs, etc. (This is how colleges handle student scholarships.) But be sure to first ask your local council if it has the staff and time to do this. This is entirely the council’s decision. A council accepting a gift in the name of the unit does not necessarily extend tax benefits to the donor.
My local company has employee volunteerism grants and will contribute to charities where I volunteer my time. Can these gifts go to our unit?
Employee incentive awards and volunteerism grants usually cannot go to a pack, troop, or unit due to the company’s giving restrictions. Corporate donations often can go only to charities that are “501(c) (3) charities,” and many units are not chartered by tax-exempt charities. Also, many companies won’t make gifts to religious organizations. If a unit is “tax-exempt,” it’s often because it’s chartered to a church, synagogue, etc., so it couldn’t receive corporate funds either. Of course, corporate awards and grants may go to any local council for use at the discretion of the council.
Can my unit credit amounts from fundraising to an individual toward their expenses?
No. The IRS has stated that crediting fundraising amounts constitutes private benefit. However, the unit could use the funds (all or a percentage) raised to reduce or eliminate dues and various registration fees, purchase uniforms and Scouting books, and purchase camping equipment. The unit could also use its funds to provide assistance to individual Scouts in cases of financial hardship.
Are purchases by my unit exempt from sales and use tax?
State and local laws vary widely on this topic. The unit may qualify for a number of state and sales tax exemptions as a nonprofit organization under your state laws. Check with the state where you are making the purchase; this varies widely across the country. In some cases, the council may be issued certificates of sales tax exemption; others require only that verbal verification be made to the merchant at the time of purchase that the purchases will be used to benefit the programs of Scouting, while still others allow no exemptions for any not-for-profits.
Questions? Need more information? Please contact your local council. Thank you for all you do for Scouting and the youth in your community.
Unit Money-Earning Application Form - This form is required BEFORE your unit has a fundraising activity.
Specific Instructions for Units (Packs, Troops, Posts) to Complete IRS Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN) IRS Form SS-4
The Current IRS Form SS-4 must be carefully completed to meet BSA requirements. This procedure is necessary because 1) some chartered organizations do not have an EIN or will not permit units to use their number, and 2) financial institutions require an EIN or Social Security number for all interest-earning accounts and checking accounts. If a unit does not have its own EIN, all financial transactions are attributed to the individual unit leader who provided his or her Social Security number.
There are many ways you can help Scouting in Three Fires Council. This page contain a list of items that our council could use to help better our Scouting program for the youth that we serve.
Help Out Our Camps!
There are many ways to help out our camps while helping the Scouts save on their operating budget.
Gifts-in-kind is a simple concept whereby the Boy Scouts accept the donation of a product that it would normally have purchased through its annual operating budget. The key is that the donated product meets the specifications of what would have been purchased; making the item donated a “budget relief” for the council.
Specific project support is a concept whereby the Boy Scouts account and credit specific costs related to a particular program or activity from the operating budget. The costs are separated and written up as a “project” so that the potential donor knows exactly what he or she is supporting financially. This is an excellent way to match donor interests with specific budgetary expenses that are already a part of the council’s operating budget.
If you would like to support in one of these ways please check out our Program Support Brochure.
The Memorial/Tribute Fund of Three Fires Council is a way to recognize the Scouting experiences of a deceased Scout or Scouter.
MEMORIALS and OTHER DESIGNATIONS
The following are New Memorials/In Honor of/In Celebration of the following:
IN MEMORY of Suzette Heinze
FROM: Richard & Rebecca Stewart
IN MEMORY of Harlan Wolfe
Auroraland Auto Restorers Club
Mary & Lewis Heap
George & Elaine Hettrich
Robert & Shirley LeClercq
William & Jean Prince
Richard & Rebecca Stewart
Paul and Demaris NcNabb
IN MEMORY of Jerry Gardner
FROM: Margaret Gardner
IN MEMORY of Daniel Heidenrieich
FROM: Nicholas & Claire Proce
IN MEMORY of Phyllis Davison
FROM: Karen & Lawrence Hamilton
IN HONOR of Nicholas Dzierzanowski
FROM: Janet Hodyl
IN MEMORY of Robert Holmes
P2ES Holdings Inc
IN MEMORY of Richard McCann
Dennis and Joan Cook
IN MEMORY of Ryan Mademann
Randall and Lynda Kaehr
IN MEMORY of James Littrell
Charles and Marlene Dahlquist
IN MEMORY of Bob Holmes
Jeffrey & Debra Mengler
Frank and Patricia Butler
Lila GrantRebecca Griffith
Julie and Shawn Glanville
IN HONOR OF Aaron John Sebonia
FROM: Philip Lahey
IN MEMORY of Jim Heirty
Leslie & Joan Kopecky
Mrs. Evelyn Berleman
Robert & Lois Stoker
Edward & Marilyn Einbeck
Diana & Donald Jarmacz
Kevin & Judith Pearl
Charles & Linda Dippold
James & Katherine Hamann
Neil & Marla Quick
Alexander & Lauretta Schneider
Gerald & Rita Spearman
IN MEMORY of Kevin Grieco
Chanonee Troop 33
Dudley Nosworthy II
Knights of Columbus
Christopher Burke Engineering, LTD
Charles & Betty Parisi
Joseph & Lynn Kadolph
Markham Memorial VFW, Ladies Aux 9801
Chanonee Troop 23
2-122 FA Soldiers Fund
Herbert & Kelley Pysarenko
Larry & Sandy Jolly
John & Patricia Bomher
John Grieco, Jr. & Dorothy Key
American Legion #1084
Real Information on Real Estate Gifts
Let the Land do the Work
Land ownership has always been part of the American Dream. On farms across the country, the hope was to work the land and prosper. Now, working the land may mean developing it or renting it or simply holding it, but the popularity of real estate as an investment asset remains high. Land and its improvements account for 30-40% of the average individual’s net worth.
