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When must the scout quit trying to raise funds for his Eagle Project?

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  • When must the scout quit trying to raise funds for his Eagle Project?

    OK the title of my question sounds pretty strange but here is my question.

    Scenario: Eagle scout does all the paperwork for fund raising, project application,etc. Does not get all the funds to complete the project. Parents purchase material to complete project. Project is completed and signed off by beneficiary. Scout turns in paperwork has eagle scout board of review, passing that and gets his Eagle.

    Can that Eagle scout then continue to try and get donations for that project to offset the costs that the parents incurred by fronting the money to purchase material ? I have looked all over the Eagle Scout Project Fund Raising information and can't find anything. Searched this forum also.

    My gut feeling on this is once that project is signed off it is done period. No more fund raising because where would you draw the line? Anyway this question is coming up in our troop and I can't find any BSA official rule.

  • #2
    I woud say that once the project is done it is done, no hitting up anybody else for additional funds.


    • scoutergipper
      scoutergipper commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree. I would be disappointed in a Scout who had his parents bail him out. While some small portion might come from parents, my view is that the vast majority should come from outside sources, and that all the money should be raised before the project starts.

    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      I think it's up to the council to decide if there's an inappropriate time for the fundraising. My understanding of the point of the fundraising application is to make sure the methods used don't conflict with the BSA's values and other fundraisers.

      As long as the boy makes it clear that the fundraiser is to pay off personal loans that underwrote the completed project, there's no ethical conflict. Most of your federal taxes, for example, are to pay off the interest accrued on dept (not even the dept itself) for services already used. But, just like taxes, fundraising is that much harder when donors realize they are contributing retroactively.

      Obviously, there is a point when the boy should call it quits. More than a couple of months, and it gets a little absurd. Might as well give those receipts to the tax preparer.

  • #3
    Well this is a question that has come up and our council has to figure out something out that is fair. I just don't want us to come up with an answer which is counter to BSA rules on the issue.


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      I doubt you'll find a national policy on this.

  • #4
    There is no policy, but certainly bad form on the families part.

    If they had no intention of donating out of pocket then they should have never fronted the money. Fundraising money going directly into a persons pocket is bad form.

    The money does not belong to the Parent or scout

    "It must be clear to all donors or event participants that the money is being raised on behalf of the project
    beneficiary. Once collected, money raised must be turned over for deposit to an account of the beneficiary"


    • #5
      While we cannot go back and un-ring the bell, I wonder if the scout was advised to reconsider the size and scope of the project to fit within the budgetary constraints of the money raised. Adapting to this type of challenge is one of the major learning pieces of the eagle project. It sounds like the parents with all the good intentions unwittingly denied their boy a great opportunity to learn. IMO, their penance should be to now view that money as a donation.


      • #6
        Once the project is done, its done. It sounds like he did raise all the money, some came from fundraising and the rest is absolutely a donation from the parents. If the scout wasn't going to be accepting of family donations the project should have been delayed until other funding sources could be found.

        In many organizations those leading the fundraising or the board will personally make up any difference between what was raised and what might be necessary to fulfill some task if they can afford it.


        • #7
          I think that any bureaucratic restriction on late fundraising is just red tape. Organizing an Eagle project doesn't give a Scout the ability to forecast how much money donors will give. If parents are willing to advance funding to keep a project on schedule, what is wrong with them expecting some reimbursement? To assume that parents' loans are automatically a donation is nonsensical, and a burden on less wealthy parents.

          We want our Eagles to stay involved with the troop, right? If they have to continue fund raising to pay off their Eagle project, they have a financial interest to hang around. To say that "Your Eagle project is done. Over. End of story. Quit. You can't work on that anymore!" is to drive the boys away.

          Some of the projects that we're writing up now include a maintenance contract asking the scout to re-visit his project after a year to assure that it's holding up as planned, and to correct any failures.
          (Raised gardening beds for a school.)


          • #8
            I disagree with most of what has been written.

