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  • Individual Scout Accounts Part Trois

    Maybe the third time will work.

    As you may recall our dauntless duckfoot posted twice this link http://www.fmaynard.com/scouting/archives/2511 which about the BSA policy change towards individual scout accounts:

    BSA FISCAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR BSA UNITS
    .
    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/fi..._BSA_Units.pdf

    Specifically page 4
    Can my unit credit amounts from fundraising to an individual toward their expenses?
    "No. The IRS has stated that crediting fundraising amounts constitutes private benefit. However, the unit could use the funds (all or a percentage) raised to reduce or eliminate dues and various registration fees, purchase uniforms and Scouting books, and purchase camping equipment. The unit could also use its funds to provide assistance to individual Scouts in cases of financial hardship."

    I posted using a different link and sub forum, thinking that might be the problem. If this thread disappears. I will just post the topic again.

  • #2
    It's kinda annoying to have to revive this topic over and over again. If it happens again, I'll be the first to start posting on the system's forum to make sure it is monitored as to why it is disappearing.

    I'm thinking the topic is of high importance for all units to consider, one way or the other. But it should be carefully evaluated for each unit's situation.

    Stosh

    Comment


    • RememberSchiff
      RememberSchiff commented
      Editing a comment
      I have made calls to my Council and they know nothing about this. I would think distribution of this policy paper would have a High Priority. Clearly, if a unit continues with Individual Scout Accounts and gets their CO in trouble with the IRS, neither will get any help from National.

    • boomerscout
      boomerscout commented
      Editing a comment
      what's to evaluate? You either choose to follow the law, or you don't. ISAs are not allowed

  • #3
    The first link http://www.fmaynard.com/scouting/archives/2511 , the Bobwhite Blather blog asks some interesting questions about impact and implementation.

    I think a big change will occur in high adventure attendance. I think it will be mostly troops and fewer council contingents. I see fewer individual scouts/families using their savings to join a council contingent troop. Hope I'm wrong.

    My $0.01

    Comment


    • #4
      I think your backwards on that schiff. you will see more council contingents and fewer troop ones.

      many troops raise funds as a group for such a trip. The problem is they will no longer be able to do it.

      Council contingents will grow because those will means will need to band together to go.

      Bottom line here. I think it will kill troop or pack level fundraising. The current crop of parents are not selfless and when I mentioned this they all said they were done fundraising.

      One mom who happens to be CM said "I am not fundraising so Johnny scout who didn't sell any popcorn can go to camp or enjoy scouting free".

      As popcorn Kernel nothing would make me happier. I devote 2 months most of my living room to raising money for council. Pay as ya go. I am good with that.

      Comment


      • RememberSchiff
        RememberSchiff commented
        Editing a comment
        I see your point about unit fundraising dying. There has been a small but growing Pay-as-you-go/Thrifty movement in our unit for a number of reasons.

      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Our crew has been pay-as-you-go since its inception. This effectively caused me to miss Jambo since our HA had cost overruns and there was no cushion in the crew treasury. My family bore the biggest share.

        I'm fine with that. If the youth want to do something different, we will.

      • boomerscout
        boomerscout commented
        Editing a comment
        Nothing wrong with troop fund-raising to fund HA. Funds just have to be applied equally to each Scout that is qualified to go, although in these days and times, I suppose each and every Scout could justify a campership.
        These rules apply to unit fundraising, which means sub-units such as patrols and individuals have slightly different rules

    • #5
      One mom who happens to be CM said "I am not fundraising so Johnny scout who didn't sell any popcorn can go to camp or enjoy scouting free".

      Now there's a lesson in parental support for team development and leadership. Such selfishness has no place in Scouting.

      Stosh

      Comment


      • jblake47
        jblake47 commented
        Editing a comment
        I wonder how many people get the idea that individual scout accounts are THEIR money?

        If I were to be wanting to go to Philmont, for example, I would think the proper focus on the fundraising would be MY responsibility, not a group effort that I help out to get money for me personally. I would still have my bank account and evaluate how an increase in income would be necessary to make sure I got the cost covered.

        I wonder how much ISA's basically negate any positive influence that the Personal Finance MB is trying to instill.