Real estate as an investment asset
Like other assets, people usually invest in real estate expecting growth, income or some combination of the two. Land can be an outstanding growth investment, steadily increasing in value over time. In fact, it may be the most highly appreciated asset that many people own. Unfortunately, that appreciation can create problems if the owner decides to sell the land or give it to a family member.
Land can be an excellent income investment, too. Sometimes, however, income expectations from rental or farm properties can be frustrated by the costs associated with ownership (such as taxes, insurance and maintenance).
Unique benefits from charitable giving
For some, an investment in real estate may have outlived its usefulness. A gift to the Boy Scouts might provide relief from management burdens and a welcome tax deduction for the property’s fair market value. In addition, the gift can usually be structured to create an income stream for the donor or members of her family.
Ways to Make a Real Estate Gift
An outright gift of real property generates a charitable income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the property. The gift also removes the property from your estate and, where appreciated property is gifted, generally avoids capital gains tax.
Timing can be important in real estate gifts. Retaining a life estate allows you to finalize the gift but keep the use of your property for the rest of your life. Though the council has no right to use or possess the property until after your lifetime, you receive an immediate income tax deduction for part of the property’s value.
Wills and Bequests
Another way to make sure you have the property if you still need it is to simply make a specific bequest in a will or codicil. This doesn’t provide any current income tax benefits, but such a gift can help with estate taxes by removing the property from your probate estate at death. Meanwhile, you can still use the property during your life.
Gift Sale or Bargain Sale
It’s possible to give a partial interest in land instead of donating the entire property. When the property is sold, the proceeds are distributed accordingly. This type of transaction is called a “gift sale.”
A bargain sale might be another option: selling the property to the council for less than its fair market value. This kind of transaction is part sale and part gift. The council gets a good deal; the donor gets sale proceeds and a tax deduction for the difference between the sale price and the property’s value.
Charitable Remainder Trust
These can be one of the best vehicles for gifts of real estate. If the property is income-producing, a charitable remainder unitrust can pay out the income earnings from the property to the income beneficiaries of the trust. If the property is not income producing (such as undeveloped land, or a vacation home), then the trust can sell the property and invest the proceeds in something that generates income.
What Kinds of Real Property Might be Contributed?
A Personal Residence
Homes are the most common type of real estate, although not necessarily the most valuable. When a home is no longer needed, or if it is needed only for a limited duration, a residence may then be an appropriate gift.
A Vacation Home
As time passes, many people discover that a family vacation home is no longer used, because the family has grown or the location is no longer convenient.
Potentially the most valuable real estate, commercial property raises complex issues. Environmental concerns, limited marketability, and sources of financing may be associated with the property. Nonetheless, commercial property generally produces income, which may eliminate the need to immediately sell the property to create an income stream.
Raw land may be an appropriate gift to the council, particularly if it has development potential. Developable raw land includes:
Farmland– which may not have immediate development potential, and may have a narrow market and/or zoning restrictions. Nonetheless, farmland remains attractive as a charitable gift, since its value is based on its existing use and not on a future change in status.
Undeveloped Commercial Property – which may be donated to the council at any stage: from agriculture, to groundbreaking, to fully developed and ready to lease. The issues at each stage are complex, both to the council and to donors, and competent legal counsel should be consulted.
Issues to Consider
Environmental Issues: Should be identified and addressed before a gift is made or accepted.
Marketability Issues: Must be considered, particularly if the donor is interested in an income stream. To generate the income, the property generally must be sold fairly soon after the gift is accepted.
Valuation Issues: Must be resolved to ensure that the deduction is upheld. Be sure you know the property’s appraised value, and your basis in the property.
Mortgaged Property: Generally does not make a good gift. The charitable tax deduction is reduced by the mortgage amount and the donor is treated as having taken an equivalent amount into income, no matter who is responsible for the debt.
For More Information
Thank you for your interest and continuing support of Scouting. We would be pleased to visit with you or your advisors about gifts of real estate or other gift ideas. You may also want more information about what Scouting and your local council is doing for our youth and community. Feel free to contact us as follows:
Three Fires Council
415 N. Second Street
St. Charles, IL 60174
Neither the author nor this organization is engaged in rendering legal or tax advice. Rather, this publication is intended to provide only information of a general character. Both state and federal laws may apply in certain situations, and may change periodically. For advice in specific cases, the services of an attorney or other professional advisor should be obtained.