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bearshark

Ethics and FOS

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While it's important to raise money (that's part of FOS) I find it a little disturbing how a few people in our district have been handling things.

 

A smaller troop then the one I am in happened to raise more money then we did during the FOS campaign. It's not that suprising as the other troop is made up of people who have higher paying jobs then this one... Regardless...

 

The disturbing part is that the list of people and what they donated was circled back to the troop with a question / challange of how much more can they get.

 

While I understand the money part and can even understand maybe putting it as "you have 25 people in your troop - only 13 contributed for a total of this much" would be acceptable - but to list individuals and their contribution for anyone to see? I don't think that's right, but I don't know. Can someone enlighten me?

 

My husband helped with FOS in another district several years ago as part of his Woodbadge tickets and I certainly don't remember it being handled in this manner. I would think name and amounts should be a privacy issue. Is it?

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Seems rude and out of line. I would simply not schedule FOS presentation next year and tell them why.

 

We had a DE ask a parent why his donation was so small, The parent took the card back, shredded it, grabbed his son, wife and that was the last we saw of him.

 

Scouting is too much about the money, drives me crazy. The perpetual fun raising.

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I kinda think that it is important to point out that this in not the norm.

Some years back the Parish Priest that we had at the time did try something like this.

Whatever it was that he had hoped to achieve failed!

In the end just about everyone was upset.The people who were on the list were embarrassed and the people who weren't on the list didn't want to be seen on the list.

There are ways that much the same thing can be done without the upset.

Our local theater recognizes people or groups who donate at different levels. I can't remember the details but a Gold Sponsor might donate over $10,000.00 a silver over $5,000.00 but less then $10,000.00 and so on.

The BSA has the James E. West, the Council I serve has special CSP's for people who donate over $100.00. Those who don't want to be recognized can donate and remain anonymous.

As for the privacy issue?

I think a lot would depend on what the people were told when they donated.

The bottom line as far as I'm concerned is that this type of thing tends to backfire and upsets a lot of people.

As to the ethics?

I'll think on that one.

Eamonn.

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yep this is definateley not the norm, is it a new DE perhaps? While there is a list of donors out there, that's restricted to the DE, the FOS chairman, a VERY select few individuals, usually one or two people, usually the district chair and the next FOS chair. They do sit down and go through the list, and discuss whether to ask for an increase, usually the "Suggested Gift Amount" on the FOS card. they will discuss people they know, usually to see if it possible or not to ask for an increase in relation to their circumstances, i.e. this person has a child in the hospital, this person just lost their job, etc.

 

 

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I've worked FOS quite a bit and I can't say that the contribution information is all that confidential. Doing the presentations I collect the pledge cards and frequently checks. Often we'll total the pledges and the total at the end. We will sometimes have clean up nights where a bunch of us will get together at the council office and call past donors who haven't pledged for the current year. We always work off a donor history sheet which shows us what the folks have given in the past so we know what to ask for.

 

A lot goes into figuring "the ask," especially when you're working with an individual. You don't want to under sell, but you don't want to freak folks out, either. When I'm doing presentations, I like giving folks a range $X sends a Cub to day camp for a week. $Y covers the council's cost for one Scout for a year. $Z sends a Boy Scout to summer camp, etc.

 

But going back and asking for more after folks have already pledged is just tacky and classless. The DE responsible needs a refresher at charm school.

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I would agree that isn't the norm. It sounds like someone has lost sight of why they are professional in Scouting.

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If that had happened to me, they would never see another dime of my money, and I would let the Council Executive Board know why.

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" A feast is made for laughter and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things."

Elllesiastes 10:11

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Should that be Ecclesiastes 10:11, SSScout? And if so, that is the wrong text.(This message has been edited by evmori)

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My post should have said the pledge information is NOT all that confidential. It's not made public, but pretty much anyone in the food chain has access to the info.

 

Sorry, too late for an edit.

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For years it had been a tradition that the DE was invited to our Blue and Gold banquet and he would do the FOS thing at that time. But I sympathize with Basementdweller on this. One year the guy showed up and then shocked the families with a tirade about homosexuals and atheists. It was a complete surprise to me but that ended the tradition. The DE is no longer welcome at the Blue and Gold. Even without the tirade, it's almost as if the families were being panhandled while on a family outing. What am I saying? That's exactly what was happening.

 

But the damage was done. Several families left scouting altogether, without another word. Only years later did they confide to me that they were so offended that they didn't want their sons to associate with BSA.

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Yah, one thing that's very true across most councils is that DE's are woefully undertrained and lacking in experience when it comes to institutional development / soliciting donations. Add to that that it's a high-pressure activity for 'em, and often their job depends on the results.

 

So da stories of this kind of ham-handedness are truly legion, and the lost opportunities even larger.

 

B

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Anyone affected by this who would like to complain should make a call to the council's finance or fundraising director. If they're worth their pay, they're probably a member of at least one professional fundraising association, which have very strict codes of ethics that, by my layman's reading, prohibit this type of activity.

 

Even if the missive didn't come from that professional (might it have been an overzealous volunteer?), it's their responsibility to train and oversee the fundraising operations.

 

The "Donor Bill of Rights," developed by several fundraising groups, includes this item:

 

"To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law."

 

The Association of Fundraising Professionals' ethical code includes several examples of unethical practice that relate to confidentiality and would seem to apply to this situation:

 

- Disclosing confidential information to unauthorized persons.

- Providing a donor's file to unauthorized individuals or organizations.

- Sharing donor information with friends, relatives and colleagues not involved in fundraising, or in social settings involving volunteers or administrative or professional staff of their organization.

- Revealing the identity of an anonymous donor to others without the authorization of the donor.

 

Visit www.afpnet.org for details.

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"Yah, one thing that's very true across most councils is that DE's are woefully undertrained and lacking in experience when it comes to institutional development / soliciting donations. Add to that that it's a high-pressure activity for 'em, and often their job depends on the results."

 

Don't know about anyone else, but if I were a DE or in a similar position where my job depended on the results of my fundraising work, I'd be darn sure to get up to speed on the rules, ethics and other sundry details. And if I were an SE, I'd darn sure want my DEs to have the best training possible before sending them out into the field where their work is a direct reflection on me and the organization I lead.

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