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LeCastor

Fundraising for the Good of the Whole Troop?

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The idealist in me loves the idea of all-for-one, one-for-all, the realist in me laughs because I've never seen it work out. It's easy to blame the parents but scouts also recognize when they've taken the 10th popcorn shift and nobody else is participating.

 

Maggie said it best, "The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." I would extend that to include time and resources as well.

 

Stosh, I love your dedication to servant leadership. That said, there is a line that exists between servant leadership and servitude. It's a very elastic line and different for everybody. Honestly the BSA suffers from pushing this line all the time. That's probably a discussion for another thread though.

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I was hungry. ;) This unit does it fairly well, the 'collective' approach. I think that even the CS pack has turned away from popcorn and individual accounts. The boys seem to have more fun when they 'chip in' on a group fundraiser for the entire unit - the important component here is 'fun' as opposed to 'personal gain' at which point I agree with Stosh regarding the spirit of the 'law' which, to me at least. clearly leans toward the 'socialist' model thus making me (as an advocate for this approach) a fellow bolshevik.

 

Edit: Oops, almost forgot. While I don't necessarily agree with the 'every boy for himself' approach to fundraisers, I'm not sure why that approach would be considered 'myopic', unless the term has another meaning of which I am unaware.

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Stosh, I love your dedication to servant leadership. That said, there is a line that exists between servant leadership and servitude. It's a very elastic line and different for everybody. Honestly the BSA suffers from pushing this line all the time. That's probably a discussion for another thread though.

 

I don't know as if there really is a real "line" between servant leadership and servitude. Yes, there are those who can take advantage of others and thus take advantage of another person's leadership, but as pointed out here, one doesn't have to lead others if they choose not to. I can lead another and they can continue taking advantage of that and never learn, but when I pull myself out of their equation, they are virtually helpless. They have relied on others to the point where they cannot function. Imagine for a moment the 40 year old "kid" living in his parent's basement.... The parents are 100% at fault with this process because they enabled this person to be totally ineffective in life. Is that really taking care of another with real servant leadership? I don't think so, and thus I don't think there is a line, just an abuse of ill-defined servant leadership. Part of servant leadership is to enable the "follower" to become all that they can potentially be. I serve them by helping them grow while keeping them safe. I let them fail and learn as they go. I work at helping them with problem solving, creative thinking, confidence, self-reliance and a number of other issues that go along with "growing up." "Enabling" often times looks like servant leadership when it really isn't.

 

If the person I'm serving doesn't benefit from my servant leadership, then I move on to others. Maybe someone else will be able to get the dynamics of growing up across to them better than I can. But I won't continue to enable them in their self-destructive behavior.

 

My wife and I just went through a tough 3 years of this. Her brother (prison for 15 years for a sexual assault charge) upon release had no place to go and so he moved in with us. It was a difficult 2 years and we accomplished little if anything. We finally had to "cut him loose". He stayed in the area, found a really nice, caring girl who got him out of the bottle, off drugs and into a job. Is he taking advantage of her or is her style of servant leadership something he has become receptive to? There is no one definition of what servant leadership is. It's different for everyone. That's one of the tough parts of teaching it as SM. Every boy is different and needs to define it for himself. I draw it out of him, not put it in with some "lessons". It's kinda like "I don't know what it is for you, but you'll recognize it when it comes along." It's like the fire alarm. When it goes off, you know what it is. :)

 

Is caring and nurturing servant leadership? Yep!

 

Is tough love servant leadership? Yep!

 

Is there a "line" between the two? Nope!

 

I hope this helps.

 

Stosh

 

Oh, and by the way, can any of this leadership happen if I'm only concerned about myself and my issues, and my welfare? :)

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FISCAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR BSA UNITS
Can my unit credit amounts from fundraising to an individual toward their expenses?

No. The IRS has stated that crediting fundraising amounts constitutes private benefit. However, the unit could use the funds (all or a percentage) raised to reduce or eliminate dues and various registration fees, purchase uniforms and Scouting books, and purchase camping equipment. The unit could also use its funds to provide assistance to individual Scouts in cases of financial hardship.
 
 
I realize this thread is half-a-year old already, but the above statement pretty much shoots the "ISA funded from Unit fundraisers" right between the eyes.  If you're not fundraising "for the good of the WHOLE troop", you're not only violating BSA policy, you're poking the IRS-bear with a sharp stick.
 
