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Jodie

Gofundme Accounts

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I recently saw a Life Scout create a GoFundMe account to raise money to go to Philmont. While I would love for every scout to be able to go and experience Philmont, it raised questions in my mind if this was an allowable fundraiser?

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To the best of my knowledge, the only BSA restrictions facing a Scout undertaking fundraising on his own for his Scouting experience is in raising funds for his Eagle Scout project which requires a form to be filled out and has rules to follow on what is and what isn't allowable.

 

Since this Scout is not raising funds for an Eagle Scout project and is not raising funds for another group using the BSA name or for his Troop using the BSA name, or presumably trying to benefit off the BSA brand to pay the family's bills, it would likely pass muster (disclaimer - I have not seen the language of the GoFundMe plea so it's also possible that the BSA might take issue with it on technical terms (use of copyrighted materials, unclear language, etc.).

 

While I'm not a big fan of this kind of social network fundraising for individuals (though I love the platform for non-profit fundraising - for instance, I'm all for it if it helps a small rural community volunteer fire department raise funds to buy a Jaws of Life set-up, or a Boy Scout Troop to raise funds to replace tents destroyed in a storm, for example), when I put my personal feelings aside, it seems to me to be not much different (other than the laziness and sense of entitlement - ooops, maybe my personal feelings aren't all that far aside) from a Scout going around the neighborhood and telling his neighbors he's trying to raise some money for Philmont and asking if he can mow their lawns, or do other gardening work, or help clean out a garage or shovel snow or something - either way, he's still letting folks know he's a Scout and is trying to raise funds for a Scouting activity.  The latter has historically been suggested by the BSA.

 

If the Scout was raising funds through GoFund Me (or mowing lawns) using the BSA brand to do so to pay his family's bills or to buy a car, for something not related to Scouts, it's not a BSA policy that he needs to worry about, it's going to be state laws against fraud that he's going to be facing.

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I don't agree with @@CalicoPenn much ( ;) ) but we agree on this. I cannot find anything that says this is not allowed, but as a parent I would not be thrilled about it. Why? Because this is the virtual equivalent of pan-handling. I *could* see it for an Eagle project, especially if the project is benefiting someone other than the scout. What this scout is doing is asking for "passersby" to give him money so he can do something with it for personal gain. He might as well be buying an Xbox with the money. I hope the family is claiming this as other income on their annual taxes.

 

My kid washed cars, mowed lawns, took care of pets, etc., to raise money for him to go to Philmont AND to buy his gear. This scout is taking the easy way out. Cannot believe the parents sanction this. We could not afford to send our sons to Philmont either, so they worked. Why can't this kid? 

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I don't agree with @@CalicoPenn much ( ;) ) but we agree on this.

 

Esther!  Esther!!  I'm coming Esther!  I'm on my way (on knees holding chest with one hand and raising hand to the sky with the other - the oldsters will get the reference to Mr. Sanford).

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@@Jodie

 

First of all, welcome to the forum.  Good question to get started with.

 

I agree with the others, if this was one of my boys, I would not hesitate to speak with his parents about taking it down.  Whereas I am not in favor of individual scout accounts in the troop, to me this is the ultimate abuse of BSA for helping out an individual's cause.  Like @ states, this is panhandling using the BSA to back it up.  I would be johnny-on-the-spot vocal about this because if he gets caught I don't want my name anywhere near condoning it.

 

By the way, the honest thing would be to return any funds people send him on the gofundme account.  Really poor judgment on the part of the boy here.

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Just to illustrate where BSA is on the issue of "crowd funding", here's a good link. They don't address asking for money for personal use per se, but they do discuss it for general fund raising and specifically for Eagle projects.

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... I hope the family is claiming this as other income on their annual taxes.

 

My kid washed cars, mowed lawns, took care of pets, etc., to raise money for him to go to Philmont AND to buy his gear. ..

So @, did you add your kid's income to your family taxes? Or show him how to track income and expenses and file quarterly estimated tax and self-employment?

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So @, did you add your kid's income to your family taxes? Or show him how to track income and expenses and file quarterly estimated tax and self-employment?

 

If his tax liability exceeds the minimum allowed, he files. Happened last year. 

 

If he raises money for a project that is a pass through, then I don't have to claim it.

 

If he gets a gift of money he's taught to declare it as income.

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So @, did you add your kid's income to your family taxes? Or show him how to track income and expenses and file quarterly estimated tax and self-employment?

 

My parents made me do my own taxes.  I have my 1962 return that I filled out when I got my paper route.  There are those parents out there that know how to do it right.  I have a copy of every tax return except the one immediately following the divorce.  That's just a printout of jibberish that some business order by the court to play round with.  I have no idea if it was ever correct, but the statute of limitations has run out and I'm not in prison for tax fraud.  :)

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I agree with BadWolf and Stosh too. I'm afraid the Earth is about to spin off its axis...

 

Calico, I probably shouldn't admit how much 70's tv trivia I know, but when Fred Sanford thought he was having a heart attack, he called out to Elizabeth, his late wife who he was about to "join." Esther (aka Aunt Esther) was Elizabeth's still-alive sister, who had a mutual hatred thing going with Fred.

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