4-H Charter Resources

A 4-H Charter indicates the 4-H Club or Group is organized in accordance with objectives of the 4-H program.  The University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension grants 4-H charters which formally authorizes the 4-H Club or Group to use the 4-H Name and Emblem for educational purposes in accordance with laws and regulations established by Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • The purpose of the 4-H Charter is education, communication and accountability.
  • All 4-H Clubs must be chartered, are required to have an EIN number and submit a financial report to the County UW-Extension office once each year.
  • All 4-H Groups (including committees, boards or other organizations) that hold any financial accounts must be chartered.  If a 4-H Group does not hold financial accounts, it must be formally recognized and accountable to the County 4-H Leaders Organization.
  • The 4-H Charter allows the Club or Group to qualify for federal tax exempt status under the UW-Extension General Exemption Number (GEN) for Wisconsin 4-H Clubs and Groups.
  • A 4-H Charter is given to a new 4-H Club or Group as they are formed and meeting the requirements of a 4-H Club or Group.  The successful completion of the 4-H Charter Application begins this process.
  • 4-H Charters are renewed annually and will be granted upon successful completion of the 4-H Charter Annual Renewal packet. This packet is due to the 4-H Youth Development Educator by November 1 or an earlier date as determined by the Educator.
  • Requirements for a 4-H Club and chartered Groups are listed in the Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development Policies.

The Wisconsin 4-H Charter Application and Renewal packet provides timely communication between 4-H volunteers, Clubs and Groups and the 4-H Youth Development Educator. The 4-H Charter Application and Annual Renewal packet provides the documentation of educational activities of the 4-H Club or Group/Committee needed for liability coverage for 4-H volunteers and members, program impact evaluation and educational planning. And finally, the 4-H Charter Application and Annual Renewal packets provide documentation of compliance by 4-H Clubs and Groups with EEO and ADA guidelines, civil rights laws and accountability of handling 4-H money appropriately including IRS rules.

The Youtube Training Video for 4-H Club Charters has been created to provide an overview of the club charter completion.  In addition, the Charter Completion Guide provides volunteers assistance in completing the 4-H Charter Application and Annual Renewal packets, which can be found below.

Note that the Charter forms posted below are fillable PDF. You have the option to open the file, fill out the form, save the form and email the document (instructions below) OR you may print the form, write in the information and send or drop it off at the county UW-Extension office.   Charter renewals are due each year by November 1st for all Lincoln County 4-H Clubs and Groups with their own financial accounts.

There are many resources available to assist 4-H Clubs and Groups in completing their charter materials at the  4-H Charter and Annual Renewal Process page of the State 4-H website.  To assist Lincoln County 4-H Clubs and Groups, the following items have been adapted for your use.   When modifying the documents below for your 4-H Club or Group, you will need to save the document on your computer.

The following items should be submitted to the UW-Extension office by November 1st:

  • Completed Existing Club or Group Charter Renewal Application
  • Copy of current 4-H Club or Group Constitution and Bylaws or Operating Guidelines if changes have been made since your prior charter was submitted.
  • Copy of 4-H Club or Group Inventory List (only applies if own property or project equipment over $500 in value)
  • Copy of Bank Statement(s) for each account held by the 4-H Club or Group that reflects the account balances for the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2018).
  • Completed Audit Checklist  (Recommended practice is to have 2-3 people that are not related to those who have signature authority on the club/group accounts conduct and complete the audit checklist.)

If you have any questions as you are completing your charter, please contact Debbie at deborah.moellendorf@ces.uwex.edu or by phone at 715-539-1077.

Charter Documents:

How to Save a Fillable PDF Form

Lincoln County Existing 4-H Club and Group Charter Renewal Form (Fillable PDF) (Feb. 2018) or Lincoln County Existing 4-H Club and Group Charter Renewal Form (Word)(Feb. 2018) – 4-H Clubs and Groups that completed a 4-H charter document last year should complete this Charter Renewal document.   Refer to additional resources below for more information about completing various sections of the document.   This document is a fillable pdf or word file that you should save to your computer.  Suggested name for saving the file would be “Your 4-H Club or Group name” 2019 Charter.

