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SRLoper764

Assistant Scout Master

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All,

 

I've been reading through the posts on fundraising and have enjoyed the feedback to questions poised.

 

Now its my turn to toss one out there and see what happens.

 

First some background:

Since I have been with the Troop, my son bridged last year, I have noticed that there really is not much effort put into fundraising. This surprised me since the Pack with the same charter organization usually raised enough money on popcorn to meet the needs of the pack for the year. Believe me it was quite a bit since the pack provided almost all the boys needed with the exception of uniforms.

 

I have asked about popcorn sales and the adult leaders seem rather nonplussed about the whole thing. What few fundraisers there have been I have not seen much effort put into them from either the adults or the scouts. Maybe I just wasnt in the right place to see what happened.

 

Additionally I recently finished Wood Badge training; now that was FUN. One of the items I want to work on is fundraising for the troop. We have a new scout that just joined that cannot afford some things like summer camp. Believe me if it was not for our uniform locker Im not sure his mom could have bought a uniform. But I digress.

 

I want to teach the scouts what is needed to plan and execute a fundraiser. To do this I will run a fundraiser such as the popcorn sales, which I plan to do this fall, but I also want to develop a printed manual they can use as a guideline in planning other fundraisers

 

Now to my Real Question, what should I put in the guideline? What I have so far is:

Timeline

Forms

Sponsors

Advance Sales

Thank You letters to Sponsors

Evaluation of activity

 

Whatever suggestions you can provide will be very much appreciated. In addition any info on an existing guideline that I can glean info from would be helpful.

 

I of course would be happy to share the finished product with any that want or need such a resource for their units as well.

 

YIS

Bill Duran

SR-764

I used to be an Antelope a good ol Antelope too

 

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Bill,

 

I've noticed the same thing about fundraisers, moving from pack to troop at about the same time you did. Our pack also did well on the popcorn sales so I was surprised to find that this troop does not sell any popcorn. Their claim is that the market is saturated by all the other packs and troops in the area.

 

As for getting the boys enthused about participating in your fundraisers, I think you need to look at their understanding of what the money pays for, and how the money is used.

 

Does your troop have individual scout accounts? If so, this may be an incentive for boys to participate (they can then use the money they earn toward activities and gear, all year).

 

Do most the parents in your troop accept, or complain about, paying out of pocket for everything? If they've become accustomed to it, you have a much harder job of getting them to see the "scout is thrifty" side of things but there again, the individual scout accounts may help win them over.

 

When your troop plans its annual calendar, do you include a discussion of cost with the boys? I was astonished to find this year, when I sat in the back of the room while the boys and SM picked next year's activities, that cost was not discussed AT ALL. How can we then fault the boys for not being enthusiastic about (or even aware of) the fundraising they'll need to do to make it happen?

 

OK I guess what I'm suggesting is that you include in your printed material an overview of how to set budget goals, how to determine where, how, and by whom the money will be used (in advance of doing the fundraiser), and maybe some specific examples of popular troop activities, their cost, and how fundraisers might be used to meet that cost. The latter might be a real eye opener for some boys and families.

 

Good luck!

 

Lisa'bob

A good old bobwhite too!

 

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I would start with a Unit Budget Plan, which the PLC can help with. I have seen units maintain 5 figure bank accounts, which is really unnecessary in my opinion. Lisa is correct...each activity, as part of the planning process, should include a budget and a plan for how to raise the money. Handouts from mom and dad and donated gas/equipment from leaders should be a last resort. The troop committee's input should include the operating expenses: registration, training fees, camperships, awards, etc. The troop Quartermaster should plan for equipment replacement and maintenance. Ideally, your yearly budget should have a zero balance...income equals expenses...with a small contingency factor of say, 10-15%. This teaches the boys to "pay as you go"...and that there's no free lunch.

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First question I'll have to ask is - Does your troop have a functioning troop committee? If so then a member of the committee should oversee fundraising. If not then this would be an area to work on - build the committee. In an ideal troop a Scoutmaster or an assistant would not have responsibility over finances. Their concern would be with the implementation of the program and with development of the Scouts themselves.

But, things don't always go as planned in the real world.

Glad you enjoyed the course, Jon (your course SM) and I went Through SR-33 together in 1994.

 

 

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We have 3 Packs and 2 Troops that sell popcorn in our small community. I wish the Packs and Troops didn't both sell popcorn. It gets frustrating to hear people say, "I already bought from another scout, or My nephew/grandson/etc. is in one of the other units, so I'm buying from him." It's hard enough when a family has 2 or more Cub Scouts selling popcorn, but then when you learn that your sons will be competing for the popcorn sales their whole scout careers, it gets pretty tiring.

 

The Unit Money-Earning form asks whether you've checked with neighboring units to avoid overlapping territories for the same fundraiser. When you're in a small community, it's impossible not to overlap on the popcorn sales.

 

We've tried to go to neighborhoods where we didn't think any scouts lived, but have still had a hard time with sales.

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First off, thank you to all that have responded. I knew I wasnt the only one that faced these kinds of problems. Well let me address some of the replies.

 

LisaBob you wrote

As for getting the boys enthused about participating in your fundraisers, I think you need to look at their understanding of what the money pays for, and how the money is used.

