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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

The way that a District chooses to finance its Scout Network provision is very much a decision made locally. However, there are a number of rules, which must be adhered to, and which you can find in POR chapter 5.

Responsibility for the finance of Scout Network lies with the District Trustee Board. The District Trustee Board should bear in mind the principle of ‘free to join’ and ‘pay to play’. That is to say, local fees if any should not be a burden.

The District Scout Network will require support for the implementation of the programme and will need sufficient funds. As there is no one specific model for the set-up of District Scout Networks it's not possible to detail how these finances will be spent. When setting an annual budget, it's suggested that the following is taken into consideration as a minimum:

•    Activities
•    County and District levy (if any – bearing in mind the ‘free to join’ and ‘pay to play’ approach)
•    Printing and stationery
•    Postage and telephone
•    Programme Coordinators costs
•    Travel costs
•    Badges and Awards
•    Publications
•    Adult Training
•    Insurance
•    Equipment

It's appreciated that the above items may constitute a considerable sum. The District Trustee Board must decide whether members pay by way of a membership fee or whether these costs are met from District resources. Alternatively, bearing in mind that many Scout Network members will already be adult volunteers giving services to Scouting, perhaps local fees should be waived. Certainly, Scout Network Members should not be double counted which could lead to fees being paid twice. It should be recognised that setting a budget for a section is not an exact science. There should also be sufficient leeway in the budget process to allow for contingencies.

Legacy Finances

We’re conscious that some Districts and Counties will be wondering how to deal with legacy finance matters relating to Scout Networks. The following guidance has been prepared:
Depending on how Scout Network is currently organised locally, funds and property may be currently held at District or County level. Funds and property form part of the overall assets of the District or County, with overall responsibility sitting with the relevant Trustee Board.
This is a good opportunity to ensure that finances and assets are being appropriately managed.

For District Trustee Boards

Where Scout Network is already managed as part of the District, ensure that any existing Scout Network finances are being appropriately managed. This includes ensuring Scout Network finances are reported as part of the overall financial position of the District.

For County Trustee Boards

Where Scout Network is currently managed as part of the County, ensure that all Scout Network finances are appropriately recorded and managed.

A decision will need to be made in consultation with the existing Scout Network regarding the future use of funds held by Counties. Some may choose to use these funds to assist in establishing District Scout Networks whilst others may choose to use them to develop County projects that can be made available to Members of all District Scout Networks in the County.

The expectation is that funds accumulated by or held by Scout Networks are continued to be used for the benefit of the Section, however local decisions may be required around the allocation of funding. The relevant Trustee Board is accountable for any decisions regarding the allocation of legacy funding.

No, the District Scout Network cannot apply for a start-up grant at this time.

Yes, but such accounts should be audited by the District. See more information in finances and insurance.

Yes, but you will have to apply through Scout District. See our information on Grants.

Yes, however with the ‘free to join’ model that is being implemented, Districts should think carefully about the extent to which they may wish to apply a local fee, bearing in mind that many Scout Network members will also be giving service to Scouting as adult volunteers.

Read more about UK Headquarters membership fee.


These pages are intended to assist you in finding the resources that you need. There will also be clarification of a number of technical issues which are frequently queried by members.

Learn more about finance