Lincoln County New 4-H Club and Group Charter Application (Fillable PDF) (Feb. 2018) or Lincoln County New 4-H Club and Group Charter Application (Word) (Feb. 2018) – New 4-H Clubs and Groups that have never completed a 4-H charter document should complete this New Charter Application document.   Refer to additional resources below for more information about completing various sections of the document.   This document is a fillable pdf file that you should save to your computer.  Suggested name for saving the file would be “Your 4-H Club or Group name” 2019 Charter

Charter Completion Guide (Fillable PDF) (Feb. 2017) – This guide provides volunteers assistance in completing the 4-H Charter Application and Annual Renewal packets.  You do not need to turn this guide into the UW-Extension office.

Additional Resources for Completing Charters listed in the order they are found in the charter applications:

Club or Group Constitution and BylawsWisconsin 4-H Policies state that every 4-H Club or Group must have written operating guidelines or bylaws.   Members of the club or group should receive a copy of these annually and review them for any changes/updates they would like to make.  When changes are made, the club should approve them for adoption noting the date on the new document and your charter renewal application (page 1).  Then the  Club or Group President and Secretary should sign this document.   You only need to submit a copy of your club or group’s current document to the UW-Extension office with your annual charter renewal application if you have made changes since your last charter was submitted.

Sample WI 4H Club and Group Bylaws (October 2015) (word version) – This is a word document  that can be modified for a 4-H Club or Group to use.  4-H Clubs or Groups that already have a constitution and bylaws should compare their document to this sample to ensure that your 4-H Club or Groups Constitution and Bylaws contain all of the recommended items(updates were made in October 2015).  Again, you will need to save the document to your computer.  Suggested name for saving the file would be “Your 4-H Club or Group name” Constitution Bylaws “Year”  A copy of your 4-H Club or Group Constitution and Bylaws must be turned into the UW-Extension office with your charter document if changes have been made since your last charter was submitted (refer to page 1 of Renewal and page 3 of New application).

4H Club Calendar Planner (pdf) or  4H Club Calendar Planner (Word) – This tool is designed for a 4-H Club or Group to utilize in planning their yearly calendar.  A club or group may submit this document in place of page 4 of the renewal or page 6 of the new charter application.

Tips on Completing Annual Financial Report (August 2012) – This Tip Sheet was developed to provide further clarification for 4-H Club or Groups on how to record revenue or expenditures that are common in Lincoln County.   Reminder:  The fiscal year you are reporting on this year’s charter is July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

The following items are only applicable to 4-H Club or Groups completing the Charter Renewal application:

2017-18 Tally Chart for Annual Financial Report (pdf) or 2017-18 Tally Chart for Annual Financial Report (word) –  You can use this form to help you categorize and keep track of your income and expenses. The information can then be entered directly into the financial report page of the charter.

Audits for 4-H Club and Groups (June 2015)– Any 4-H Club or Group that collects or pays out money must have a review or audit each year.  This Fact Sheet provides background on the audit requirement and recommended steps for completing the 4-H club or group annual audit.   Person(s) completing the audit must sign the charter renewal application (refer to page 6)

2017-18 Club or Group Audit Checklist – This checklist is designed to be utilized by individual(s) completing the 4-H Club or Groups annual audit.  Lincoln County 4-H Clubs and Groups are asked to turn this completed form in with their Charter application as it provides information about areas that further training or resources may be needed.

4-H Money Matters Fact Sheet 7 – Excess Funds and a 5-Year Plan (April 2012) – 4-H Club or Groups that are completing the charter renewal document must indicate on page 6 if their club or group has excess funds as defined by Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development policies.  This Fact Sheet will assist a club or group in determining their response to this question.

Additional resources to assist clubs and groups can be found on the Completing the 4-H Club/Group Annual Financial Report page of the Wisconsin 4-H website.