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Eagle Project Funding Theory

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  • #16
    So Beavah, are you saying that if an SM refused to sign a boy's Eagle project because he failed to follow the SM's personal guideline of having to raise the funds with only a nominal amount from parents, the boy would have no recourse? He couldn't appeal to district and/or council? That nobody "higher up" cares? What happens when the DAC or CAC tells the SM that he can't make up his own rules for advancement?

    I understand what you are getting at. Each troop and SM has their own "flavor" and culture. For instance, the troop I served had "Assistant Scoutmaster Conferences" before the SC. It was our SM's rule outside the rules. That didn't make it right and the boys had to endure it because that was what our SM required. The ASM conference was basically a retesting because our SM wasn't going to have boys in his troop like all of those other boys in troops who couldn't tie a knot or describe the parts of the Scout badge. I can tell you that as an ASM who was charged with doing these conferences, I was pretty darn liberal in my "grading". Since my son earned Eagle in 2010 and aged out in 2011, the SM has added a mock Eagle BOR. I understand his desire to help boys make it thru the EBOR without hiccups, but in our troop, it isn't optional, you have to do it or you don't get your paperwork signed. Sorry, but that is BS. All of us in the troop know that all a family has to do is take it to the district or council if they wanted to and the SM would be overruled. You can have your own unique troop culture, but you don't get your own set of advancement rules.


    • #17

      I have never had to define nominal, No one has ever asked.

      I had a scout come to me looking to provide cover from his parents who just wanted to buy his materials. I explained to the scout how leadership is not just putting a work detail together, that it involves goals and plan setting. He had planned to raise $400 at a car wash and he missed that goal. He had to plan another fund raiser. This time he sold pies. He eventually got there and I believe the journey was beneficial to him.

      I have mentioned this before that we are getting our butts kicked in recruiting by the troop ten miles away. The mom/dad donation I believe is a contributing factor but not the only reason.

      As Bev said, the scouts and parents in our troop have accepted that the scouts have to raise the bulk of the money themselves. I got a slight push back from one mom about a year ago otherwise ok.

      Another question is who checks? The scout raises or gets the money donated, but we don't run it through the troop bank account. The scout gets it. Sometimes I'll attend a car wash or a work day at an eagle project but I am not doing an audit on his funds and cost. Mom and dad could be footing 50% of the bill. It's up the scout.


      • #18
        Thomas-- you need to read the new workbook. There is a whole page which is essentially the "Eagle Candidate (and Parent's) Bill of Rights." It is very detailed in what to expect and how to procede if the expectations are not met.

        I just addressed this idea in the thread on workbook issues, but here's the deal. If you get to the point of banging your shoe on the table and demanding the Scout do it your way, you've already lost. For one, you don't have a leg to stand on as far as policy goes.

        A Scout leader/mentor's opportunity to influence that outcome came and went months (if not years) earlier. It is about setting expectations, educating the Scout and his parent in the philosophy of your troop's program, and getting them to understand that the troop leadership does things in the best interest of the boys. If they don't buy into that, hopefully they'll move on well before Eagle.


        • #19
          Our DAC said at the seminar that all monies have to go through either the beneficiary or the troop, preferably the troop. I'm sure all this comes from council.


          • #20
            Nope, that's correct.


            • #21
              I'm surprised. Color me naive, but who has $500 to throw at their kid's eagle project? I don't. In one of the other threads I was shocked that some district fellow felt it was ok to expect parents to just pay out of pocket for food for the scout's work crews (25 pizzas or whatever). Maybe in that guy's neck of the woods, parents also routinely pay for the whole eagle project?

              Most of the scouts around here do a variety of fundraisers, can & bottle return drives, odd jobs, and materials donation hunting to meet their fundraising goals.


              • #22
                The same ones who want their son to have Eagle on their resume for Harvard!


                • #23
                  Good discussion. Thanks.

                  As to fundraising or not, 'round here that's not been a big issues as since in the past the council has actively discouraged fundraising. They intrepreted the rule that Eagle projects cannot BE a fundraiser as Eagle projects cannot INCLUDE fundraising. Consequently, Scouts were given no credit for the time and effort they put into raising money. That being the case, and if mom and dad were willing to simply stroke a check, why go to the extra effort. Secondly, as there has always been an emphasis on construction-oriented projects (although the CAC denies it), material costs can be significant. I've seen projects with budgets in the $thousands. That's a lot of cars to wash and doughnuts to sell.

                  Personally, I don't get too excited the source of funding. I do think the Scout needs to have some skin in the game whether he's chipping in from his savings or part-time job or out raising money -- either is okay with me. I've never thought of fundraising as a significant leadership component as we've not previously counted fundraising as a part of the project overall. I'll allow that if we are now to include the time and effort spent raising money as part of the overall project, then yes, the Scout needs to be showing leadership while raising the money. On the other hand, if mom and dad are writing a check, then I would expect the implemention of the project to be of sufficent scope for the Scout to demonstrate leadership exclusive of fundraising.

                  For what it's worth, as I mentioned, my son is in the throes of his project. He has a budget of about $500. He raised about $375 and his mom and I agreed to split the difference with him.

                  As to my scenarios -- I'm beginning to discern a few lines in all the fuzz. Clearly, in the first scenario, the money raised belongs to the beneficiary and should be handled appropriately. In the third scenario -- using Scout account funds -- if the troop allows boys to use Scout account funds for Eagle projects, then I don't have a problem with it. In this case the actual fundraiser comes under the unit and their unit money-earning application. But from there, it's the Scout's money to do with as is permitted by the troop.

