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DeanRx

Can a unit acccept / solicit donations for goods or services to fund a specific event?

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"Hello. May I speak to the manager ((of this Outback restaurant)), please?"

"I'm the manager. What can I do for you?"

"I'm organizing our Cub Pack's Blue and Gold banquet and we'd like to explore having you cater it this year. Do you do that sort of thing?"

"Absolutely. Let's look at the menu. We can provide small New York strip steaks, garlic potatoes, and green beans au gratin and tossed salad and rolls. Does that sound alright?"

" Oh, that sounds great. We were thinking about a hundred people all together, Cubs and families. How much would that be per person?"

" Nothing. We do this all the time and it's our pleasure. I'm a Scout dad myself".

"NOTHING??"

"Freebie. Glad to do it. You have to come and pick it up, but we will provide all the food and serving gear. We'll have it ready for you at your set time in the warming boxes to carry it in."

"Well, thank you!"

"Sure thing. Now, when is this happening?"

 

True story. Shhhhh...

 

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"approach those that establish the rules and petition them for change with a reasoned appeal and perhaps change will occur."

We've tried that approach in the past. That we celebrate the Fourth of July kinda proved it didn't work so well.

The majority needs to set the rules, rather than some overpaid elite. If troops can't solicit, then, by example, the council or National shouldn't either.

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"And if the rules, themselves, are just plain wrong?"

 

That's why you have a COR: He/she votes at Council business meetings. He/she can raise issues. On the assumption your Chartered Partner is a member of a broader National body, the COR can approach the liaison person representing the body to the Boy Scouts of America National Council.

 

We asked and answered this question elsewhere in this forum. Who is National? We are. People, volunteers, sit on the various Scouting committees at the National level. They got there by having interest in their Districts and in their Councils.

 

Beavah is right: Much to most of the time, this is a so-what matter. A unit will know, in no uncertain terms, when it crosses a fund-raising bright line with its Council. I've seen what happens in other units, and its not pretty.

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Boomerscout asks:

"And if the rules, themselves, are just plain wrong?"

 

What would you advise those fresh 11 - 17 year old faces if they were to ask you that question? What if it is a city, state or federal law? What if it is a rule at school? Or a rule at home?

 

I know what I would tell our boys - and my own son. Get involved in the process and work to change the rule. Write letters. Run for office. Attend council meetings. Sit down and have a heart to heart talk with Mom and Dad - and if they still say no, honor and respect them, because that is the right thing to do.

 

We never teach anything of value outside of the scope of personal responsibility. I want the boys in my charge to learn self control and to be good citizens. I want to teach that civil disobedience is a very serious matter and it comes with a very hefty cost in the form of personal sacrifice. I don't want to teach anarchy.

 

Just sayin ...

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In another thread it was suggested that legislator's like to create 3000 page bills to support a massive agency along with their proposed changes to something and then there is a decade of litigation before anything can happen. That made think of this thread. If people could simply follow the rules without looking for their personal loophole or hiring a lawyer to find one for them I think a lot of things would run a whole lot simpler!

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MomToEli.

 

When Boomerscout asked:

 

"And if the rules, themselves, are just plain wrong?" ...it was more specifically directed at rules that say a scout cannot ask for, solicit or beg for donations because it is just sooooo wrong UNLESS it is for council, national or your district.

 

In that case, it's perfectly okay and expected!

 

Our SE makes $100,000 a uyear in salary.

He neeeds us to beg for money, because he likes having that money and the stuff it can buy. He doesn't wear a scout uniform, just a shirt and tie. He drives to his heated and A/C office each day, same time, same place.

Doesn't have to buy a tent, sleeping bag, uniform parts or pieces.

Doesn't need a backpack, camping gear, utensils, or anything else to support his well being in the woods.

 

Yet, a group of boys who are SUPPOSED to have all the stuff are frowned upon if they want to raise menoy for a good cause - which is scouting, all it's ideals, and moral associations.

 

The only reason scouts are not supposed to solicit for themselves is because the donors may not be inclined to give a second time when the SE needs his money. And the SE will not stand for that!

 

Now, in honesty, our SE and council does not care one bit when we have our spring time BBQ chicken fundraier dinner. We make most of our money that way. But it's in the spring, not the fall.

 

We even talked about holding a fall BBQ dinner instead of selling popcorn ANd giving councuil a clear percentage of that money, which would be higher than whet they get during popcorn.

 

They said no because other units might try to do the same ting, but not give the "right amount" of monet to council.

 

They can track the popcorn $$$, but not our chicken $$$.

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Most CEO's of large corporations make 6-figure salaries, or close to it. Make no mistake, a BSA council is still a business, and large councils are more than comparable to a large private, for profit, corporation.

 

While a council's CEO might not require much in the way of camping equipment, they DO need to "beg money" to pay for equipment used at the council service center and at the council's camps. They need to "beg money" to pay for electric, water, and gas at the council's service center, and camps. They need to "beg money" to pay for repairs to council buildings, and properties. They need to "beg money" to pay for internet capabilities so that their members information can be given to National. They need to "beg money" to pay for insurance, retirement, and salaries for all of the council's employees. They need to "beg money" to pay for all of the programs put on by council. Camps, events, and trainings, do NOT pay for themselves.

 

While most council SE's do not wear a BSA field uniform to work every day, they usually DO own one, and it is purchased with their personal funds, not donated, or paid for by the council. That "just a shirt and tie" they wear to work every day is usually a BSA dress uniform, which is also purchased with personal funds.

 

>>"The only reason scouts are not supposed to solicit for themselves is because the donors may not be inclined to give a second time when the SE needs his money. And the SE will not stand for that!"

