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  • Possible Violation of Fundraising Policy

    Our COR raised an issue and claimed we could be in big trouble with the council. (We are self-chartered, but that's another issue which we are addressing) Here's the background:

    Once a year (for the past 20+ years) we hold a recruitment campout, sort of a mini-camporee, and invite the two cub scout packs that are nearest to us. It is a Friday-Sunday event, family camping, with the intention of introducing the cubs and their parents to our troop. We rent the facitlity, rent port-a-potties and washing stations, provide some food, and have several stations the cubs rotate through such as fire building, knots, some sort of craft, etc. A committee is formed each year and takes care of the planning, budget, acquiring of the facilities and equipment. The committee decides on a cost per family. In the past we have lost money on this event, and sometimes we break even.

    This year our expenses were lower than expected and we ended up with a few hundred dollars extra that was deposited into our troop account. The COR says this turned the event into a fundraiser without telling the cub and scout parents and that now the council could audit our books and pull our charter.

    I've looked at the BSA policy on fundraisers and don't see where this would be in violation, other than we didn't get council approval, but then again, it wasn't our intent that it be a fundraiser. COR says we have to refund pro-rated money to the families.

    Personally I don't see a problem with keeping the money, but I want to do the right thing, so any advice is appreciated. I would also like your feelings on whether or not you think the council would even care about this.

  • #2

    How does your troop normally handle camp out finances? Go with that. Then the cubs learn how the troop finances will work.

    Our troop tries to estimate cost and then add $5 on top for padding. Some events we end up ahead. Some we lose money. Go with what your long-running policy is. Especially as your troop probably had costs that were hidden (propane, gas pulling trailer to camp, wear and tear on troop equipment, etc etc)

    You might also want to recognize that your troop took the risk. If you lost money, you would have been hard pressed to ask the cub scouts for more.

    You might want to also recognize it's hard to get individual money back to individuals. That requires volunteer time and energy.

    IMHO, the "COR" is just trying to show his knowledge and expertise and his value. He's making an issue out of nothing. It's just not a big deal. No event can be balanced to the penny. Sometimes you end up behind. Sometimes you end up ahead. You just need to make sure troop never goes bankrupt.

    You can refund extra back to the packs ... if that's what the troop leaders want. Just realize the packs might not refund the $$ to the indiviual.


    • #3
      So you screwed up on the budgeting. Everyone had a good time. Everyone felt they got their money's worth. This is just natures way of letting you know that some years you're going to come up short, some years break even, and some years come up with a surplus. If the troop has enough money to cover other expenses and this is a just nice money to have, buy equipment for the troop, it sounds like it's getting bigger.

      Council doesn't care one bit about it. It was not promoted as a fundraiser it didn't need to be classified as one. Expenses were favorable this year, next year will be different. The planners had no idea how the funding would turn out. Like farming. When you put the seed in the ground, it would be nice to have a bumper crop, but until the harvest is in, you're not going to know.

      Your COR has too much free time on his hands.



      • #4
        I vote with the others. Keep the money and put it toward your next event. This was not "fundraising", you were just trying to cover expenses.


        • #5
 would have been far better not to have enough funds to cover expenses. NOT! If anyone complains that you managed to keep your costs within budget they need to have their head examined...or else they work for the federal government and have been conditioned to always produce deficits.


