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bearshark

Ethics and FOS

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I guess I would have been considered a "soft seller" in that I didn't use the high presssure tactics that some have encountered and were "encouraged" to use by my FiD and DFS. FOS is a necessary evil in that it does so much more than "Fund Our Salaries."

 

The actual cost of scouting varies from council to council. While my original council calcualted that it cost appox. $81/year in addition to everything else a scout pays for, i.e. uniforms, fees, campouts, etc., The council I became a DE in calculated it would cost $88/year extra. That may not seem like much, but when you have families who are hurting, those that need help getting uniforms and camperships, that extra money would take alot of folks out of our wonderful program.

 

Yes that money does cover salaries. But it also covers the costs of maintence at you council's camp(s), insurance, recruiting supplies, SCOUTREACH, activities that go over budget (it does happen on occasion), training supplies, records maintence (despite SCOUTNET ;) ), and I can go on.

 

While I encourage everyone to give to FOS, I know that some do give of their time and talents. I know that some do pay for things out of pocket, never expecting reinbursement ;) I aslo know that some just cannot support the program b/c of financial obligations. So I understand when I got those pledge cards with $0, and am glad they turned them in at all as I hated doign "phone-a-thons" and putting them on the spot on the phone, or worse talking to them in person and seeing in their eyes how much the program means to their son and them, but they just cannot afford to give.

 

Yes FOS is like a "spread the wealth" scheme, but unlike when government does it, you have a choice in whether to contribute to FOS or not and how much. Don't pay taxes, and you are goign to jail, pay penalties, and pay interest.

 

Grant you some folks need to learn tact, But I bet you a CSP that teh DE is getting pressured and "advised" from on high. My suggestion is to have a talk with his boss, or send a letter, stating how you think the tactless tactics could actually HARM scouting by reducing FOS pledges next year, and possibly membership numbers THIS year as families do not appreciate the tactics, and leave the movement. If enough families and leaders complain, the tactics may change.

 

EDITED TO REPLACE THE 2ND 'SCOUTREACH' IN 3RD PARA. WITH MY INTENDED "SCOUTNET" I got SCOUTREACH on the mind as my hospital's VP of HR just stopped by and said he has an old uniform he wants to donate.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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I don't envy the DE's job on fundraising at all. Our FOS presentation, the DE claimed it costs $100/scout to maintain salaries and facilities. Ok, raise the registration fee to cover those costs. Then turn FOS into a fundraiser for camperships for needy scouts. Those same families who can't afford scouting could draw directly from there. Our unit charges $80/year. $10 goes to national, $70 goes to the unit. Just charge $180 so $100 goes to council to cover costs.

 

Its still a bargain. My daughter plays competitive volleyball. For a three month session (3 days/week), we pay $650. Pays for facilities and staff. That includes a t-shirt. If she made the traveling team, it would be $2200.

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Pet peeve/rant. At the risk of sounding petty, I resent it when my donation is handled with carelessness/disregard. One year, I donated in monthly installments, and the council's recordkeeping was slipshod at best. I never did get a receipt for the full amount I paid (for tax purposes). Like other councils, if one donates at least the "cost of scouting" (~$126), the donor is supposed to get an FOS CSP and a coffee mug. More often than not, my patch/mug never shows up. It's a small thing, but I am a serious collector. I don't wear the CSP, but it goes in my patch box to be sold for a buck by my widow at my Estate sale. Point is, if you say you're going to do something, then DO it. I feel taken for granted.

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Fundraising is a necessary evil. I accept that. What I don't need is them sucking up 20-30 mins of a meeting (or God forbid, a court of honor!) dropping a guilt trip on our parents. One of the troops I've worked with finally had it with FOS so we told the council to let us know what our fair share was and we'd get it done internally but we didn't want the FOS presentation. The committee then let the troop parents know what our goal was and how much we'd gotten thus far. We covered our tab, saved our courts of honor and were much happier.

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In our council, each unit determines the date the FOS presentation will be. Many choose a COH because more parents will be there than at a regular meeting.But if you don't want it at your COH, fine.

 

Who determines what your fair share is? And some units end up giving more than their "fair share". I did an FOS presentation a couple of years ago for a Cub Pack. Grandma was there to see grandson earn a rank. After my presentation, Grandma pulled out her checkbook and wrote a check for $200. She was proud that her son (the new Cubmaster) was an Eagle Scout and she knew firsthand the value of Scouting. We would not likely have received that check had we just told the unit "you need to come up with XXX dollars.

 

It's not a guilt trip. Major corporate donors just aren't there anymore. Our Council staff are all taking 15% pay cuts. Yes, things are tough, especially here in Michigan. But if we believe in the value of Scouts, we need to find the money to run the program. Family contributions are a major part of the plan. Those of us doing FOS presentaions are volunteers, just like you. I already give tremendously of my time and monsy. But I'll find a way to give a little more this year.

 

Ken

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