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I don't give to FOS, or Girl Scout's Family Partnership, because I can't designate where that money goes. I would more than gladly give $200 a year for camperships, but I'm not subsidizing more professional salaries. Our DE works hard over two huge districts, but BSA needs to fund his salary from registrations, shop/camp profits, and general donations.


Our boys bust their tails fundraising.


I guess you can say I gave at the office.

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BSA needs to fund his salary from registrations, shop/camp profits, and general donations.


This would be a change to the BSA model. I could argue that this would be a good change, but as it is, it doesn't work that way.


Council gets no money from registrations. That goes to National and to the unit. I don't know whether councils get much shop profit, but I doubt it. I highly doubt that virtually any council makes a camp profit.


And general donations is what they are asking for :-)


If you are using general to mean from people not currently involved in Scouting then I think it's only a very rare council who has enough of those.


One possibility would certainly be to increase the yearly registration fee. It would have to go up a lot, though, to make up for Friends of Scouting.

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While FOS is a general donation, the pitches I've seen are based on sending boys to camp, refurbishing boy used property like sailboats and camps, and otherwise allowing, dare I say wanting, the donor to believe that all the money is going to directly touch a boy, or the boy will touch what it bought. Nowhere does the presenter ever say, or the materials specifically note in the tiniest print legally permitted, that FOS helps fund employee salaries.


I suppose I'd like the FOS pitch to be more honest, or at least for the brochure to note that some salaries are funded out of that "programming" budget.

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Well this year I finally did give after not for 4/5, I think it was to get the special CSP, not sure what I will do next year though. Last year I did contrubute fifty bucks for gravel for the camp roads which buys a lot of rock as the quarry is close and the camp has a trailer to haul it, told the Ranger he done good.

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I agree with the gist of Life-Scout-Ldr's comments above.


I'm neither needy nor niggardly, but I don't feel receptive to FOS solicitations. I donate time, energy, and money as it is. The church covers our unit's costs and they told me we don't have to pay anything - not even registration. They've never asked me for a dime. They're even insistent about reimbursing me when I buy materials for scout projects - (but when I let them reimburse, my wife scolds me - so I don't do it much). But I understand money must come from somewhere and assume it comes from tithing to the church. And we're not members of the church so we don't tithe there. So we donate a sum of money yearly. My intent is to donate more than it costs the unit to have my sons as members but since I don't know what all the costs are, I lean toward overestimation. I'd donate more if they told me the unit had financial trouble - but they tell me the budget is fine and the treasury fat.


BadenP commented earlier that the "chasm between professional and volunteer scouting is growing wider and wider each year."


I haven't been around to see that. I was a scout back in the 70's and a scouter only the last couple years. I wondered if my impressions of that same chasm BadenP points out were merely the result of my only having seen the scout side of things before. But I get the impression he's right about this. I don't know enough about it to say whether or not the growth of professional scouting is a good thing.


I understand the need for paid scouting employees to keep the program strong. And it doesn't bother me that a number of senior executives have salaries that put their households well into the top 5 percent of household incomes in the US. I hope they are worth it. But from what I know so far, I figure volunteers who already donate much time and effort should be comfortable ignoring solicitations for donations of more money to levels beyond their units.


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Thank you (and great moniker, btw)!


That's kind of how I felt when the FOS person was chasing me around the room as I tried to orchestrate/delegate getting ready for the B&G.


"Where are Jake's parents?"

"Is Louis' family here, yet?"

"Which one is yours? Oh. I need to show you this form for him."


Lady. I'm the CM and a DL. I coordinate the entire program AND I plan ALL of the events, from soup to nuts... all for the benefit of my son, and because I love the boys.


Lemme alone.

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  • 4 weeks later...



A older lady from the church came into my office yesterday; there is a Golden Eagle dinner this Saturday night, and she had been invited (probably because she is a local business-owner, and the honoree is the mayor and his wife).


She works with my son's age group at the church (bless her heart!) and is always supportive and encouraging about the program, giving my number out to little boys in her neighborhood, her grandson's friends, etc...


She said, "What is 'Friends of Scouting'?" I did my best to explain what it was, and she said, "Well, can I go to the dinner and clap for the mayor, but make my check out to just your Pack?"


Um... I... Uhhh...


What would YOU have said? :0)

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Scout units are not supposed to solicit donations to the unit, but can accept them if they are offered. If she wants to make a donation to your unit, you are entitled to accept it.


That doesn't get her into the dinner though. Who is sponsoring that?

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How we are asked or approached when it comes to parting with our hard earned cash does make a difference.

We had a PP who in the church news sheet listed all those who had given and how much they had given.

This upset a lot of the church members.

Some years back when I first sat on our Executive Board, it was made very clear to me that the expected donation for board members was $100.00 a month.

A hundred bucks wasn't that much for me, but my best friend with two kids in college, a fair sized mortgage and lots of car payments just wasn't able to come up with that sort of cash.