 
Of course, like a lot of Troops, we've been doing exactly that for ... well, forever!  My announcement (as Treasurer) at our next committee meeting that "this must change right now" is going to be a shock to many.  I'm a big dumb guy, and I do a lot of big dumb things, but intentionally firing a shot across the Internal Revenue Service isn't a bedpost notch I wanna carve.

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Not gonna argue with a treasurer, @@MrBob. You're doing good work, and have a right to do it in a way that you feel complies to the standards you want to uphold.

 

However, the sharpness of this "stick" you speak of depends on the magnitude of a boy's individual benefit. If you're talking about $300-$400 per boy for camp or for boots and a backpack -- training experience and equipment that a troop needs from every boy to be successful, the bear has harder biting flies to fuss over.  If, on the other hand, your troop expects each family to raise tens of thousands of dollars for your boy to retain his membership (precisely the magnitude of sports parents' fundraising that drew an IRS opinion), then you are indeed drawing attention as a bogus tax shelter for parents' extra income!

 

So, however, you choose to present it to your committee, try to avoid excessive drama. And be patient. Who knows? Maybe a couple of other folks in your troop have seen the writing on the wall.

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Buy water balloons with that money you not only get the IRS on you but BSA's version of ATF.

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If everyone is able to participate then it doesn't make a difference if it's troop wide or scout account. The problem is when not everyone participates. But I believe the units have a responsibility to make it possible for every scout to participate to the maximum by setting up show and sells and not just giving them an order form and saying have at it boys!

 

If the opportunities are there and you just don't take them to sell then get out your checkbook.

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Scouting is a brotherhood, one hangs together with the patrol members, and they specifically take care of their buddy.  EXCEPT when it comes to the money, then all bets are off and MY money doesn't count when it comes to any cooperative efforts and if you don't work at selling stuff, you can stay home or pay up.

 

How does one get past the "Show Scout spirit" requirement with an attitude like that?

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Interesting read on replies and I get the points.  What to do if one or two of the scouts in the Patrol want to go to Philmont or Jamboree?

 

Then his buddies roll up their sleeves and make sure they get them to Philmont or Jambouree.  Help other people at all times.... that includes your best friends/buddies in the patrol.  Once one gets to that level in the patrols/troop, then some of the MY Eagle, MY scouting experience, MY money in  MY scout account.... MY.... starts going away.  It's that kind of thinking that makes the best Paper Eagles.  Until a scout begins to quit worrying about himself and starts thinking about others, he's never going to figure out what Scouting is really all about.  For sure, they'll never figure out what servant leadership is all about.  

 

Once one has a kid come around on that point, the next step is to work on his parents, too.

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Then his buddies roll up their sleeves and make sure they get them to Philmont or Jambouree.  Help other people at all times.... that includes your best friends/buddies in the patrol.  Once one gets to that level in the patrols/troop, then some of the MY Eagle, MY scouting experience, MY money in  MY scout account.... MY.... starts going away.  It's that kind of thinking that makes the best Paper Eagles.  Until a scout begins to quit worrying about himself and starts thinking about others, he's never going to figure out what Scouting is really all about.  For sure, they'll never figure out what servant leadership is all about.  

 

Once one has a kid come around on that point, the next step is to work on his parents, too.

Yep, my friends helped me sell some of Mamma's hard-tack candy so I could do Jambo (and some other things).

 

Just to flip @@Stosh's argument around, you might have a boy who sees his expenses as an extra burden on the patrol, and works his job and personal life to pay for his junkets. One of our Eagles had an established lawn care business that payed for HA's, tech school, and employed a few other boys.

 

Sometimes, I lent my (scout/non-scout) buddies a hand doing their jobs. I wasn't thinking of the "end game". They had a job to do, I had time. Still see it happening, although employment regulations make it a little less likely.

 

If you want an iron-clad financial system that fairly accounts for these random acts of kindness, look elsewhere. A boy's sense of fairness hinges more on who you will or will not allow to have a scoutmaster conference.

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Not helping others shows a lack of Scout Spirit.  No Scout Spirit, no advancement.  Problem solved.

 

Most fundraisers fail not because the Scouts don't want to do them and share, but because the Scouters have designed a really half-assed event

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Not helping others shows a lack of Scout Spirit.  No Scout Spirit, no advancement.  Problem solved.

 

Most fundraisers fail not because the Scouts don't want to do them and share, but because the Scouters have designed a really half-assed event

@@boomerscout  

 

I know it's just a typo, but the moderators might take issue with your spelling.  The proper spelling is half-fast.  Be more careful next time.

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