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Friends of Scouting Campaign

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I always thought there was a rule against donating directly to the unit. The boys had to do "something" to earn it. Unit money can come from dues, fund raising or the charter organization but not outright donations. Donations must go up to the council. I know that we would turn down donations at my previous unit or arrange a service project for them prior to accepting the donation.


Yep. You can give directly to a Troop but it may not be tax-deductible if that is what you are looking for. Discuss that with a professional tax preparer or CPA.
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When I was a scout, we didn't have any real fundraisers except for the troop. That paid for gear, etc. for the troop. There were no individual accounts. People who give to troops only to have it used personally by the scouts run some rather thin lines in the process.


Therefore I tell the boys to do what I did as a scout, go out and make your own money to pay for your scouting career. We had to have full uniforms and we had to pay for them ourselves. I came from a low income family so if I wanted to be in scouts I had to shovel walks, rake leaves, spade over gardens, run errands, etc. Child labor laws? It wasn't until I was old enough to have a paper-route, that the law came into play. There's nothing out there that says a boy can't make his own money and forego the popcorn sales, candy bar sales, pancake breakfast, chili suppers and waiting around for someone to contribute to the troop so they can get a chunk of it for themselves.


Part of scouting is learning how to take care of yourself, and that means financially as well. Sitting around playing video games waiting for the next handout doesn't cut it much in my world.


Someone contributes to the troop? Good, we can get a new tent or stove for the boys. OR... a new stove costs $40 and there are twenty boys in the troop... Do the math, that means each boy gets $2 towards summer camp.... Now that's a "thrifty" proposition if I ever saw one.



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Shouldn't raising money from OUTSIDE of the organization be the indispensable skill required of a scouting exec?


I have always felt that way about FOS. There's nothing like seeing the faces of the parents during an FOS presentation after they have just shelled out $300 apiece for summer camp. Many have asked "Does any of this money go directly to our troop?" The FOS presenter will dance around the question, with stories of new canoes and rifles for summer camp. If they ask me after the meeting, I just say "nope." More parents will throw ME a $20 bill and say "spend this where it's most needed". I had a friend, a recently returning Iraq War Veteran, ask me how much one of our winter camping trips cost us. Having no idea he'd do this, I told him, and he wrote a check to the troop and said "The next one's on me."


I realize that Councils have expenses, sure, but getting a letter in the mail telling me what my troop's FOS "quota" or "expectation" is really bugs me. The letter promptly goes in the circular file. Do this kind of fundraising OUTSIDE the organization. These days, local units really have to "get their own house in order" first! I don't know about other troops, but the parents of our troop are more willing to write that check to the troop rather than the council.


Why not make FOS pitches to organizations that may know little or nothing about Scouting? Not only would they get donations, but might end up chartering a new unit or two along the way, no?

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I just received a survey for the BSA regarding district/council and their responsiveness, leadership, etc... in providing the scouting experience. I commented the focus on raising money (at National, council and district levels) instead of focusing on the scouting program was a big problem.

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