Finance - New Group Guidance Sheet

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This guidance forms part of the New Group Journey resource.

You can download the information as a word document in the attachment below, or download the whole pack from the new group journey summary page. 

Open group bank account

  • As soon as two of your group leaders have completed the membership process, complete a new group registration form (see ‘Being part of the Folk’ for further guidance on group registration).

  • Once you are registered, apply to open a Co-operative bank account. Contact Folk office who will send you a letter verifying the group. Use this to support your bank account application. You need at least two signatories to open a bank account, but it will be easier for you to manage your account if four of you are signatories. You should set up your group or district bank account with safeguards in place, such as having two (unrelated) people to sign a cheque or approve a transaction. See guidance on setting up a Co-op bank account.

Agree setup plan and budget

Your treasurer will have to keep accurate records of income and expenditure, and submit a financial return each year, but it is important that everyone shares responsibility for financial decision making and planning from the start.

You will have to factor in group registration fees into your budgeting. You don’t have to pay this for the first six months of your group, but after that there is an annual fee of £125 plus £12.50 for each child in the group. For more details, visit:

  • Agree a budget together. Review it at the start of each term so you know how much money you can spend on materials for example.  

  • Agree a system for claiming expenses, and for taking and recording subs. Ensure everyone understands this.

  • Once your group is running, ensure all spending is agreed democratically, and everyone knows how to claim money back.

Here are a couple of key finance resources:

Raise funds to support your group

Grant applications - There is support online to help you with external funding applications:

Gift Aid - Any donations you receive can be increased by ¼ if the donor is a UK taxpayer and fills out a short gift aid form. In many cases you can claim Gift Aid on money paid by parents/carers - this is explained fully in our Webinar on Gift Aid:

Fundraising events - Sponsored walks, baking sales, jumble sales. These can be a fun way to involve everyone in raising money and it can also help raise your profile in the local community. You could split funds raised between the group and another charity.

  • Apply for external funding such as national lottery grants eg. Awards for All.

  • Ask your local council or CVS about local grant funds targeted at your community.

  • Find out about gift aid and use it in your group.

  • Don’t forget you can also run events to fundraise for your group.

Submitting an annual Financial return

Every year the Woodcraft Folk has to submit its accounts to the Charity Commission for

approval. As we’re all one charity your group will need to provide financial information for the previous year (if applicable).  

Toward the end of each year financial return forms are sent out by email to Group or District Treasurers. Your group will be required to complete and return a financial statement for the period of 1st January – 31st December of the previous year.  If your group has only been open for a small part of the previous year you are still required to provide this information. The financial return will need to be returned to Folk Office by the deadline specified on the forms along with a copy of the group’s bank statement (if applicable) showing the closing balance for the year.  

Blank financial forms are available at:  

If you’re group does not return their financial statement to Folk Office by the deadline this may

delay the organisation in getting the charities accounts accepted by the auditors.

Folk Office and volunteers are on hand to support new groups with producing their first financial return. Any questions can be sent to

A similar annual process happens with group registration and fees. See the ‘Being part of the Folk’ guidance sheet for more information.

Take out insurance

Equipment - as a new Woodcraft Folk group you may at some point consider purchasing some larger items such as tents, marquees, camping equipment, parachutes etc. These items should be insured against things like damage and theft.

Woodcraft Folk offers all groups the opportunity to join the national policy and insure their equipment. The current cost of insuring equipment for groups is £10 per every £1000 worth of equipment plus a 10% admin fee. The policy is renewed every year in March. Invoices are prepared and sent out to Group & District Treasurers in April.

If you would like to insure your equipment with woodcraft Folk or have any questions contact

Public liability - all registered Woodcraft Folk groups are covered by our Public liability insurance. We have £5MIL worth of public liability cover. This insures all Woodcraft Folk activities and any third party claims that can be made (theft, damage, personal injury etc).

As a new group you may require a copy of this certificate to present to your group’s venue, external event coordinators and for booking campsites. A copy of our public liability insurance certificate can be found here on our website: . The policy is automatically renewed in March every year.


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