            First, this is a question for the beneficiary organization. The funds are being raised on their behalf and in their name. If they are cool with it I see no reason the troop or council should have a complaint. Hopefully, the Scout should have been up front with the beneficiary about his financial situation and made them aware of how his fundraising was going.

            Secondly, if it is acceptable for parents or Scouts to self-fund projects, why isn't it acceptable for the parent to "loan" the Scout money to keep the the project going. We don't know what time constraints the Scout may have been under. Maybe he was leaving for school and needed to finish over the summer. Maybe the project involved landscaping and needed to be in before a hard freeze. Sounds like an interesting Personal Management lesson in cash flow.

            As to the various sign-offs, I think an argument can be made that if the Scout is still raising money the project isn't complete. Again, the Scout needs to disclose this in his write up. The SM and BOR can approve or not, that's is their prerogative. As an SM, I would need to know more details. If this were written up as a change in scope and documented as such, I'd be inclined to sign off on it, assuming the change didn't drop the scope of the project below what I would consider an acceptable project.

            Personally, I think it is entirely honorable for the Scout to stick to his original commitment to the project, find solutions and not bail because of the failure of his fundraising effort.


            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              Who says scouting isn't for the rich????

              I do not have a family that could afford to front money for an eagle project.

              So my scouts are penalized by their financial situation.

              So while old rich kid can start his project before he has raised sufficient funds and hope to collect on the back end. Old poor kids project gets delayed till his fundraising is complete.

              Sounds like the old double standard to me 2cd.

          • #9
            I will first say I don't know the policies on all of this.

            But in my opinion... once all is signed as done, turned in, and a board is done then obviously everything is done.

            Now the whole hypotheticals of age, school, and whatever.... the boy knew what his deadline was, he needed to work that in.

            If there was no "time" worry to get eagle and was just for say weather then I can see someone floating a loan, work gets done, and then continue fundraising. But only until all fundraising is done does paperwork get signed off and project is considered done.


            • #10
              Still it is easy to circumvent the rules. For example the boy holds a car wash to raise funds. Of course his mom and dad will get their car washed and put $150 each in the bucket (or more). Saw this done quite a few times. It doesn't pass the smell test but its "legal".

              Sometimes the benefiting organization has the project in the their budget and the materials are paid for by them. Saw this done also.

              I see nothing wrong with this. But a parent should not expect to be paid back by doing more fund raising. I saw one family solicit funds at the Court of Honor.


              • #11
                I don't know why we need a "rule" for everything. Fundraising is an integral part of the project. Once the beneficiary signs off that the work is complete, the project is "done". If the parents gave the scout a "loan" in order to meet a deadline (age?), with the intent that the scout would continue fundraising after the deadline, that's called "cheating". So...if I were in a position to decide, I would say no more fundraising for that purpose.


                • #12
                  I have noticed in the last couple decades a directional shift in Eagle projects to be more structure building requiring significant material cost and expertise well beyond that of a scout. In the past, projects were more labor intensive requiring the candidate to organize other scouts (and some adults) to accomplish a significant task, any cost was usually minor and often the benefiting organization would pony up that small amount.

                  In all of your estimations, what percentage of projects require significant fundraising? Have you noticed a difference from years past?


                  • Sentinel947
                    Sentinel947 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I agree with this assessment.

                  • qwazse
                    qwazse commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Most of our projects do *not* require significant fundraising. Many of our communities have funds for materials, but not for labor, or leadership! A boy can go to his town hall and ask what needs to be done.

                    Now sometimes, a boy's vision is for a project that lacks money. But, we try to help a boy understand that there are a variety of possibilities and he doesn't necessarily need to have one with a fundraising component.
                    Last edited by qwazse; 12-26-2013, 07:34 AM.

                  • Horizon
                    Horizon commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I have seen this as well. A lot of school structures, benches and pens for the animal shelter, etc. The Council wants something to physically exist upon completion.

                    My son did trail building - his direct costs were covered by donated food from local stores. His Board told him that he should have included the cost of gas for the drivers to get to the trailhead.