        As far as group fundraising is concerned, I'm a bit old-fashioned on that point. A group fundraiser and my participation in it emphasizes my servant leadership to take care of my buddies in the troop who are struggling to cover the costs of the trip. If I need money, I shovel walks and mow lawns. If the troop needs money, I put on an apron and serve at the chili dinner. Just because BSA says one cannot do a "service project" for any BSA entity, doesn't mean I buy into the program on that point. I serve so that others benefit both within and outside the troop.

        Stosh

      • scoutergipper
        scoutergipper commented
        Editing a comment
        Anyone who criticizes this mom's perspective would do well to study how well the philosophy of "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" has worked in the real world. Three years ago I instituted a shift away from a plan where the handful of willing Scouts raised all the money while the lazy majority waited for their goodies to be delivered because the willing Scouts were quitting over the issue.

        Unless you're going to provide some consequences for those who won't either pay up or fundraise, they will sponge off you as long as possible.

      • jblake47
        jblake47 commented
        Editing a comment
        And if one were to carry this debate any further it would need to move to the Politics/Issues area.

        Stosh

    • #6
      When I did the Pack budget, I put subsidies in the events out of the Pack Budget. Our fundraising goes towards capital needs, and $150-$200 per event, so essentially we undercharge for food/registration and eat it from the Pack Budget. The Pack Budget comes 50%-50% from dues and fundraising (up from 100% dues two years ago).

      One of the leaders asked me about this, didn't understand why we were subsidizing the campouts from the fundraising. I told him that the people working the fundraisers, serving as leaders, and attending the campouts is largely the same people. The boys that go camping are gung-ho for the program. The boys that show up for a weekly meeting are having fun, but it's not a core focus of their week.

      When I keep the costs down, we have better attendance. More attendance means more Scouts retain. Are there families that camp and don't fundraise... I guess, one or two. Are there families that fundraise and don't camp? Yeah, one or two. But in general, it's the same group.

      We have some families that can't pay dues, we ask that they participate in fundraisers and we'll take care of them via campership. We don't use Scout Accounts, we tried, it was a tracking nightmare and didn't seem to serve much purpose.

      But I have a weird demographic. 80% of my kids are upper-middle class, a good chunk are in private religious schooling. Our food costs have to be managed VERY carefully (kosher food gets expensive REAL fast if you don't economize). It's easier to carry the families that can't pay than to do complicated Scout Accounts.

      Also, the boys seem gung ho for prizes. They aren't gung ho to save their parents $50 on dues or summer camp.

      Comment


      • dedkad
        dedkad commented
        Editing a comment
        I like this idea. When reading the BSA rules, it looks like there is nothing preventing you from holding a specific fundraiser to reduce camp registration fees. Those boys who are going to camp participate, the ones who aren't going can choose to participate to help their fellow scouts or not.

      • Pack18Alex
        Pack18Alex commented
        Editing a comment
        Again, I have a weird dynamic. Most of my youth will go to local "Jewish" summer camp programs. Those camps run from $160-$240/week.

        Cub Scout Day camp costs $115/week if registered early.

        So it's the few broke parents that would benefit. I just don't have the energy for a third fundraiser. It a good idea from the "a Scout is Thrifty" point of view, it's a non-started from the Pack18Alex spends plenty of time on Scouting and doesn't want to spend more.

        But I'll consider it, it's worth looking into. The boys in need of Campership are also the ones traveling 30-45 minutes to be with our Pack, so the fundraiser isn't terribly convenient.

    • #7
      I frankly find the idea that these and other topics are disappearing by accident highly suspect.

      I'm not typing my full response a third time for Smoking Man to delete again. So, in 5 words: The problem is selfish adults.

      Archive this forum and install SMF. It's free, it works, maintenance is done by a development team.
      Last edited by Scouter99; 01-23-2014, 01:01 PM.

      Comment


      • duckfoot
        duckfoot commented
        Editing a comment
        I wish Schiff better luck than I had posting this topic...
        The problem is always the adults....and the Smoking Man

      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        SMF is a free, open source forum software, it stands for Simple Machines Forum. http://www.simplemachines.org/
        It works out of box, the development community updates it and release custom add-ons that install with the click of a button. I've been using it for 6 years and I've never had one thread disappear, the messaging system has never crapped out, etc. etc.
        "Archive" means close this forum, change its address and link to it from the new forum.

