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raising eagles

Mandatrory fundraising

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18G's in the bank, eh?

 

Our troop balance has soared to about $380 this month. We not sure just how to spread the wealth! The committee chair wanted to give everyone a brand new #2 pencil, but she was voted down as being too extravagant.

 

OK, all kidding aside, I WISH we had this problem!

 

 

 

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Fundraising and funding the troop is always a challenge. We made a change to our funding model a couple of years ago that we think takes care of the troops needs and give the Scouts a bit more incentive to participate as well.

 

We used to charge a fee of about $50 per year, and then used the fundraisers to fill in any unfunded financial needs, while allocating a portion to the Scout summer camp and high adventure accounts.

 

We now charge $100 per year in annual dues, but all fundraisers go directly to the Scout's accounts. Different events are allocated to different accounts. We do summer camp every year, and high adventure (larger trips, such as Seabase) every other year. We doubt that the parents could afford to have their Scouts do a High Adventure every year.

 

None of the fundraisers have mandatory participation, but since the proceeds go 100% to the Scout's accounts, they (or more likely, their parents :)) have more incentive to participate.

 

For the record, we have about 20 Scouts in our troop at present, andh have about $3K in the bank across the general, capital, and Scout accounts.

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How does a boy come up with $100 dues at the beginning of the year? Wouldn't it be easier if he paid $2 per weekly meeting?

 

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Praire Scouter, that sounds like a good plan. It would certainly make budgeting much easier not having to depend on the fundraising variable. However, many of the parents in my unit balk at paying $42 a year much less $100. Attitude may be different for parents at the Troop level but we would certainly scare away boys if we charged that much.

 

Glad it works for you though. Like I said, makes things much easier on the committee.

 

Jerry

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Sometimes, the unit's finances can be a window into the very heart of a unit.

 

A troop I was somewhat associated with for a while had several thousand dollars in the bank, but was a very small unit (under 10 boys). Troop leadership refused to use the money to pay for things like camp, routine expenses, etc. Why? Because the money was raised several years ago by other boys, and since these boys did not earn it, the leadership would not use it for them.

 

This makes me wonder exactly what the plan for the money IS- those original boys are long gone- do they indeed plan on NEVER spending the money? Would it surprise anyone to learn that there were a lot of other questionable practices going on at the same time?

 

 

As a parent- knowing what I know now I think I would challenge the troop to show me why they need $x per boy MORE when they have that much in the bank. What is the plan for the money?

 

As a unit leader- I believe that the best unit budget has a safety buffer (let's say an average of about $10-20 per boy), but otherwise pretty much works to use its money wisely- ask for what you need, use what you asked for.

 

Also as a unit leader, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY ON EARTH I would EVER pose the issue as phrased in the original post.

 

 

Oh- by the way... if they have $8,000 in the bank, WHY does each person need to kick in $10 to get started? That sounds like an 'address envelopes at home' scam!(This message has been edited by madkins007)

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Yes there are banned forms of money raising. Check out the back of the Unit Money Earning Application. There are limitations, such as competing against retail businesses, being sold on the product's merits (and not the "name" of scouting), and protecting the name and goodwill of the BSA.

 

Check out the form here:

 

http://www.scouting.org/forms/34427.pdf

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I am always confused about the "not competing with retail businesses". What kind of items would NOT compete with some business?Candy, popcorn, pizzas, fruit, etc. are all available at the supermarket. Pancake Breakfasts, spaghetti suppers, etc. compete with the local restaurants.

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It is not "competing with retail businesses" that is frowned upon. the correct terminology is:

 

"Is it reasonably certain that people who need work or business will not lose it as a result of your units plan? Your unit should neither sell nor offer services that will damage someones livelihood. If possible, check with the people who may be affected."

 

For instance, if a small yard service gets its business from the same area that you are planning on approaching to offer Troop Yard Service for a donation, that could be a problem. If you set up a food/drink booth at a ball field that has its own concession booth. If you set up a Troop car wash directly adjacent to a car wash business.

 

Do you see the difference? If your money earning project will have a direct, negative impact on someone's business, you should not do it. A supermarket will not lose enough business from your Troop selling candy to make a dent in their year end profit/loss. However, a small businessman losing a chunk of his income, even a small chunk on a very short term basis, could put him in dire straits when it comes to paying his bills. That is not something BSA wants to promote.

 

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A Unit may not make participation "mandatory" for an outing, COH, fundraiser or anything else. It may have consequences if one does not participate.

 

The original question did not concern amounts just a principle. In our unit, we participated in the Trails End program for the past five years or so. I was tired of the same people raising the funds for the troop and the same individuals not lifting a finger to help. I was not interested in excuses - I don't allow my boys to go door to door, we are too busy to participate in store sales, etc. So as a unit (the committee) made the following decision. One was expected to meet a sales goal (or quota or whatever you wanted to call it). All sales profits above that goal went in to individual Scout accounts. The Scout would need to make up the difference between the sales he produced and the sales goal. In other words, one could participate or open up their check book. Perfectly ethical, reasonable and workable in my view.

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I like that idea, acco40. Ours is similar in that we use a buyout rather than meeting a sales goal and having to cover anything less than that goal. We promote our fundraisers with the idea that half of the profit the boy makes goes into his own account.

 

Our buyout is a very minimal amount and some take advantage of it. In the end they really lose, though. Boys who do well in fundraisers often don't have to pay a dime for anything.

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There is a troop in our district that is like this troop. Big bucks in the bank. Well guess what. THis year between Christmas and New Years the entire troop is going on a ski trip. The cost to each boy and adult $0 personal spending money. They target an activity and raise the funds. Next summer they are going to Scotland. Cost per boy and adult $0. except for personal spending money. I don't think their boys have ever had to pay camp. I know the pack pickes up the cost of Day Camp for their Cubs.

 

The only requirement is that boys must take part in all fund raising activities. They receive a % of what the troop raises into their personal troop accounts. If they don't take part they don't get that % and must make up the difference.(This message has been edited by Lynda J)

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I can give you an example of how a troop can end up with a lot of money and some issues about what to do with it. My son's troop is fairly small (20-25 scouts), but it does one fundraiser (selling mulch) each year that makes thousands of dollars. Until last year, a fair amount of this money went to insuring and maintaing a troop van. When we finally realized that there were enough minivans and pickup trucks to dispense with the van, we got rid of it. We already have a reasonable amount of troop equipment. Result: plenty of money. The mulch drive is kind of an institution, so we don't want to stop doing it, and we can't even downsize it, because the orders pretty mch all come from prior customers. We already ditched another fundraiser that everybody hated (cleaning up the grounds after the county fair).

We are thinking about paying more of the cost of trips, but we hate to do that for expensive trips when only some of the boys can go.

It's a great problem to have.

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I just saw this ad on TV and thought it appropriate. We are taking about the cost of scouting and how much is too much et al and Tiger Schulman Karate is running a special in our area for $99 a kid gets 6 weeks of Karate lessons and a uniform, like its such a deal. One testimony is that a child was able to overcome ADD because of Karate, I didnt know ADD could be cured with 6 weeks of anything, much less franchised karate lessons.

 

Just a comparison

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