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Say what you want about my post.......

 

In a big city we compete for youth. We have 6 packs and troops with in 5 miles of us.

 

The new troop trailer and solicitation for the blue and gold hurts our program. I have heard for nearly a year Pack 123 had prime rib, what are we having????? Well I have already purchased the Beef Briskets and I will smoke them and the Bake Beans the week before. Yep another 20 hours of work. or I can go beg at the Kroger or Outback and save the time and having to charge per head for the meal.

 

 

Stand here thumping the rule book all you want, Right or wrong it is happening.

 

You gotta ask your self......Who exactly are you doing the right thing for??? your boys or Council or National???????

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"Get involved in the process and work to change the rule. Write letters. Run for office. Attend council meetings. Sit down and have a heart to heart talk with Mom and Dad - and if they still say no, honor and respect them, because that is the right thing to do."

 

This has all been tried, and yet, nothing happened until Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat.

Anyway, this is about Scouting. Standing at the apex of the summit, council and National should be leading by example, and not one set of rules for us, one different set for them. I'm not going to address that all Scouters, at all levels, should be volunteers.

OK, they need money. What does a troop do -- it fundraises! They could take on fundraisers too large for a troop level. Council could sponsor a pro/semi-pro golf tourney. National could string these all together into a national tour. They could put the word out they will accept cars, boats, planes, acreage. They could underwrite the paperwork to receive bequests. They could open council camps to the public off season, and operate them year around. Stop selling off council camps, lease the land for 99 years instead.

As an aside, I've noticed that when a corporation sponsors a racing car, the corporation many times fails soon after. The car did not cause the failure; the car indicated the corporation has lost its way.

 

 

 

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Like it or not there are various companies and individuals who would rather donate goods, services, and money to their local scout units rather than the council. Why, because as soon as a company donates to a council they get bombarded with continual donation request letters, visits by the DE or SE in their suits always asking for more and more each year.

 

I agree that an individual unit should not be asking for cash donations from companies, however for example if a restaraunt wants to donate food to a scouting event, that is not a violation of any rules since to the council it has no cash value to them. Sometimes they may give a cash donation to help support that unit and since it was not asked for that also is not a violation of the rules either.

 

In my prior post here I mentioned the case of a sporting goods store donating new camping equipment to a poor and struggling troop. The troop had a beautiful plaque made to honor the store owner which he displays proudly in his office. When I asked him why he did it he told me that the local DE came in and told him that a company his size should be able to donate at least $1,000 to his district campaign, a month later the SE came in and told him that for a $5,000 contribution he would get his name added to a plaque in the council office. Next a small group of scouts came in with their meager troop fund to buy a new dining fly, they were admiring the camping equipment but told him it would be a long time before they could afford all that. Right there on the spot the store owner told me that he made his decision to give his donation to the troop, as he felt it was the right thing to do, much to the anger of the DE and SE who got zero from him. Rules is rules, yea maybe when the rules are fair and just and the funds really go to improving scouting at the unit level, and not the pockets of council executives.

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I tried to solicit funds to purchase new color guard equipment for my unit, and the council had a problem with it. I asked national for a grant, and they said they don't give grants to individual units, I asked my council for a grant, and they said they wouldn't give me the money basically because they didn't feel like it was important. How the heck are we supposed to get the funds for this kind of stuff. because setting up fundraisers for anything in my council is a pain because they always want their "fair" share instead of letting the units have it. It is the dumbest thing ever. Like if I were to go and solicit funds what could they possibly do to me. 

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What could they do to you?  Revoke your charter, for not following BSA policy.

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The game we always have to play is ask for the goods, not the money, but then we can accept any money offered to buy the goods.

It's all about how you say it. Or at least how you start the conversation. We can't ask for money but asking for the goods right away can be off-putting. The strategy that has worked for me has been to just put out the word that we're looking to get something and just seeing what people come back with, whether that's in the form of donated goods, funds, access to discounts, or any other assistance.

When I needed to purchase things for a service project, I put out a community announcement about what we needed and the public came to me either with a donation of the actual items we needed or offering to help with funds to make the purchase. I didn't solicit money, I simply informed the local public about what we were trying to do and let the public help however they chose to.

My Pack did stop me at the point of wanting to make an Amazon wishlist for items, they viewed that as solicitation. I'm not sure how exactly. We can ask people to buy popcorn to fund projects and activities, but I guess we can't ask people to buy stuff directly for those projects or activities?

In the end we still got what we needed, technically without soliciting anything. It's just a silly game we have to play to get from point A to point B, even if the end result is the same as just asking for B from the start.

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7 minutes ago, FireStone said:

The game we always have to play is ask for the goods, not the money, but then we can accept any money offered to buy the goods.

You may not solicit "money", "contributions", or "gifts". Goods are either "contributions" or "gifts".

Quote

We can ask people to buy popcorn to fund projects and activities, but I guess we can't ask people to buy stuff directly for those projects or activities?

All fundraising, and I mean ALL fundraising, has to be Council approved.

Popcorn is, by definition, Council approved.

Popcorn is also, by definition, not solicitation. It is the sale of a good/product.

All else needs to be Council approved to ensure compliance with "the Charter and Bylaws and the Rules and Regulations of the BSA."

The Charter, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations (these are 3 separate documents) ALL prohibit solicitation of "money", "contributions", or "gifts" except by a) National and b) Council.

Quote

technically without soliciting anything

Except that yeah, you are soliciting for "contributions" and/or "gifts". So, rules violation.

Edited by CynicalScouter

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