Section 16: Guidelines for Club Treasurer

Guidelines for 4-H Club Treasurer

• The appropriate procedure for managing the club's financial resources is for the Budget and Finance Committee to prepare an annual budget and for the 4-H Club membership to approve the budget.
• After a club officer election is held, the club leader should notify the parents/guardians of the 4-H member elected as the club treasurer and encourage them to support their son/daughter and help provide guidance for the position.
• All financial transactions of the club must go through the club treasurer so that income and disbursements can be posted to the club's records. All disbursements must be backed up by signed vouchers on file. These vouchers should be signed by the Treasurer and supported by receipts or invoices.
• It is the duty of the club president to see that the Budget and Finance Committee and the Auditing Committee are elected or appointed, as prescribed by club policy. The club treasurer should be a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, but not of the Auditing Committee.
• A 4-H club with more than $100 in its treasury must use a bank checking account. Do not deposit club funds into a member's or leader's personal account. Bank signature cards shall be set up to authorize the club adult leader and at least one other unrelated adult involved with the club. The 4-H Extension Educator must be an authorized signer on all 4-H Club accounts. Two signatures shall be required on all checks. The Club Treasurer shall approve all expenditure vouchers prior to checks being prepared and signed. If the bank still allows for youth signatures, the 4-H club treasurer may be on the bank signature card.
• All money and property given or raised in the name of 4-H or in support of the 4-H programs are assets of the Pennsylvania State University. In the event the club dissolves or the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is terminated, all assets will revert to the University to be used for local 4-H educational programming. All bank accounts in the club's name must be closed at the time the club disbands. Funds are never to be dispersed to individual club members, as the funds were received in the name of 4-H. All other property belonging to the club must be returned to the county/district extension office.
• Keep all club treasurer's records, including checks, canceled checks, bank statements, and receipts in a box or large folder that can be handed to the new club treasurer. Records from the past three years plus the current year should be kept.

Purpose of 4-H Club Fundraising

If a 4-H club is going to engage in fundraising, it is to be done for a specific educational program or activity. The fundraising activity is to be developed as an educational experience for members.
Through raising and spending funds, 4-H members learn:
• to handle and account for funds,
• to plan and carry out a money-raising activity,
• to support other club members and the community, and
• to work as a team member and develop self-reliance.
Fundraising is not a 4-H group's major objective. Individual 4-H clubs have no need for a large treasury. Funds are to be raised for specific purposes, including community service projects and assisting youth who do not have resources to participate without financial help. Fundraising by a club is to be confined to the county or community, and any fundraising activity must be preapproved
by the county/district extension office. 4-H Clubs may only conduct fundraising
included on the “Approved “4-H Fundraising Events/Activities” list in VIP Fact Sheet 6 (p. 6-6). Fundraisers not on the list will not be approved.
Fundraising events should be selected by vote of the club membership. The club treasurer is not the sole individual responsible for raising the funds needed by the club. It is the responsibility of the total membership.
The “4-H Fundraising Request Form” is available in the Treasurer’s Guide on page 11, on the Pennsylvania 4-H website ( or by contacting the Extension Office.

Tax Exempt Status of 4-H Organizations

4-H clubs and affiliate 4-H organizations receive their tax status through Penn State University. Therefore, 4-H clubs and affiliated organizations must submit the 4-H Clubs and Affiliate Organizations Annual Financial Report (based on a calendar year) to the Penn State Extension office and have a current Memorandum, of Understanding (MOU) on file. Without these documents on file the club or organization may not use the 4-H name and emblem and are not tax exempt. Please see page 16-5 to 16-7 for a copy of this form due to your county/district office by January 31 each year.

Penn State Policy- Annual Audit

4-H club/group accounts are to be audited annually as described in the treasurer's book and the report provided to the extension office. Audits should occur at the close of the fiscal year (December 31) and at any other time during the year when the treasury changes hands.

Federal Income Tax

• 4-H clubs are exempt from paying Federal income tax.
• Contributions by individuals to 4-H clubs may be tax deductible. Individuals should consult with their tax preparer.
• 4-H volunteers who itemize their federal tax deductions may deduct qualifying out-of-pocket expenses incurred while doing 4-H work. Qualifying expenses include direct gifts of money, automobile mileage and expenses, telephone bills, and costs of meals and lodging if away overnight. Volunteers may not deduct the value of volunteer time donated, dependent care expenses, their own meals (unless away overnight), and their own entertainment. Volunteers must keep records of qualifying out-of-pocket expenses. Record the date and nature of the expense, as well as the amount. Individuals should consult with their tax preparer.

Applying for an Employer Identification Number for a 4-H Club

Every 4-H club that has a checking or savings account is required to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). 4-H clubs with money in a bank need to apply for an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service. This number will be used for banking purposes only. 
Please consult with your Extension Educator when applying for an EIN Number. To obtain an EIN, you must complete an SS-4 paper form, which is available from your county Extension Educator. DO NOT use the online EIN application process for 4-H club accounts. The county Extension Office address should be used on all forms.

Pennsylvania Sales Tax for purchasing 4-H Club Supplies

4-H clubs are exempt from paying a sales tax on items purchased for use by the club. The PA Exemption Form is available from the PA Department of Revenue website or by contacting the Extension Office. Please see the sample form for details on completing with 4-H Club information. Note: Some vendors may require you to fill out a form on location. If so, please use the information including the name identified as Penn State Extension-Name of 4-H Club and the tax ID number on the sample form.

Pennsylvania Sales Tax for 4-H Club Fundraisers

4-H clubs are not automatically exempt from collecting and paying Pennsylvania sales tax on items sold as fundraisers. Sales tax must be collected on items sold that are not exempt by sales tax law--whether or not the selling vendor is profit or nonprofit. If your club chooses to sell an
item that is not exempt from sales tax (e.g., Christmas trees), you must obtain a temporary (90- day duration) sales tax license from the Commonwealth at no charge.
For more information regarding sales tax, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue at (717) 787-1064. More details about Pennsylvania’s sales tax may also be found online at

Best Practices for 4-H Club Fundraisers

 1. If supply items will be purchased to conduct the event/activity, payment should be made with a club check rather than reimbursing individuals for items. If an expense is reimbursed, payment must be made using a club check. A voucher with attached receipts is required for all checks.
2. Cash and check receipts (income) should be counted by at least two people. A copy of the income sheet should be signed by both individuals.
3. Deposits should be made ASAP following the event. If you anticipate a large amounts of cash, please work with your bank to obtain a night deposit bag so that the receipts can be deposited at the bank rather than going to an individual’s home.
4. Provide a detailed fundraising report at the club meetings.

For samples & financial document templates, please see the PDF published below.

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Section 16: Guidelines for Club Treasurer


V.I.P. Facts 16

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