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How do you fund District Events?

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  • How do you fund District Events?

    I am just curious as to how Districts fund district events, be it a derby or cuboree or day camp etc?

    At the pack level you have fundraising through popcorn and such. But at the district level you don't really have fundraising and no pack wants to pay for a district event on its own. With attendance being unknown its hard to set a per head price on something like a derby where you have a fixed cost on trophies etc.

    Just curious as to how some Districts deal with it.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jc2008 View Post
    But at the district level you don't really have fundraising
    Actually you do. It's called popcorn. Your District/Council gets 30% profit from popcorn sales, just as your unit does. How they use that money is up to the financial gurus at your Council.

    Most Councils expect a Council/District event to pay for itself for the most part. That means that your entrance fees cover your expenses.

    As most District events have been done before, there is a history to use for cost/attendance estimates.

    Some councils will give their event organizers a start-up amount. Some do not, and expect the volunteers to pay out-of-pocket, and then get reimbursed after the event. The trick, of course, is to get as much as possible of the stuff that you need for the event donated for free.


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      That is why many businesses cringe when they see an adult in a scout uniform coming in the door. We always want donations.

  • #3
    This is a huge issue in our district. We have awards that we want to give at the end of the year. District award of merit. Name tags. etc. But we can't use any profit from any event to fund a different event. Each event must stand alone. So we end up charging extra for the awards dinner to pay for the awards. IMHO, that's tacky. To be honest, I've skipped most all traditional dinners. Been there. Done that way too many times. Don't want to repeat.


    • #4

      Let me see....our district hosted a Golf outing that reportedly had a profit of $15,000....they had a trap shoot that profited $5,000....this is our district level only not council.....

      They also charge for our Districts award dinner and it is pot luck.....They canceled it this year because only two people signed up to attend.

      Our cub day camp made a profit of $3,000....where did that money go....

      We all know where it goes to the general fund at council.......

      I was Day camp program director for 1 year....The DE made a lot of promises and had me on the hook.....I begged, cashed in favors, and in some cases borrowed with less than complete permission the things I needed to put the camp on, with the understanding that I would be reimbursed from the profits and we would buy BB guns, fishing poles and Archery gear for the coming years.... So In October I check our districts day camp account to see how much money I have to work was several thousand dollars... so I get quotes for the gear for the coming year......middle of january go to council with the quotes to get the gear ordered.....voila the account is empty...... It seems it is the SE's policy to zero all of THOSE accounts at the beginning of the year.....

      Call to DE, who acted stupid......and he said he never lead me to believe that would occur.....

      This is the same reason a district camporeee with donated camping space and volunteer run activities cost me $15 a head before I buy food. this is the same reason I am charged $100 a weekend to tent camp at our councils camps....

      Ya you hit a hot button with me.......So I spent between $500-800 out of my pocket to put on a day camp and never got the money from the DE......I gave him my reciepts,,,,but he doesn't remember that earlier....

      that is why I keep telling new members of the board the never trust a professional scouter.


      • #5
        Base -- sometime we're going to have to discuss proper slush fund management techniques. Most councils have a date at which budgets get zeroed. One year our SE decided to raid the day camp budget early to cover other shortfalls. I was told the funds to needed to cover my expense were spent elsewhere. "Not my problem. Fix it."

        ALWAYS spend the money immediately. Turn your expense report in the same time you deposit the money.


        • #6
          I've never seen the issues Basementdweller describes other than the profit of each event goes into the council general fund and we are NOT allowed to keep a district slush fund. To hold an event, we have to first get a signed approved budget / spend plan in place that includes a mandatory profit margin for the council. I can understand that though because some events crash and consume council $$$.

          I'm just frustrated that we can't keep any $$ from district events to run the district. i.e. funds for a better roundtable or district awards.


          • #7

            I was very new to scouting,,,,,my first go round at the district level and got taken advantage of my an experienced DE... I gave him my expense report two weeks after the close of camp.... Receipts and ledger sheet and didn't make or keep copies, stupid ya but a scouter is trustworthy right..... and they disappeared......

            I have since heard some stories about this DE and everyone who tells me another I ask them why no one warns new scouters about his predatory behavior.

            So why did I front the money.....the DE told me that the District didn't have any money to give me up front for supplies.....While partially true, the council has the money for day camp...