                • #13
                  Ya know there are times I'd just let something be. This is between the scout and his parents. My limit would be that the scout is done and should not use scout or troop meetings for fundraising or troop resources. But if the scout wants to ask neighbors or others for help paying for the project, that's up to him.


                  • SSScout
                    SSScout commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thank you FJ. It is an "Eagle Scout Project". If the Scout did not raise enough funds to complete the project before the deadline (!), and the parents fronted the extra cash,
                    then it is up to the Scout and his parents to determine if he (the Scout) needs some more personal (underline) fundraising. If I was ASKED to donate to a post hoc project, I'd certainly like to see the bookkeeping and want to know the rep of the folks doing the asking. And, then,too, we don't know the whole situation.

                    When I bought my first house, I was very proud of myself, spoke to all the agents and lawyers and banks involved in the days before closing, had my budget lined up neat. I invited my dad to closing and he and I were going out to lunch to celebrate. When the bottom line was presented, it was $3.000. more than had been predicted before.
                    I was angry/mad/unbelieving, but no one could explain what had changed . I had a choice: walk away from the sale, or ask my dad for help. He took out his check book (how did he know to bring it?) and I was able to walk out a proud property owner. If I didn't pay him "back" in cash (which I think I did), I certainly paid it "forward" in other ways .
                    Sometimes we have to let the parents help.

                  • fred johnson
                    fred johnson commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I would not be hard hard line on it. If the scout needs to raise funds for it, fine. But I'm betting it will be hard. People like to donate to make things happen, not to shift

                    And the parents did help. And the troop helped thru the Eagle process. BUT ... the Eagle process is done. It's signed off. Complete.


                    But my opinion is my opinion. I would have it even if I agreed to let the kid raise funds in the troop meetings and run a fund-raising desk as kids arrive to the meetings. It's my opinion. I'd still have the opinion as I watched him continue to raise funds.

                    My opinion would be if the scout wants to try to re-coup his parents money that is up to him and his parents.

                    The only exception in my opinion is if the scout entered into continuing the eagle project with the knowledge and in-advance communication that he'd continue to do fund-raising during and after-the-fact. I'm not trying to say the scout and parents should be burned in the situation. But it doesn't seem right to raise funds or effective to raise funds for a completed, signed-off project.

                    Many places do this. Churches. Non-profits. They get enough to do the project and then continue to raise funds to pay it off.

                    Personally, why did the scoutmaster sign off on a project that was incomplete. Fundraising is part of the project. Was the project complete or not.


                    I would not be absolute hard-line on this. But my opinion is my opinion.

                • #14
                  Yet another case of the parents "buying" Eagle. I truly hate when parents pay for the project. A huge part of the project is the budget, fundraising, and how to deal with unexpected issues, including a lack of funding. Honestly, I'd like to see a ironclad statement from BSA forbidding friends and family from underwriting eagle projects. The project is a learning tool, and a test of leadership; when families pay the project all benefit to the scout is removed.


                  • #15
                    Originally posted by Old_OX_Eagle83 View Post
                    I'd like to see a ironclad statement from BSA forbidding friends and family from underwriting eagle projects. The project is a learning tool, and a test of leadership; when families pay the project all benefit to the scout is removed.
                    You want the same rule for Things like James E West and Other Monetary based Awards?
                    What do you have against where the money comes from?
                    Should we Require the Scout to get a Job and pay for everything themselves? That would change the types of projects Scouts do now days and stop the Majority of "Out Doing" we do now days..
                    A Scout can arrange a Community Service Projects or they can arrange to pay for a Display they Build out of Pocket to Honor themselves.

                    .The Question was when should the Scout stop requesting additional funding...simple...when project is completed.


                    • Basementdweller
                      Basementdweller commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Honestly things like SE and DE's that take lots of dollars to maintain can go away.

                      Same goes for the scout camps.

                    • Papadaddy
                      Papadaddy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I agree. Fundraising is part of the project. If the fundraising is not finished, then the project is not complete and should not be signed off.