          • #6
            1) Make sure all expenses were covered. Might be something somebody forgot, or "donated" to the event without telling anyone.
            2) Every Scout "offishul" fund raiser needs to meet one basic requirement: Was something done that provided VALUE for the PRICE . Popcorn, donuts, mulch sales, car washes, flag placements, spaghetti dinners, you know the drill. I dare say your Troop provided VALUE for the PRICE. A fun family campout? Program to participate in? What do you think CSDC is? The Council ENCOURAGES the CSDCs to BE IN THE BLACK..... Overages (not "profit", perish the thought) fall to the Council. Many times I have heard from the Council Program Director, "your camp spends too much money on staff pizza...."
            3) Compare your event with other, similar (District Camporees?). I would say some Camporees pay their way, some show an "overage" ( I would not say "profit", because it is not held to make a profit, but to have fun and do Scouting!), some may have a "loss". The District has (if it's like our District) a slush fund in the Council books that covers such contingencies. Any overage goes in the slush fund to cover the next time. Your Troop can do no less.
            4) Extra money? Hey, give'm a patch! If you are pressed for time, you can go to the Council shop and buy generic patches. Pen on the year, use up the extra money.
            5) Make a donation to your Council's Friends of Scouting. Use the money to rebuild the Council's bulletin board at camp. Use it immediately to benefit the Packs, maybe a Movie Night lock in!
            6) IMRRHO, your Troop earned the money. Put it to good, Scout use. I have never heard (and, believe me, this would talk about it) of a Council auditing a Unit's books. They leave that stuff up to the CO. If you are, as I perceive, self chartered, then your adult committee folks need to make that decision on the suggestion of the COR. It is not just up to him, all by his lonesome.

            Remember the Cub Scout Mantra.... KiS MiF, KiS MiF.....
            Last edited by SSScout; 06-26-2014, 08:43 PM. Reason: spelling


            • #7
              Hugh McCall, former CEO of Bank of America, was noted for saying "there is no such thing as breaking even. Either you're making money or losing it."

              This is silly. Of course it's not a fundraiser. Your COR doesn't have enough to do.


              • #8
                The council could care less about your books - they have enough to do balancing their own!

                The CO is in charge of the unit's funds, not the council. At least as long as there is a BSA unit chartered with the CO.

                The only time the council MIGHT show a bit of interest is if the money was not spent on Scouting. All money/items received in the name of Scouting MUST be used/spent on Scouting.

                Has your "To Much Time On His Hands" COR made any personal purchases with Troop money lately?


                • #9
                  Twocubdad: Realize that we have a bit of a rare bird here, an actively engaged COR! I wonder if he/she goes to Council Meetings and votes there?


                  • #10
                    I agree with SSScout. Encourage the COR to attend Round Tables and Council Meetings.

                    As with most things financial, scale is a factor. Consecutive years with $2K surplus from hosting every pack in your district would draw the attention of your council. Coming $200 in the black one year from parents of two packs, not so much. I would suggest you consider returning the favor by purchasing a handbook for every cross-over or underwriting training for any scout in your troop who serves as den chief. That way, whoever made it possible for you to come in under budget will have still contributed indirectly to your recruitment efforts.


                    • #11
                      Council only cares if you fundraise in such a way as to decrease their ability to fundraise. Since you didn't impact FOS or large corporate James West knots, you are good. If you are really feeling guilty, donate the balance to FOS.


                      • #12
                        As a district membership chair, I'm thrilled that you guys are doing such a great job on your recruiting events. Fantastic! Kudos to you for doing it and, especially, doing it without losing money. So you made a little extra this year. Would your COR rather you lose just a little bit of money every year? Money that would otherwise be needed to put on a good program?

                        While true that your CO and COR should have some insight into the expenses (and revenue) for the unit, as long as the surplus goes towards the unit, good for you. It would be a different story if somebody said, "Hey, we made some money on this. Let's go buy some drinks and have a night out for the adults."


                        • #13
                          As this is an annual event, I'm fairly certain that the Packs would not have a clue where/how to put that $$.

                          Because it's a family event, there is much equipment needed. Our Troop's 'invite the Packs' campout involves every single Dutch oven, stove and patrol box we can gather from anyone willing to lend. I know how much wear and tear has been done on our gear (dining fly canopy ripped when it blew over in windstorm....trailer got a flat from a nail in the parking lot....hinge busted on patrol box due to Cub Scout thinking he could sit on it....) you name it, it's been busted, repaired, replaced.

                          Use the funds to upgrade gear. That'll impress the folks who come back year after year.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jblake47 View Post

                            Your COR has too much free time on his hands.


                            EXACTLY !!!!!


                            • #15
                              There are fundraising rules that cover excess funds, no biggie.

                              However, here's a big issue:
                              " A committee is formed each year and takes care of the planning, budget, acquiring of the facilities and equipment. The committee decides on a cost per family."


                              This is the Boy Scouts of America, not the Parent Scouts of America.