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April-D

Fundraisers - Silent Auction

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We have a silent auction every year at our B&G Auction -- I heard someone say that technically we're not "supposed" to do this... what are the rules for fundraising? Is it because the BSA/council/district isn't getting a cut or? ?? Anyone? Anyone?

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In unit fundraising, the people giving money are supposed to be receiving something of value for their money.

 

In a silent auction, people are deciding the value of what they are buying and no one is giving money without getting anything so it should be okay.

 

Also, according my DE (three DEs ago), normal fundraising rules don't apply if you are only soliciting from the people involved in the pack.In other words, you could have a cake raffle without running afoul of the rules if you don't sell tickets to the public.

 

Of course, others may disagree but that's what we were told.

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So, according to your former DE, it's OK if the folks in your Pack/Troop/etc don't get value for their money spent? Nice guy!

 

Auctions are fine.

 

Raffles are considered gambling and are forbidden by BSA.

 

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Can you really say that you are getting "value" for you money when you spend $15 for a box of microwave popcorn and you can get the same stuff (Pop Weaver) at WalMart for $5?

 

Not really but everyone buys because they know that the money is a donation.(This message has been edited by Gold Winger)

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From BSA's Unit Money-Earning Application -

 

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

 

"Selling raffle tickets or other games of chance is a direct violation of the BSA Rules and Regulations, which forbid gambling. The product must not detract from the ideals and principles of the BSA."

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April-D

It all depends on what you mean by "silent auction".

If it's an item sitting there with a bid sheet where each bidder writes in what they are willing to pay then yes, it's ok.

 

If on the other hand you are referring to a line of items with a box in front of each into which you throw any number of low cost tickets then no that's a raffle.

 

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Silent auctions are not games of chance.

 

You don't put up any money except to purchase the item in question. If an item, or group of items has a retail value of $50, you could choose to put your name down for let's say $10 and if you are the high bidder you get $50 worth of stuff for $10. There is the opportunity for someone to wander up and put their name down for $15 and in that case, they'd get the $50 worth of stuff for $15 and the $10 bidder has lost nothing. Plus, the $10 bidder can come back later and bid $20.

 

In the event someone ends up bidding $60 for items worth $50, that may be because they are an unwise consumer...much like buying an item at Target that happens to be on sale cheaper at Walmart. Or, such a bid could be made because even though the person knows the value of the product, they choose to make a donation to aid the unit.

 

The bidders all have the opportunity to make informed decisions about the price they choose to pay for the items. The only way there is any chance involved is if the items being bid on are concealed. If you are bidding on the unknown contents of a brown paper bag and those contents may be worth $10 or $100, then you are taking a chance.

 

Now, if someone wants to argue about whether a unit fund raising form needs to be filed, have at it.

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In my opinion, a silent auction is not gambling. The winner has determined the value of the item(s) buy putting his highest bid down. The "losers" have not gambled because they have lost nothing. In any case. ALL fundrasiers need to be approved by your charter organization and by your council. That is why the form is required for ALL Fundraisers. If your fundraiser is approved by your council and charter organization, then your unit is in the clear.

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silent auctions are fine -- really! You tape a bid sheet next to each item and pray. Raffles and other games of chance where you pay an up front fee are not so fine

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silent auctions are fine -- really! You tape a bid sheet next to each item and pray. Raffles and other games of chance where you pay an up front fee are not so fine

 

Silent Auctions are a form of gambling therefore forbidden.

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