            • #8
              That guy is just an ass. It's no skin of the DE's nose to get you a cash advance, just takes a little time to walk the paperwork down the line. It is easier if you just turn in an expense report at the end of camp, rather than accounting for the cash, but the effort is no big deal. Maybe he was hoping you would lose or forget to turn in the expenses. But I don't know that there is any financial incentive for a DE to do that. I don't think program profit adds to the DE's fundraising goals. The goal is to have the program and make sure it's on or under budget.


              • #9
                and you see the good will that one DE has fostered.....Since then I have has 3 more rotten DE's and the current one.....Well we will see what happens, currently his is meeting the others bars....

                So before you ask.

                DE 1 screwed me out of nearly 1000 from day camp by losing my receipts and having me pay up front.

                DE 2 Called me and asked me to Make up for the $500 dollar short fall in the Packs FOS campaign. Found out later that he was doing the boy talks and printing flyers for his favorite units.

                DE 3 Snuck in and gave a FOS presentation after being told no during the Packs Blue and gold banquet, while the pack leadership was busy doing portion control on the food. He was later fired for playing golf when he was supposed to be doing boy talks at school.

                New guy has yet to do anything, been nearly a year. Doesn't show up to roundtable, doesn't answer his phone, No reply on the Packs campership applications..........

                Ya I have a low opinion of the pros, It is justified.


                • #10
                  Basementdweller ... Your experience is totally opposite from my experience. I've worked with about six or seven DEs now. They've all be great. Outstanding. Definitely not paid enough for what they do. Some better than others. Sorry you've had a rough time of it.


                  • #11
                    Ditto what Fred said. My earlier issue, when the SE absorbed/repurposed/stole the money from the day camp budget before I got my receipts in, it was my DE who went to him and made it right.

                    But given your experience, BD, seems like #4 is the pick of the litter.


                    • #12
                      Didn't mean to open this can of worms, but I can totally see where you guys are coming from. We are lucky that we have a great relationship with our council and district. Me and my husband even sit on the district committee and are starting to bring up these topics, like having a budget for district run events etc to give our local scouts district activities along with making these activities visible to the public to increase awareness of scouting in our area.

                      Does anyone live in a district where they are supportive or trying to support district activities beyond day camp? I know our daycamp takes in fees from each camper and half goes to the day camp budget the other half to council so its obvious they like doing daycamps as they make money off it lol.


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by jc2008 View Post
                        Does anyone live in a district where they are supportive or trying to support district activities beyond day camp? I know our daycamp takes in fees from each camper and half goes to the day camp budget the other half to council so its obvious they like doing daycamps as they make money off it lol.
                        My district and council both put on quite a few events throughout the year. At the district level, we offer a Cub Scout Family Camping weekend, various special belt loop events, a district-wide Pinewood Derby, an annual Boy Scout Camporee, the annual Klondike Derby (with an option for Webelos to attend), as well as a few other events I can't think of right now. At the council level, add in an annual Webelos Woods camping weekend, a Merit Badge workshop, overnight and day camps for both Boy Scouts and Cubs, High Adventure opportunities, Community Service events, an annual Cub Scout sleepover at the Liberty Science Center, and again more stuff that I'm forgetting. To tell the truth, almost all of these events break even from the entry fees or make a small profit. Luckily we have some dedicated volunteers at both the council and district levels who are very good with financial planning issues, so the money doesn't just disappear... it is budgeted very well and the events can happen year after year!


                        • Basementdweller
                          Basementdweller commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Our events make money...

                          The SE takes the money and puts it in the general fund January 1...... All of the money, no seed money for next years event.

                      • #14
                        1. Plan the event
                        2. Calculate all the costs
                        3. Determine the cost for each participant so the event breaks even
                        4. Have the DE overrule your committee and charge double (or more) for each participant so the event makes money


                        • jc2008
                          jc2008 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          5. Tell DE hope he can run the event all by himself?

                        • oldisnewagain1
                          oldisnewagain1 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          6. ...and when he does run it him/herself, listen to the DE complain no one is coming or the event was poorly attended.
                          7. Next year the DE will complain that no one wants to get involved in district planning

                        • ParkMan
                          ParkMan commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Isn't there an old rule that says "never do for a DE what a DE wants to do himself"