        Invision Pro Boards is also a good for-profit forum system.

      • dedkad
        dedkad commented
        Editing a comment
        Honestly, there are many more controversial topics that are discussed on this forum. I find it hard to believe that this one would be targeted for removal.

    • #8
      I must admit too that I'm sort of miffed the previous discussions threads disappeared.

      Is it a web site bug or censorship? I'd like to understand what happened?

      Comment


      • #9
        Apparently there are others having issues with threads disappearing with vBulletin:
        http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum...ithout-a-trace

        I agree, it's time to dump vBulletin and replace it with something that works. I'm sure there are tools to migrate the existing content over to a new system.

        Comment


        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          You can carry databases over, but it can be unpredictable as to how it will go. For example, VB is the only forum I've seen with this comments feature, so how would another forum import them? Delete them altogether, or read them as replies? I don't think any software could be reasonably expected to receive a database as large as this one, either. That's why I say just keep this as a read-only archive and start fresh.

      • #10
        Well maybe third time was the charm?

        Comment


        • duckfoot
          duckfoot commented
          Editing a comment
          Yay! Your post survived the night!! Maybe mine succumbed to the extreme cold...

      • #11
        So the choices are: 1) Scouts (and parents?) do something so unit raises money (sells widgets, washes cars, spreads mulch, whatever). Money goes in unit treasury, and Committee decides how to spend it (charter expenses, room rental, new tents, travel expenses for trips, sign out front, badges and books and neckers, etc.). or 2) Scouts (and parents?) do something so unit raises money. Committee decides how money is spent AND who to spend it on (camperships? Backpack for deserving Scout? ) and the kicker is that some Scouts work better/harder and earn/sell more stuff than others, so why should that Scout get more goodies than my Scout?

        I know a Cub that sold $25,000. gross popcorn two years ago. His Council propered, his Pack prospered (they bought a new PWD track among other things), and he went to summer camp essentially free. I know of no one who claimed they were less benefitted by his efforts (the kid did easily 90% of the selling hisself, contacted many companies and sold internet, long story. ) . The Packs' "scout accounts are held in trust to pay for the Scout's dues, summercamp fees, and do not go to "private" use (ipods, boots, uniforms or other use) and it is well understood that the left overs do not go with the Scout when he leaves the Pack. I know one Scout who saved up his "Scout account" and bought the troop a new trailer with it. The unit benefits, the Scout who did the work benefits (because of his work for the unit). The Scout that did not do as much to help the fundraising must make up for that lack by paying his dues directly. If the Comittee judges that that Scout needs help, then they are within their rights (I think) to spend the general funds to help that Scout. Many I have spoken with agree that this is superior to awarding trinkets for "high numbers".


        I fully understand the IRS and BSA wanting to define things such that folks don't make a living by falsely letting others think that a non-profit entity is making the money when it is in reality going in a private pocket. But if the Scout unit defines and limits the Scout account correctly I think the Scouts that work for the Unit will benefit as well as the Scouts that can't or won't. It must go to a Scout activity and benefit the Scout, not the private person. I even have known some Scouts who use their Scout Accounts as a trust savings account to save up for summer camp and HA trips.


        Example: When the Troop goes to Philmont, it is not the individual Scouts that pay, it is the Troop that pays for the trip. All the Scouts pay to the Troop. They pay either by working extra at the fundraising (?Scout account?), or with daddy's check book. When a Scout goes to Jamboree, it is not the Troop paying for that, that must be the Scout paying individually , that cannot come from the Scout account, which stays with the Troop.

        Comment


        • boomerscout
          boomerscout commented
          Editing a comment
          While camperships are fine, giving a backpack to a deserving Scout may get you into trouble unless (1) every Scout gets a backpack as part of troop's camping/hiking program, (2) the backpack prize is announced ahead of time for showing most Scout spirit, winning Scoutcraft competition, organizing the orienteering segment at Camporee, etc.(3) the backpack is awarded to best speech on the importance of the Personal Mgmnt mb. Otherwise, since said backpack also has a non-Scouting use, is where you may get into trouble.
          It's been my experience that the Scout best at selling widgets is not the same one best at spreading mulch. A variety of fund-raisers helps even things out.
          We always inform the parents just before we launch a funder. We explain how much we hope to raise, what specifics the money is to go for (troop expenses is way too general) (if you cite registration - tell them how much to the penny).
          I hope this Committee of yours is the PLC
          By designing as full a program as possible, we have no problem with batching the top sellers, best mulch spreaders, etc for an extra canoe trip/extra backpacking trip sometime during the year. Everyone understands this ahead of time. We, too, have little use for trinkets.

