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ASM514

Fund Raising Question

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Our Charter Organization came to us and suggested a fund raising program that could generate thousands of dollars. But I have been told it is a NO NO! Let me explain. Our CO wants to donate a new computer system for our troop to raffle off. Selling 2000 tickets at $5.00 each. Two people have told me that Boy Scout troops cannot hold raffles. Is this true? And is there a way our CO can hold the raffle and donate the prceeds to the troop? I really need some advice because we want to capitalize on this while the offer is still valid.

 

(This message has been edited by ASM514)

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Fundraising activities of the unit need to, ideally, not only earn money, they also advance the cause of Scouting by giving the boys involvement in meaningful activities.

 

The Scoutmaster's Handbook on page 163, states "Is your plan free from any suggestion of gambling? Is it fully consistent with the ideals of the BSA?"

 

By applying the above test, your idea doesn't pass. With the units I give guidance to as an ADC, I suggest that all fundraisers give value for the money given, such as a meal, a christmas tree, a candy bar, etc.

 

If your CO wishes to conduct this raffle and give to your unit the proceeds, this allowed, but be aware, the Scouts should perform some service work for the CO. Ths Scouts should learn that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Again back to the value given.

 

Scott(This message has been edited by shemgren)(This message has been edited by shemgren)

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You can't do a raffle; look at the conditions on the back of the unit money earning application. Anyone who hands a buck to a Scout unit has to get something of value in return.

 

You may be able to do it if everyone who bought a ticket got something...like the little first aid kits in the 35mm film containers...

 

KS

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KS, I am not sure I completely agree. If a CO wants to hold a raffle, they are free to do so. If they subsequently choose to budget a large sum for their unit, say, for a trip to Philmont, I think they are still free to do so. I would hope that the boys would do service for the CO but not necessarily in a quid pro quo manner. As I understand it, such raffle could not employ BSA symbols or be advertised as a benefit for BSA unless BSA gave its approval (read, got their cut).

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packsaddle,

You are correct. But then it becomes an issue between the BSA & the CO. If the unit is the benefactor of the funds without any participation, the unit has not violated any BSA policy.

 

A raffle is considered a game of chance & there by not allowed by the BSA.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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"such raffle could not employ BSA symbols or be advertised as a benefit for BSA unless BSA gave its approval (read, got their cut)."

 

The only fundraiser that BSA (at least in our Council) gets a "cut" of is popcorn sales. Other fundraisers held by units, for their units (fundraising for another organization is also not allowed) have to be approved by council, but our council does not require that we give them a portion of our proceeds. The approval is to make sure that the fundraiser meets the rules and regs of the BSA as set down on the back of the "Unit Money Earning Application".

 

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ASM514 - As others have stated, the ONLY way that this raffle could be done is if your CO holds the raffle on its own, with nothing stating that the raffle has any connection to BSA or your unit. It would be, in effect, a fundraiser strictly for your CO. What they do with their money after they have it in their bank account is up to them.

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Look, I don't mean to be a martinet here, but again, flip the BSA Unit Money-Earning Application over onto the back side, left column, item #3. I quote: "Does your plan comply with local ordinances; is it free from any association with gambling; and is it consistent with the ideals and purposes of the Boy Scouts of America? Money-earning projects that include the sale of raffle tickets are in violation of this policy."

 

Now, if your council approves it, it's approved, but some things have been non-starters in every council I've been in, and raffles are one of them...

 

KS

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ScoutNut, The 'cut' I refer to has caused some dissention around our council in the past. There must be some variation from council to council. Our council, for example, told my unit that we could not approach any organization (read local businesses) for charitable contributions that might compete with the council fundraising drive (in other words the council can go begging but we can't).

But I am curious. If the CO holds the raffle, is quiet about their intentions, but does intend to fund the trip, the spirit is violated. But BSA, having no clue to their intent, silently approves anyway. But, if someone slips and lets the intent be known publicly, I assume some action is taken. What action?

And now my confidence is shaken. Our unit has done barbecue fundraisers in the past. We advertised them as means to buy equipment for the troop. Some persons, wanting to help, have merely given us substantial donations as a result of this visibility. Did we violate something?

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There's nothing that says a Unit cannot accept a donation. If that were the case, I would be many thousands of dollars richer right now. Formal fundraisers must comply with the Unit Money Earning Application and be approved by the Council. The Chartered Org can do whatever they want within their own policies and consciences. I guess this means that all the Packs who raffle off baked goods at every Pack meeting need to give the money back?

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Units I work with auction off bake goods to remain in compliance with BSA guidelines.

 

CO's are able to give money to the unit from any source they see fit. If they want to hold a raffle and give the proceeds to the unit, that is fine.

 

Councils don't want units to seek donations from local businesses for the reason stated of interferring with the community FOS campaign. Also asking for donations is not allowed by BSA policy.

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shemgren, Please clarify. You said that BSA does not allow us to ask for donations. But also that BSA asks for donations. I am seeing a conflict. Am I missing something?

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We had the same question for a former council when I was a Cubmaster, on the pack meeting "sweet tooth" activity at the end. What they told us was since the activity was strictly internal to the pack and its families and didn't involve selling tickets to the community, there were not concerns about gambling/raffles and so on.

 

KS

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KS,

 

Well, I guess that's one way to rationalize it. But if gambling is "wrong", it's wrong, whether it's "in the family" or not...no wonder our kids grow up confused. Personally, I see nothing wrong with it...what drives me crazy is BSA's inconsistency.

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