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110Percent

Flat Broke Pack

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I notice that the current Tresurer is going to be the new CC. How much was he part of the problem? I think you are going to need a strong CC to get this ship straighten out. Is this person part of the problem or the solution?

 

The other thing is who presents this to the parents? The outgoing CM and CC? Are they just stepping down but still involved with the pack or have their kids crossed over? If they are completely down the presentation might not be received as well from them. They other parents could feel resentful. If the presentation leads to resentfulness it doesn't help the long term solution.

 

 

 

The good news is in my mind this was not financial mismangement where they committee spent money on unnecessary items. It was mismanagment from the lack of budgeting, dues are too low and no fund raising. Personal I think that is easier to explain to the parents than if the committee went out and purchased a trailer or another large ticket item.

 

Timing is bad. It would have been better to address this in the winter when it became a problem rather than at the last pack meeting before summer break.

 

In the OP you mentioned that the CC has been lending money to the pack up until B&G. find out how much of the hole you are actually in. This is where some bitterness could develop with the parents, if they see the outgoing CC as part of the problem. It is going to be harder to get them to pay more money if they see it going to him rather than the program. you combine this with no bling since Fed and pinewood cancelled without explanation. You could have some bitter parents.

 

You need to move the conversation from the past to the future. But be convincing that it is not going to repeat.

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Just a thought: Where are you chartered from? Church/school/American Legion? I've read a LOT of great thoughts on how to move forward, but I didn't see anything about what you're Charter Rep thinks.

My former unit was chartered from an American Legion. Look in your town, and see if you have an AL or VFW, and send them a letter to request financial assistance. Many times, the AL and VFW both LOVE to support BSA and other youth Civic Organizations. I'm not saying they'll be able to solve all of your troubles....but it may be helpful to get $100-200 for awards.

As suggested....talk to your District Rep as well. If you bring them in for a Friends of Scouting presentation... even if they don't get a dime..your end of year awards are paid for. That at least ensures you're able to present the youth something.

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Personally, I wouldn't let the lack of response from your Council on your fundraising ap stop you from doing your proposed fundraiser. I've submitted several applications to our Council for fundraising activities and the only time I ever heard back from them was for one fundraiser that they did have a problem with because it involved bingo. I figure a lack of response is an implicit approval.

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What's the financial situation in your town/area? Why are there no dues to cover things and no fundraising? Are you getting advise from comparable packs?

 

My pack is relatively upper income, lots of private school families, lots of professionals, and a few that aren't... When my predecessor ran things, she made the mistake of talking to the lower-income, single-mom pack leaderships, set dues too low, and fundraised for things that the parents were happy to pay for. Parents pulled out of the program after a year, too little stuff, too much aggravation.

 

Last year, I spoke to some people running a pack at a private school, comparable dues to ours, fundraising to cover capital needs, parents ponied up.

 

Other groups I know parents struggle to pay $10/mo in dues. It all depends on the family and what's going on. If the parents have no money, then you need to fund raise.

 

We are finding our financial stride as follows:

1. Reasonably high dues to cover the program

2. Charging reasonable rates for campouts, etc.

3. Fundraising for capital needs.

4. Develop a method for letting people fundraise to cover costs

5. Just campership the handful where the parents can't pay or be bothered to fundraise

 

#5 is VERY critical. If 80% of the parents can pay, and 20% can't, the common Scout solution is to run the program for the 20%... that's wrong... just run it for the 80%, and make sure that your fundraising covers the other 20%. The guys handing you donations and buying the popcorn think it's going for kids that can't afford it, nothing wrong with using it that way.

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Well, we had our meeting this past Saturday and several decisions were made.

 

1. The problem will be disclosed to the parents by the CM and CC. $25 will be collected from each family to cover our $600 shortfall. (Not exactly happy with this solution)

2. The current CC will step down (and stay on for a while as an adviser) and the Treasurer will step up to be the new CC. She was not part of our current problem since she was kept out of the financial loop due to bank issues.

3. A new bank account is being set up to resolve our banking issues

4. A new Treasurer will step up

5. A more aggressive dues and fundraising structure was suggested to ensure this doesn't happen again (to be presented at the planning meeting)

 

Additionally, several other items were discussed to make the pack more efficient; which will also be brought to the planning meeting.

 

Also, on Friday I was able to find the fundraising person at council and get the submitted application approved.

 

Things seem to be on the right track. Once we over the heartburn of having to collect additional dues, the pack will stronger than it has been in years.

 

I'd like to thank all of you for your input. I will use many of these suggestions in my input for this year's planning meeting.

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