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The role of Treasurer

2005 Available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

Pillars magazines on a desk

From: Pillars guides

Practical, discussion-based learning on community development for small groups

A Treasurer may have many roles. He or she needs to be:

  • trustworthy
  • able to keep careful records of all money paid in – as contributions, fees or sale of produce, and of all money paid out – as loans, or expenses
  • able to look after the group’s money wisely
  • able to manage the bank account (if one is opened) and keep cash in the bank for safety
  • confident in reporting back to members on the group’s finances
  • able to advise the group on the best ways to use their funds.


  • What sort of training or experience might be needed for a Treasurer? Where might this be available?
  • What should group members do to make sure the Treasurer is fully accountable to them?
  • What help and support might a Treasurer need in carrying out their work?
  • Are there other qualities which would be useful in a Treasurer. Which of the roles mentioned do participants think are more important? Can you rank them in order of importance?
  • Women make better Treasurers? Discuss this statement. Do participants agree with it?


A group decide to collect a certain sum of money from each member every meeting. They chose a Treasurer who has no experience in keeping records. At the next meeting some members pay in full, others pay half and say they will bring the money later. Others forget. Later the Treasurer cannot remember clearly who has not paid in full and argues with them but soon gives up. When she is asked at the meeting how much has been raised she makes up a sum because she is unsure. People are angry that there is not more. Some accuse her of taking money and ask why she has a new dress. What will happen to this group?

An illustration of a woman sitting at a desk working

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