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- Feb 2010
"Several of our leaders feel we have done our fair share to support Council and want me to tell our DE, "No thanks." What's the answer? I haven't been around long enough to know."
"No thanks" is EXACTLY what you tell your DE. Your pack has more than done it's "fair share".
Tokala, I can tell you that your council's 2011 annual reports doesn't match up with your council's 990 tax return when comparing membership numbers and expenses and revenue. Tell me what you think is a ballpark figure of Boy Scouts in your council; Cub Scouts in your council. Do you have any idea?
- Mar 2008
KEEP SCOUTING LOCAL
Sooo, What about your SE's Salary???? The one in Kansas City knocks down $300k a year. Is that right???? Mine knocks down $200k. Then they come beggin for money from the members.
Tok.....I staff our IOLS training. I pay to be on staff, I pay for my copys, I pay for any handouts/give aways, they are expected, and any materials for my presentation.
I like the program, organization not so much
I'm not the average unit-level volunteer. I am a Vice President and the Lodge Adviser. I take my responsisbilities seriously. I sat on the nominating and budget committee this year as well.
Abel, I don't need to ballpark. I have the data from our VP of Membership: 334 Tigers, 1262 Cubs, 1067 Webelos, 1559 Boy Scouts and 237 Venturers. Our 990 from 2011 matches the financial statements that I have from Executive Board meetings.
Basement, our staff pay for food. They usually pay/donate their presentation materials. We have a donor that makes all of our copies for us as a charitable donation. WE don't load up our training with a lot of the crap that other Councils do to keep costs reasonable. Our SE makes $121K.
Tokala, your council must have one heck of a LFL program considering the total youth the council served over the past few years. I find it interesting that the number of youth served was the same on several recent 990's.
Tokala, your numbers add up to only 4,459 youth (traditional?)
It appears that your council lost more than 22,000 youth since the 2011 annual report considering the council stated on the report that it achieved its Gold Journey to Excellence award by serving over 27,000 youth. I guess I am a bit floored over the tremendous loss of youth.
- Dec 2007
My CSE make $250,000 plus bennies. A full time camp ranger makes $15,000 a year plus he gets a shack to live in. I'd gladly donate to pay a ranger's salary, they are way over worked and underpaid!
Council takes 25% off the top for "expenses" from our district day camp.
Any you wonder why we have no respect for the "professionals"?
Abel there was a huge LFL program for many years. We received funds from the State of Florida to support it. All of those funds have been cut off due to the BSA's membership requirements. Therefore, all of those youth are no longer with the BSA. We also recently lost sponsorship of Crews to ROTC which was about 250 youth.
Tokala, your councils 990 for the past three years stated that the council served 30,928 youth. Your current totals add up to 4,459 traditional youth. Do you realize that your council has lost more than 26,000 youth during the past year alone? That is an enormous, incredible loss (words allude me) in youth membership.
I hope your council's executive board has downsized its professional staff to match the loss of youth. FOS must be pretty expensive considering the amount of professionals that were needed to serve all that youth.
I am curious on what the youth totals (including LFL) were on your councils 2011 annual report. I see that your council does not make its annual report accessible on line like many other councils.(This message has been edited by abel magwitch)
Ask your DE for an actual accounting of the council budget and you will really see how much comes back to the units. Sadly, in our case only 2% of the budget is for programing.
When asked, our DE offered up the Commissioner's service as an example of where our FOS was going. (ummm...but they are all volunteer)
I really find it difficult to increase my FOS when my company hasn't seen a raise of any kind in the past 8 years.
- May 2002
I get asked to contribute to different causes all of the time.
Every time I go to church they pass the plate.
Schools, public, and private, sell t-shirts, wrapping paper, candy, etc.
There are can drives, penny drives, and phone drives.
My local Public Broadcasting Network is constantly asking for money.
United Way runs massive fundraising drives (and in some companies folks are required to give).
Give us your money, cars, clothes, etc.
Your decision who/what you give your money to is a very personal one.
BSA members, and their families are not required to donate to FOS. They will not be kicked out if they do not write a check for $300, $100, or whatever.
All our FOS person asks is that we return the card with an answer of some kind on it. We can write a check then and there for what ever amount we wish. We can pledge to pay whatever we wish (one family I know pledged 50 cents). We can even put a big, fat, zero, on it. It is OUR INDIVIDUAL choice.
