This morning I found an article on Blue Avocado, a nonprofit online magazine for community nonprofits, about the key responsibilities of a volunteer treasurer. Volunteers often find themselves in the treasurer role at their Club or Association because they are an accountant, bank manager, or maybe they just have a reputation for honesty (always a good reputation to have!). Even as a professional who volunteers in this position, it may be unclear what the volunteer is responsible for in the organization or what the organization expectation is for financial oversight. I thought the Blue Avocado article did a great job of presenting a clear overview of a volunteer treasurer’s responsibilities and I wanted to share and discuss with you here.
The first and last responsibilities on the list in the article are perhaps the most important: #1 – Handle the money with high standards and set a tone of integrity, and #8 – Recruit the next treasurer. The treasurer of a volunteer organization should always set the standard for sound financial practices and accountability of proper budgeting; part of that standard is ensuring that your organization is effectively transitioning the current board member out of their position while giving the new treasurer time to learn to keep the organization on a steady financial course.
Members of the organization and the board of directors can also help the treasurer fulfill their duties by involving the treasurer in the business decisions of the Club or Association. If your Club is thinking of holding a fundraiser, make sure to consult with the treasurer to find out what kind of financial controls to implement as part of the event process, such as how to handle concession money or when receipts must be given to customers. If you are the outgoing treasurer, reach out to the new treasurer to provide background on the status of tax returns, bank accounts, and other controls that currently exist – you might even give the incoming treasurer tips on common questions from board members and what reports at the monthly meeting consist of.
Take a look at all eight responsibilities and think about what your organization values in a treasurer. What other responsibilities of a Club or Association treasurer would your organization add to the list? How have you transitioned treasurers in and out of their board positions and what are your other board members doing to support your treasurer?