Reply

Excellent point, matter of fact we had a Canoeing Merit Badge class and I discussed some of that with the boys in my car. Interesting to see their side.

 

Does your troop have individual scout accounts?

I havent asked that question yet although from what I am hearing I believe we do.

 

When your troop plans its annual calendar, do you include a discussion of cost with the boys?

Reply

In the last year I have been with the Troop I have not seen that.

 

Do most the parents in your troop accept, or complain about, paying out of pocket for everything?

Reply

Cant really say, we have pretty much taken care of the financial end for my son so far. Id like to see him work more for the trips and campouts than he has.

 

OK I guess what I'm suggesting is that you include in your printed material an overview of how to set budget goals, how to determine where, how, and by whom the money will be used (in advance of doing the fundraiser), and maybe some specific examples of popular troop activities, their cost, and how fundraisers might be used to meet that cost. The latter might be a real eye opener for some boys and families.

Reply

That is some of what I am looking for to put into this outline.

 

scoutldr you wrote:

each activity, as part of the planning process, should include a budget and a plan for how to raise the money.

Reply

That is also part of what I see I need to include in my outline

 

The troop committee's input should include the operating expenses: registration, training fees, camperships, awards, etc.

And t158sm wrote:

First question I'll have to ask is - Does your troop have a functioning troop committee?

Reply

Best answer I can give on the Troop committee is that in the last year I have been with the troop I have only been able to attend 2 of 4 committee meetings. It is something that they desperately want to do on a regular basis but unfortunately I think life gets in the way too many times. That is my perspective of whats going on, might not be theirs.

 

Glad you enjoyed the course, Jon (your course SM) and I went Through SR-33 together in 1994

Reply

That is the year my son was born, Jon from what I have seen really has a heart for scouting and made the experience Better Than Good.

 

funscout you wrote:

I wish the Packs and Troops didn't both sell popcorn. It gets frustrating to hear people say, "I already bought from another scout, or my nephew/grandson/etc. is in one of the other units, so I'm buying from him."

Reply

Believe me I do understand what you mean, just in my neighborhood there are 8 scouts that I know of and of those all but two are in the same pack or troop with the same charter org. We too have heard comments like that.

 

Personally at work I just hang the popcorn list in my office and those that want to buy will ask. I used to work where I could not ask others and this way I stayed out of trouble. Not to mention one of the dads where I used to work sold a lot of popcorn for his son every year.

 

All thank you for your comments and advice. I will take all into consideration while working my ticket for Wood Badge. If you have any other comments ideas please post away, Im not the smartest person in the world but I have learned to use OPE (Others Peoples Experience) to make things easier.

 

YIS

Bill

ASM 412

 

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Several Units in our District are talking about not selling popcorn this year. Sales were off by over 40% this year. The popcorn has gotten so expensive. Had two people return the microwave. The oils had leaked out of the packages when they opened the boxes.

 

I don't know on our Troop. But Kevin only sold about half what he sold last year and he hit the same people. Money is simply tighter that it was.

 

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Thats very true. since the rise in prices we have also seen a decient sized decrese in sales. we still do the fund raiser but its not what it use to be.

 

on another note. our largest and most profitable fundraiser is our "Coffee Break". We live near I84 in NY. there is a rest area very close to where we live. we get permission from the state and we can go there and offer coffee, cakes, pies, bagles, and whetever we can get our hands on. all we do is put out a donation jar. we never ask people for money. its a great fund raiser and its really interesting to the boys. we have had people come to us and talk about there younger days and some of them were in the scouts or have kids in scouts. we have even had a couple of Government people stop and talk to us. Senator and assembleymen.

 

its a good one to show them how to plan.

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Greetings from a fellow Antelope. We're a rare breed, so it's great to see another one in here.

 

You've gotten some great feedback here. Let me throw in my 2-cents.

 

First, you need a fundraising chairperson on the Troop Committee. Ultimately, it's the committee's job to fund the troop. If they don't want to conduct fundraisers, then that's their decision. The boys are responsible for coming up with the program, the committee figures out how to fund it. If you don't have a fundraising chair, you may find yourself playing that role in the interim. We've had one, but he's been invisible as of late (job issues). So a couple of others have had to pick up the slack.

 

Also, as has been mentioned, you must determine what your need is. When we started as a troop, we were all middle-class families, sending our guys out on fairly routine monthly campouts. We didn't have a lot of big expenses. But now we're a larger troop, going on various adventurous trips - white water rafting, Sea base, and other fun places. We also now have families of different financial situations. For some, these expenses are a much bigger challenge.

 

I also believe it is important to find a fundraiser the boys want to do. It seems that boy scouts are generally burned out on popcorn after five years of cub scouts. So, we don't push popcorn really hard. Most, if not all profits from popcorn go to the boy's account. The committee makes the decision on how to allocate the profits each year.

 

Now, for your guideline. I'm not sure what you have in mind regarding sponsors. Be careful that you don't break the BSA rules regarding soliciting businesses, et.al. I believe the most important thing you've left off is the objective. Why are you doing this fundraiser? Is it for a specific event (High adventure trip, summer camp, etc.)? The other thing you need to include is approvals. You need approval from your CO and from your council office.

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