        • fred johnson
          fred johnson commented
          Editing a comment
          SSScout ... The trouble is that you may "want" to have it different, but the IRS is interpreting the law. If you want a different interpretation, change the law.

          I must admit that the IRS is right in my opinion. Ignore the trinkets for now. Even the IRS states that some non-significant amount is okay in that it helps earn more money for the non-profit.

          The issue is that the money earned under the non-profit name is for the non-profit. Those that lead the non-profit or do the fundraising can't be the targets of the benefits because of their fundraising. That is self serving and using the non-profit good will to benefit those who did the sales. It is no better than telemarketers soliciting donations for policemen and firemen and then keeping 80% of the funds for themselves and giving 20% to the non-profit. At least in that case, those telemarketers submit tax returns and income tax statements.

          Beyond a token amount, scouts benefiting from non-profit is ethically dishonest. We are used to it, but it is. We all know it. We just want to pretend it's ethically okay. Heck, it's amazing what the human mind can justify. But that doesn't make it right.

        • fred johnson
          fred johnson commented
          Editing a comment
          YOUR EXAMPLE IS BAD. You are misdirecting by "pay" having two connotations. One being where did the money come from. The other being who did the paperwork.

          Paying with troop funds is not the same as depositing money from parents in the troop checking account and then writing a check to Philmont. The troop only begins to pay for Philmont when the fundraiser earnings are used. If mom/dad write a check that is deposited in the troop account, the troop is not paying

          I have never seen a troop pay for a "troop" to go to Tomahawk. An individual scout, yes. Part of some expenses, yes. But troops never use general funds to send eveyone to camp. Heck, 10 people is $10,000 cost.

          You would have to be in a troop that raised a heck of alot of money.

      • #12
        With the individual incentive removed, will units set stricter rules for member fundraiser participation, make do with a projected decrease in funds raised, use pay as you go, allow families to "opt-out" of fundraising?

        Comment


        • boomerscout
          boomerscout commented
          Editing a comment
          There can be so-called private benefits if the fundraiser is used to further the stated goals of the organization such as camping fees, dues, uniforms, handbook, workshop fees

        • fred johnson
          fred johnson commented
          Editing a comment
          boomerscouter ... as long as the reduced fees, dues, etc are not tied to raising money and the raised funds can't be targetted to those who ran the fundraiser or the ran the organization. The funds of a non-profit are to be used for the purpose of the non-profit for the public good. Individuals raising money targetted to reducing their own costs is not being used for the public purpose of the non-profit.

          Requiring participation in a fundraiser is viewed as equivalent as dues because the public can't benefit from the non-profit without raising funds.

          I'm not an IRS or legal expert, but the trouble is not that this is hard to interpret. The problem is people want to continue as is and ignore the new IRS emphasis.

        • boomerscout
          boomerscout commented
          Editing a comment
          yeah, Fred, and one of the purposes of non-profit Scouting is to go camping -- with all that that implies. You can fundraise for camping fees, troop equipment, etc. I have this letter from the IRS:
          One of the purposes of the Scouting program is to instill
          self-reliance ixxxxxxxxxx. You indicate that one way of doing this is to allow the xxxxxx
          to earn their own way as opposed to depending on others, including their parents, to
          fund their individual scouting participation.

          To further this self-reliance, you are proposing to allow the xxxxxx in your Pack to raise
          monies through fundraising activities and to designate the use of some of these funds to
          pay for personal expenses. These expenses would include 1) Scouting fees such as
          organization dues and camp registration fees; 2) items used exclusively for Scouting
          such as uniforms and Scouting books; and 3) items used primarily for Scouting such as
          camping equipment.

          Using the money raised in various fundraising activities to further the Scouting program
          for all of the xxxxxx in your Pack is in accordance with your exempt purposes
          xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. In this regard, the Pack could use the funds (all or a
          percentage) it raises to reduce or eliminate dues and various registration fees, purchase
          uniforms and Scouting books and purchase camping equipment. The Pack could also
          use its funds to provide assistance to individual Scouts in cases of financial hardship.

