Policies and Governance: Financial Policies



Access to Records by Board Members

The Rowayton Gardeners will allow members of the Board of Directors (on a confidential basis) to inspect the following records of the organization: financial statements, budgets, original applications for tax-exempt status, etc.  Further distribution of these records is at the discretion of the Treasurer and the President.

Financial Statement Preparation and Distribution 

The Rowayton Gardeners’ Treasurer will prepare monthly financial statements that include a Summary Sheet of Financials comparing actual year-to-date to the current year budget. The statements will be distributed to the Board of Directors and will be reviewed at Board of Directors meetings. A summary of said report will be provided to Members at each General Meeting.

IRS Requirements

Annually as required by the IRS, the Rowayton Gardeners will file Form 990-N (E-Postcard).


Accounting Records

The financial records of the Rowayton Gardeners shall be maintained in a secure manner.

Accounting Method

The Rowayton Gardeners will utilize a cash basis of accounting.


On an annual basis during the last fiscal quarter, a preliminary budget for the subsequent year will be prepared by the Treasurer in consultation with the Assistant Treasurer and the President. This budget will be reviewed by the Board of Directors and then brought to the full Membership for its approval at the Annual Meeting.

The proposed budget shall be compared to the current year’s estimated actual income and expense and to actual income and expense for the prior year in order to provide a frame of reference and comparison.

Expenditure Approvals

  • The full membership is responsible for budget approval each year.
  • Committee chairs are responsible for their respective line items, deciding on how to expend funds within the total budgeted amount approved by the General Membership.
  • There are several line items that are not governed by a committee chair. Those responsible for approvals on these expenditures are listed below:
    President’s Discretionary Fund – President
    Contributions (to other organizations) – Executive Board
    Gifts (holiday tips to 6th Taxing District staff) – Executive Board
    General Supplies – President, Treasurer & Committee Chair
    Miscellaneous –  President, Treasurer & Committee Chair


  • Unbudgeted expenses may be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board if they are $350 or less.  Amounts above that figure must be approved by the General Membership at a scheduled meeting for which an agenda including the rationale and amount of the unbudgeted expenditure to be considered is distributed in advance.

Fund Balance

  • Based on analysis of our annual obligations and the Club’s desire to carry on at least a minimum level of activity and philanthropy to further its mission, we will maintain a minimum operating reserve that will support our core activities in case of a significant reduction in the net income from our major fundraisers.  We will prepare our budget with that year-end target figure in mind.
  • Should our actual year-end balance exceed this agreed-upon amount, the excess may be designated by the Club for use in the completion of strategic projects that have been agreed upon previously by the General Membership.

Temporarily Restricted Funds

The Rowayton Gardeners will keep track of all temporarily restricted funds, including grants and gifts that are restricted as to purpose by either the donor, the Board of Directors, or the Membership and will carry over from year to year until the restriction is satisfied.


Bank Accounts

The Rowayton Gardeners will maintain accounts at federally insured financial institutions.  Every attempt should be made to insure that funds in any account or institution do not exceed the federally insured limit.  Establishment and closure of all bank accounts will require approval by the Board of Directors.

Bank Reconciliations

The Treasurer will review all bank statements when received and do a review of checks that cleared during the prior month, prepare the bank reconciliation and retain it for year-end review.

Check Disbursements

The Rowayton Gardeners will keep unused check supplies safe-guarded. Signed checks that have not been mailed or distributed will be properly safeguarded.  At no time will blank checks be signed.

Check Endorsement/Stamp

The Rowayton Gardeners will endorse checks with a stamp(s) as follows:

For Deposit Only

Full Organization Name

Bank Name

Account Number

Check Signers

The Rowayton Gardeners will give check-signing authority to any or all of the following positions:

Board President

Board Vice President

Board Treasurer

Board Assistant Treasurer

Any check in the amount of $1,000 or more requires the signature of two of the officers listed above.  Any check made payable to one of the above listed officers may not be signed by that individual.

Control over Donations and Payments

All incoming donations and payments will be processed in an appropriate manner by the Treasurer. Checks will be endorsed immediately and deposited (along with cash received) on a timely basis.

Invoice Processing

The Rowayton Gardeners will process invoices in the following manner:

  • Invoices received must be approved for payment by the individual responsible for the purchase. All invoices related to a Committee must also be approved by the Committee Chair.
  • The Treasurer or his/her designee will process all invoices for payment.
  • All undisputed invoices will be processed and paid in a timely fashion.

Event Receipts

Cash boxes for events requiring the collection of cash shall be counted by the Treasurer and verified by each cashier at the outset of the event. During the event, cashiers should periodically remove excess cash from the boxes, note the time and amount removed and give them to the Treasurer (or her designee).   At the conclusion of the event, the Treasurer (or her designee) and another officer of the Rowayton Gardeners will count out the remaining cash in each cash box as well as all excess cash previously received from cashiers, all checks and credit card receipts.  The Treasurer will ensure the safety of all event receipts prior to bank deposit made in a timely fashion.


Contract Signing Authority

The Rowayton Gardeners will grant authority to sign contracts to the Treasurer and President, as long as the financial implications of the contract are included in the organization’s annual budget. If the financial implication of signing a contract is not included in the organization’s annual budget, approval from the Board of Directors is required before authority to sign the contract is granted.


The Rowayton Gardeners will review the organization’s insurance policies bi-annually to ensure coverage and limitations adequately meet the needs of the organization, Members, and Board of Directors.  Such review is to be presented to the Executive Committee and then the Board of Directors.


Contribution Acknowledgment

The Rowayton Gardeners will send letters on the organization’s stationery acknowledging all contributions, in order to meet current IRS requirements.  The letters will indicate the dollar amount contributed or the items donated (without designating a value).

In addition, in cases of memorial or honor donations, the honored person or the family of the memorialized person shall be notified that the gift (not the amount) has been received by the Rowayton Gardeners.

Donor-Designated Restrictions

The Rowayton Gardeners will honor the wishes of donors who designate the use of their donation to a specific purpose as long as that purpose is included within the mission of the Rowayton Gardeners and is approved by the Board of Directors.

Any donor-designated funds will be accounted for as “restricted.”  The Treasurer will keep a separate accounting of the use of these funds until the funds have been completely expended.

If the donor requires an accounting in writing, such an accounting shall be provided to the donor on an annual basis.


The Treasurer shall be responsible for continued development and enhancement of appropriate internal controls.

As additional policies and procedures are developed, they will be presented to the Board of Directors for its approval.


The Rowayton Gardeners will require three bids or competitive price comparisons, where possible, for any capital expenditure exceeding $3,000.


Loans Prohibited

The Rowayton Gardeners prohibits loans under all circumstances.

Records Retention and Destruction

The Rowayton Gardeners will retain records as required by law and destroy them when appropriate.  The most current retention schedules for financial records will be kept by the Treasurer.

Approved by Rowayton Gardeners Membership
November 6, 2014