4-H financial manuals: A great resource for volunteers and treasurers managing funds

The newly revised 4-H financial manuals support good financial practices to protect 4-H public funds and the reputation of volunteers, members and the 4-H organization.

Michigan 4-H volunteers and treasures have an important resource to help them in their role when managing 4-H money. Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development has a newly revised “Financial Manual for 4-H Volunteers: Leading the Way to Financial Accountability” as a tool to help volunteers achieve success as role models for sound money management behaviors for 4-H groups. For 4-H treasurers, youth or adult, “Financial Manual for 4-H Treasurers: Managing Money Wisely” provides tools for day-to-day financial practices.

These resources are helpful for 4-H volunteers and treasurers because being good stewards of 4-H funds is an important part of these roles. When 4-H groups choose to have group dues, hold fundraisers, take donations or receive grant funds, they have responsibility for those funds and must demonstrate accountability and transparency with those funds.

4-H is a public entity and, therefore, 4-H funds are public funds. The public expects a higher standard of financial accountability for 4-H funds than they do for a private individual. The money is “owned” by the entire group, not by any one individual in the group. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and MSU also require 4-H staff have oversight of 4-H financial business. The 4-H financial manuals help clarify expectations, provide examples and support 4-H volunteers and treasurers in managing funds in ways that are publicly responsible.

Most importantly, 4-H wants to protect the reputation of its wonderful members, dedicated volunteers and the organization as whole. Good financial practices protect us all! Utilizing the manuals will help the group achieve success and learn valuable life skills in the process.

For more ideas on sound financial practices, Michigan 4-H provides resources on youth money management. Local 4-H staff can also assist 4-H volunteers and treasurers in understanding the policies and procedures and establishing solid practices in their 4-H group.

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