The Boy Scouts of America, and Seneca Waterways Council are considered non-profit organizations for tax purposes by the IRS and New York State.  Individual Units are not considered non-profit organizations.  If a Unit needs a 501(c)3 letter stating an organization’s non-profit status, that request can only be made if the chartered organization of the Unit is a 501(c)3 organization.  Units which require a New York Sales Tax Exemption Certificate for the purpose of purchasing Unit materials and supplies may obtain a certificate from the Council Service Centers.


  1. Unit funds must be deposited in a checking account requiring 2 signatures on every check.
    1. Family members cannot approve payment or be second signature.
    2. Unit leaders can be one of the signees (but it is recommended it be a committee person).
    3. Financial institutions, including banks and savings banks, will require an employer identification number on all accounts (same as Social Security Number); therefore, Units should use the number of their chartered organization or make application using IRS Form SS4, Application for Employer Identification Number.  The tax-exempt status of Units is consistent with the tax-exempt status of the Chartered Organization.  Form SS4 is available online at www.irs.gov.
  2. Finance is the Unit Committee’s responsibility.  A Treasurer is assigned and the Committee Chairperson should receive the bank statement to reconcile.  All money received by the Unit runs through the Unit’s checking account.  
  3. All Unit money-raising projects must be approved in advance by using BSA form Unit Money-Earning Application. (Form # 4427)
  4. The Chartered Organization should audit the Unit finances annually and make this data available to its membership (part of the Chartered Organization responsibility is to oversee the Unit’s finances).  Chartered Organizations are required to report the Unit’s available funds on their tax documents.
  5. It is recommended that the Unit leader have a petty cash fund (the limit set by the Unit Committee).
  6. All Unit funds (including Den & Patrol) must pass through the bank account; this includes, but is not limited to dues, fundraising, sales, and gifts.


The Charter Organization and the District Executive must approve Unit money-earning projects.  Units complete the Unit Money Earning Application No. 4427.
Fundraising projects must be consistent with the principles of the Boy Scouts of America.
Youth members may wear the uniform when engaged in the popcorn fundraising project.  The use of uniformed Scouts in any other advertising of a commercial product or business is not permitted.
Only the National Council can authorize use of insignia, words, phrases, designation marks, pictorial representation and descriptive remarks on commercial products.
Adult leaders or youth members may not solicit contributions for Units; though contributions can be accepted if offered.
Raffles and activities of a gambling nature are not permitted.
Units or local Councils may not endorse a commercial product, with the exception of the approved Council fundraising popcorn product.
Names of members and local Council name are not to be used for commercial purposes.
Units are not recognized by the IRS as a charitable organization under the 501(c)3 code.  This means individuals cannot deduct contributions made to Units; however gifts to sponsoring organizations for a Unit may be deductible depending on the tax status of the sponsoring organizations