Girl Scout cookies, Cub Scout popcorn, and Boy Scout grinders

What do these all programs have in common? They are all major fundraisers, as well as major sources of funds.

All three programs generate significant cash sales each year at the local, state and national levels. Handling and tracking the collected cash is always subject to volunteers, with the risk they may have sticky fingers.
Proper controls are not difficult to implement in any group, organization or business. Using local Girl Scout or Boy Scout troops as an example, two individuals should be assigned the responsibility to track, collect, deposit and report all the proceeds generated from any fund raising event, even the Saturday car washes. Develop a simple form to be completed and submitted along with the deposit slips and require both people to sign the form. For the regular treasurer functions, have one person write the checks and the leader sign them. Have two people from the troop review the bank statements. Require regular financial reports (at every meeting).

I have seen so many local clubs and groups in the news because of a theft, including Little Leagues, Cup Scout dens, school clubs, class trip fundraisers and my volunteer ambulance associations (to name a few).

Today’s featured story:

Farmington (MI) police probe Cub Scout embezzlement case

By Sue Buck – Observer staff writer – October 22, 2008

The Farmington Public Safety Department is investigating an alleged embezzlement case involving the Cub Scout Pack #45. Police are looking at three years of financial reports handled by its treasurer, and investigating missing funds totaling $7,200.

The pack of 6 to 11-year-old boys meets at Longacre Elementary School in Farmington. Committee chair Michelle Riehl said the police have advised pack leaders not to discuss the specifics of the case during the investigation. Riehl said Wednesday the pack will continue to function. “We will get by this year,” she said.

Pack representatives filed a report on Oct. 17 at the police station. They told police that the treasurer refused to provide financial and treasury reports since late 2007.

The woman, who will not be named until she’s been arraigned, accepted responsibility for her actions, saying that she converted the funds for her own use and expenses because she needed the money, due to her husband being out of work, according to the police report.

She told pack leaders she would pay the money back when she had the money to do so, but she didn’t know how soon that would be.

Farmington Public Safety Director Chuck Nebus said he expects the investigation will take several days, because there are months of records to review before a warrant can be requested. Nebus pointed out that the suspect is cooperating with the investigation and has no prior criminal history.