                  In all the following scenarios, the Scout is earning the money one his own and how he handles it is his own business -- literally. How formal his job is -- pulling weeds for neighbors or a "real" job at the car wash or bagging groceries -- doesn't matter. It's his money.

                  The second scenario is the fuzzy one and something I would judge on a case-by-case basis. The question is to what degree is this a real service/product and how much of it is trading on the generosity donor and the name of the beneficiary or the BSA. In this specific case, just by the nature of it being a carwash, I would strongly lean to calling this a fundraiser for the benefit of the EP beneficiary and subject to all the rules in the work book.

                  But let give you another example (and this is really what I had in mind when I wrote the OP, but I couldn't figure how to expand it into the other scenarios):

                  Several Scouts in our troop have raised money for their EPs by selling discount books. There are a number of local companies which produce this and wholesale them to any number of charities. They boys buy the books at wholesale (about $10, I think) and sell them for $20. My wife is a sucker for these things. We have stacks of them. Usually, when one of my Scouts approaches me with one of these books, I'll buy one simply on the basis of helping the kid out. I don't care if it's for his Eagle Project or church group. Don't care if the ultimate beneficiary is the local soup kitchen or sending the boy to summer camp. In this case, the young man is trading on his own name and reputation. Frankly, if all he said is, "I'm working on a community service project, will you support me?" I'd give him the 20 bucks.

                  At this point, I still think this is the boy's money to do with as he pleases (although he has made a commitment to spend it on his unnamed service project and I trust that he will do so.) Where this drifts across the line and becomes a charitable fundraiser is if he takes it public by knocking on strangers' doors and/or evoking the name of the beneficiary organization or the BSA (which he really shouldn't do anyway.)

                  Is this an iron-clad deal? No. As I said, I would evaluate each fundraiser individually. And frankly, if it's this thin of an edge, I'd counsel the Scout to treat this like an official fundraiser, fill out the application and give all the money to the beneficiary. While I said I didn't want us to get off-topic with this, there probably are municipal ordinances we need to consider.(This message has been edited by Twocubdad)


                  • #24
                    Say I'm a business owner. I agree to benefit from an Eagle project. There is a $300 surplus of funds raised. The scout donates that $300 to my business.

                    Now I have to add a different line of income to my accounting (Unless you're a business that regularly gets donations). I have to pay income taxes on the $300. I might even have to pay sales tax, depending on what state I'm in. Is it worth the trouble?

                    Maybe I don't want to 'benefit' from an Eagle project...


                    • #25
                      JB: Firstly, "business" can be defined alot of ways. The EP must benefit a "non-profit" entity, so that kind of limits the definition. A restaurant might enjoy the idea of a set of benches being installed in front, but that would not be a good EP idea, IMHO. Benches installed in a church's memorial garden might be more appropriate.
                      Secondly, fundraising for support of a EP can take many guises. Cash is always good; see the above discussions. But other donations are equally likely and acceptable: scout dad donates his time and skidloader to the effort (does EP pay for fuel?). Materials donated outright by supporters (lumber, gravel, etc. ) can be significant. How to account for them in the budget? The cash worth could be tallied as a tax donation to the beneficiary, but often in my experience, the donor doesn't make a deal of it.
                      Recent EP up here , the candidate approached the beneficiary about some improvements to their property (not merely maintenance), worked up the plans, eatimated the materials needed, boyhours needed and submitted all to the beneficary and Troop committee. Beneficiary liked what they saw, told the Scout THEY would provide ALL the materials (discounted from their suppliers), AND lunch for the crew.
                      Troop Com. signed off, saying all to the good. District EAdvisor said, very clever, no problem. No fund raising needed. Project will proceed next month, weather permitting.
                      Bottom line: Scout should do the planning, budgetiing, fundraise as necessary to accomplish the project, accomplish the project and all should accrue to the benefit of the non-profit organization.


                      • #26
                        I have been privy to many eagle projects and they are generally funded by donation.

                        Some examples:

                        One boy planted bushes and perennials along a roadway in a particular village. The village donated the plants and bushes, local restaurants donated pizzas and sodas, the troop members brought their own shovels and other tools.

                        Another boy cleared a trail at a local park and built two benches. The entity which ran the park donated the supplies, food was donated and troop members brought their own tools again. This boy was from a family that could afford to fund 50 eagle projects.

                        One of my sons is in the first planning stages of his project. It has been approved at the crew level (he's a venturer now). It's a fairly complicated project with the potential of being around for a while; it's not a one and done project. He is having legal and accounting services donated by professionals. The only other cost is transportation and that may be donated; if not, he'll fundraise. He raised money for his NOAC trip by selling ices at council functions. I paid for the ices and cups, took my money back from proceeds and he got the rest. The sign he made said: "help me go to NOAC this year, please." We had permission from council to do the fundraising. Although we did not meet his full goal, he donated 20% of his net to council to go towards funding NOAC for other youth. My husband and I paid the rest.

                        Different projects have different levels of financial and fundraising need. My friend's son did a disability drive and collected wheelchairs, etc. His only expense was for pizza and soda for the boys who manned the drive and for the posters and fliers he put up advertising the drive. All of the food, etc. was donated.

                        I personally think that boys should be encouraged to seek donations and fundraise if necessary and that parents should be the donor of last resort. No boy should be unable to do a project because he can't fundraise.