          The distribution method you are proposing - the creation of a reserve fund within the
          Pack where a portion of the money that an individual Scout raises during a fundraising 2


          event is reserved for xxx use alone, is a troublesome one. Earmarked accounts may
          not be compatible with continued tax exemption. "
          So, no ISAs, no individual reserve accounts; you can earn camp fees & Scout stuff, but any extra money you bring in goes to the troop as a whole

      • #13
        The idea that scouts will participate or be motivated solely by personal gain is the antithesis of Scouting. If they aren't doing their best, as service to others with pure motives absent of personal gain then they aren't being true scouts, and we are failing them by not providing the opportunity for a program to instill that virtue.

        Comment


        • RememberSchiff
          RememberSchiff commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree but that scout virtue "do your best as service to others" often is not shared by controlling parents who feel "do your share and in fairness, others should too".

        • DuctTape
          DuctTape commented
          Editing a comment
          And I agree with you.

          I wonder if in the troops where this issue is the greatest, the fundraisers are designed, implemented and run by adults or are they part of the boy-led program? Perhaps this is a symptom of something greater. I know in my troop, the fundraisers are all adult -run. This is something I have been slowly working on. Difficult to change when "this is how we have always done it". Since many/most of the boys aren't invested in this part of the program due to them not having any real part of the process, the issue comes up often for me. I am slowly training the adults to learn what boy-led means.

        • boomerscout
          boomerscout commented
          Editing a comment
          The problem is that Scouting has become monetized. You can no longer go camping with kit you find around the house; it now has to be top-rated name brands or you won't have any bragging rights and even risk being laughed at.
          I can picture it in my mind's eye even now: Daniel Boone is gliding swiftly along the forest path. His feet, cushioned in merino wool socks, point his Salomon boots straight ahead. His Arcteryx backpack carries enough freeze dried meals to last the journey. As the sun sets, he starts to think about how good his Big Agnes will feel...

      • #14
        Originally posted by SSScout View Post
        Example: When the Troop goes to Philmont, it is not the individual Scouts that pay, it is the Troop that pays for the trip. All the Scouts pay to the Troop. They pay either by working extra at the fundraising (?Scout account?), or with daddy's check book. When a Scout goes to Jamboree, it is not the Troop paying for that, that must be the Scout paying individually , that cannot come from the Scout account, which stays with the Troop.
        Awesome, so they get the worst of both worlds. My troop operates with ISAs (thought I don't like it) and I can tell you if the idea is that Johnny busts his own butt selling so he gets his own money in his own ISA for his own scouting, but then the troop pulled a "just kidding actually its our money that you're holding until you give it to us for troop things" there would be serious problems.
        Last edited by Scouter99; 01-25-2014, 12:22 PM.

        Comment


        • boomerscout
          boomerscout commented
          Editing a comment
          No serious problems; just tell them the law says no ISAs.
          However, it all depends how you pitch the plan. You can announce a funder specifically to reduce summer camp fees. You tell everyone how much camp will cost, tack on 15% for contingencies, explain how much each can realistically earn, and that they must make up the difference out of pocket. Most of all, promote the specific camp as a worthy goal rather than just something to do. If all goes well, some will bring in more than they need; their camp fees are fully earned along with some camp options. The kicker, and it's important, is that any extra money they've earned does not go into any ISA; it goes into the troop's general fund.

      • #15
        Even with ISA's, well managed general fund, etc ... Scouters in our troop have had to dig deep to float some special expense or underwrite some scout who fell on hard times.

        Making sure none of your buddies miss out on some super activity by reducing the fees/collecting enough gear for everyone is its own reward.

        It's just like putting a dollar in the toll for someone who came up short on the bus. It's not about them being deserving or not, it's about making the driver's day a little bit easier so he can concentrate on the road and serve us all better. Betcha BD's griping mom was the beneficiary of a few "bus bucks."

        Comment


        • boomerscout
          boomerscout commented
          Editing a comment
          I certainly appreciate putting in that extra dollar. Selfishly, it's sometimes about me feeling better by getting the show on the road rather than sitting at the station arguing about who should have done what
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