However, tedious I might find the FOS spiel, it is a fundraising effort by an organization that I belong to. I feel that I deserve to be able to make my OWN INDIVIDUAL decision on whether or not I want to give. I would be very upset to have MY decision made FOR me by one or two folks on the unit committee that are pissed at council/FOS.
So, please, no matter how you, personally, feel about FOS/council/professionals, let the folks who are spending their family time to be at your meeting, give their fundraising spiel to your unit. Let your unit families make their own, individual, decision to contribute, or not.
Like many Troops we always schedule someone from council in to do a FOS presentation at an event like a Court of Honor. My objection is when I contacted to do another FOS because my troop has not met our quota.
Don't get me wrong, I don't speak up against FOS in my troop but more and more I hear from parents wanting their donation to stay with the troop only. They do not feel that the council does enough for the boys.
- Apr 2009
FOS - Fund our Salary
One of the reasons I am stepping back from active membership is the constant need to fund our professions. My Council does not like to accecpt any donation unless it is in CASH. In the last 7 years I have personally donated over $8,000 worth of dishmachine parts and chemicals to my Councils two camps, why, because my sons were heavily involved in the OA and it was a way to help. This was all off-book donations that I did not ask fo recogniation or claim on my taxes. I have tried to donate the following over the last 7 years, a new float for waterfront, cook's cabin for a campsite, commerical dishmachine for the dining hall at one camp. In each instance I have gone thru the proper channels and been told no, please just donate the money so we can fix what we want too. I say BS, they want money so that they can shave 20% off the top to fund thier salaires. Last year I arranged for a used dishmachine (worth $3,000) to be donated to Council, the only rule was I could not remove it from the nursing home loading dock. This d/m would cost $10,000 new. This involved permission from the nursing home, nursing home kitchen mangement company, camp ranger, camp director, Council Scout Executive, and Camping Committee. For the Nursing Home and mangement company, lawyers were involved to determine who would get tax bennies. After two weeks of waiting for the camp ranger to pick up the machine, and several calls and three visits to the Council Office begging Council to pick up the machine, the health inspector required the machine to be moved. The maintence man called a scrap metal guy and removed it that day. Fall out - I was given a written warning by my manager to no longer help BSA, this hurt him as he is a Eagle Scout. My company compensated the kitchen management company with $5000 worth of product to offset the loss of tax credits due to the non-donate. I told off the SE that if I had a $10,000 (or even $3,000) check with BSA's name on it, Council would send a DE and take photos.
- Mar 2009
The whole FOS presentation improved for our pack and me personally when our pack stopped boring the Cubs with the adult conversation.
We played a wide area game in the gym while the parents met in another room with the commissioner for the FOS presentation. Donations went up dramatically, but that could have been coincidental. The Cubs had a blast and leaders didn't resent the intrusion to the program as much.
I'll bet that this can be implimented at the troop level even easier.
The biggest problem I see with my council's FOS appeal is a lack of transparency into the finances. This might be affecting their success with this fundraising. When I look at competing non-profits asking for my money, I see a real differnce in the quality of the data, reports, and communication provided. Other non-profits also ask more often, and in different ways.
- Aug 2005
I am a trainer. My unit does it for the leaders and for the youth. In order to have the class sanctioned and the training recognized, I have to charge three times what I need to run the class. It is only $6.00, but I only need $2/pp for the class. Is Council really so hard up that the need to force me to overcharge for a training class in order to make $4 lousy dollars?
I am on Powder Horn staff. in 2010, the course was over budget by several hundred dollars. When we ran the 2012 course, we were told that PH had to make up the difference for the loss in 2010. We called BS on that one, but we kept hearing about it. I was program director, and I ran a very tightly budgeted program. It turned out that we were WAY under budget. So, as I am course director for 2014, I approached Council and asked to have that extra money held so that I could offset the cost for youth attendance. The answer: "Budgets don't work that way." Huh? How come it worked that way for 2012 when Council wanted the money it lost, but it did not work that way when it was going to cost money?
We do not do FOS in my unit. We haven't allowed it for the past two years. We stopped a few years ago when or Council got caught fudging numbers. We learned that they had registered all of the youth at a local military academy and used FOS money to do it, all in the name of raised youth numbers to meet goals. I had a sit-down with our DE, told him what I thought of that particular idea, and pledged that FOS would not be part of our program again.
Yes, we do it for the boys and the girls (go Venturing!). As a volunteer, it is easy for me to see the focus. How come the Council and National execs don't get it?