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What Do I Need To Do as the Treasurer of an All-Volunteer Organization?

The full scope of the role of the treasurer of a non-profit organization is not always apparent to a newly appointed volunteer board member. Individuals are often asked to serve their organization with no prior experience as a treasurer, and while the tasks of maintaining the group’s checking account and reporting account balances to the board are certainly primary, there are other responsibilities that profoundly impact your organization’s mission and members.

Guidelines found in the blog posts, What is the Role of the Treasurer? , I’m a Volunteer Treasurer, what now?, and Duties of the Treasurer of a Nonprofit Corporation are good resources. An excellent summary of the treasurer role can be found in Treasurers of All-Volunteer Organizations: Eight Key Responsibilities, and important advice is given in Bookkeeping Mistakes To Look Out For, and Day 6: Find Your Successor.

Lacking, however, is the emphasis upon the role of the treasurer as opposed to the treasurer the individual; realizing that volunteering as the treasurer is not forever and that the individual is but a transient caretaker of the role that will live on after one's tenure. A great treasurer will strengthen the financial systems of an organization, leaving a structure that is less dependent upon any single individual volunteer and maintaining continuity as the other individuals pass through the role.

The result of this orderliness is a reduced burden on subsequent volunteers and the organization.