Unless you have been living under a rock for a very long time you know that money is needed to provide expected services.

This makes asking for donations and things like FOS a necessary evil.

For the most part I've been happy to do my part to support the Council I'm in.

I've done the presenter thing.

I have at times felt that as a District Commish and District Chair. That I should set an example and lead the way. It's kinda hard to ask people to give till it hurts when you haven't.

There have been times when I've looked at how the money was being spent and become mad and upset.

One year I was upset so I went and bought $2,000.worth of LED projectors to be used for training's rather than allow the twit we had as SE waste my hard earned cash.

I have at times been upset at the add ons that annoy me.

Hotel rates that have been added too. Meals that have had add ons.

One Regional meeting was charging $77.00 for breakfast!

Come on, $77.00!! ($77 why not just $75.00?)


I quit presenting for FOS because I lost faith and didn't believe the material that I was given to present.

That and it just didn't seem right for me to ask families that were having a hard time making ends meet help pay the salary or salaries of guys making twice as much as they were.

I do still do my bit, because I still believe that we can and do at times do a lot of good.

For a very long time I have said that we need to replace FOS with a local fee which would stay local.

I also believe that we need to look at who we are hiring as SE's. Some guy with a degree in Colombian art, who became a DE because there wasn't a job out there and then becomes a SE is not what we want or need.

We need guys who know money, how to use it and how to get it.

I have spoken to SE's who have no knowledge of grant writing, no idea how to go about making a budget and just don't know how to talk to people who might be willing to give very large amounts. -They just don't get it.

A fee per family would give Councils a clear amount of income and they would then have to cut the cloth accordingly.

Anyone wishing to do more and make a donation, would of course be able to do so. But it would seem a lot more fair to me.

Why should some people get away with not doing anything?


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The reply card was addressed to my local Council office; does that mean they're sponsoring it? I'm not sure I understand how the Golden Eagle thing works...


The SM who's my counterpart came and asked if I'd have my son there to be in the Color Guard. And he said, "I'll make sure you get an invitation so you can let them know you're both coming."


Does that mean I was supposed to check one of the $$$ boxes when I sent in the card? BWAHahahahah! I can't afford squat. Should my son and I leave after the presentation of the Colors, and not eat, or what?

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Guess I don't understand your question.


As CM your going to get all kinds of mail and email....you will be targeted for fund donations.


It is OK to say no.


As Eamon pointed out, I do not believe in FOS because we are raising money from our parents who are already paying for program at the Pack level.


I repeat over and over again, Beyond Camps District and Council does next to Zero for my unit that I am not paying for already. Well that isn't entirely true, but they stand to benefit from the 503 letter that they LOANED me to sell popcorn.



This year we are planning on selling $12k worth of popcorn. Their published take on that will bit $3k which is more than they deserve or earn.


So will argue that District and Council provide service. what is that service????

1. advancement tracking.....ahhh no. Their records are wrong and poorly kept.

2. Program at camp......ahhh no. As a retired Program director. Our program made a profit that was absorbed by the council.

3. Program support......ahhh no again. roundtable staff are volunteers and the church is donated too.

4. The camps.....well they are in TERRIBLE shape. So exactly where is all the money going?????



Just attended an Eagle Dinner and I am positive that they made a ton of money on that one.




So Laurel it is ok to say no and not attend.....Remember your doing this for your son.

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An FOS presenter needs to be concise, to the point, and do it within 5 minutes. His presentation should be done within a positive context on how donations benefit the entire Scouting program within your Council. He/She needs to be honest and say that your donation will likely may not directly benefit your Troop or Pack, but could offer indirect benefits. Also, the presenter needs to mention that your donation is tax deductible and can be paid out over the course of the year rather than in one lump sum. An finally, it should mentioned that any amount that you can give, regardless of a how small, is greatly appreciated.


To my last point, some people balk at the "suggested minumum donation" to FOS and they end up not giving anything.


Folks who believe in Scouting want to contribute, but as others have mentioned, you have to give them reasons to contribute beyond any gifts they are making to their local unit. I have two boys in the Scouting program and it can be costly at times. When I count the other charitable contributions I make to other oranizations, there's not much room for the "suggested dontation" for FOS.


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Since the honorees live in this county (of course), whomever is sponsoring the GE dinner (meant to look at the thingummy so I could tell you but I forgot) asked the closest Scoutmaster to run/recruit the Color Guard.


So the SM asked Troops and Packs from this county to each provide one Scout to serve in the Color Guard. When the SM asked me to bring my son, he said, "And I'll make sure you get an official invite, so that they can count you guys."


When I GOT the invite, and sent it back for the RSVP, I didn't check a money box. I guess my (mostly laughing) question was whether since I didn't check the box, if we're not allowed to eat.


Since we're NOT giving any money to it, are we expected to just be in the Color Guard and then go on home? I don't want to offennnnnd anyone. LOL

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