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Fundraising

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How does fundraising work in your troop?

Who organizes and runs the fundraisers?

Do you do the same things every year?

 

Our troop has not done any fundraising in several years other than popcorn.   The troop earns whatever percentage of the sales and the scout earns a percentage of that for their scout "account".  Our biggest popcorn seller Eagled and aged out.  He sold half of our total sales, most boys don't even participate, it is easier for Mom and Dad to write the big check to cover dues.

This year we raised dues and still expect to be about $500 short of our projected expenses.  A bottle drive was proposed, but no one volunteered to run it.  Someone said that it is boy lead troop, let the boys do it.  Now, I am all for paying your own way, but it is the committee's responsibility to be sure funds are available for the program, right?  I agree that the boys should participate, but the boys who will can't drive to pick up bottles at drop off locations.  Who should decide where the locations are going to be, when the drive is going to be, how everything is going to work?  Is that something the boys should plan or is that something the boys should participate in but the committee should run?  It has been suggessted that any money raised goes right into the troop treasury and individual scouts that wor on the drive get nothing in their accounts.  Mykid will be there but I don't know how many other scouts or parents will step up if they don't get a direct benefit of it especially since none of the scouts in the troop now have ever had to do any kind of real fundraising.

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My Scouts come up with their year of Scouting.  We look at it together and determine if there is anything beyond average camping / food fees.  Example:  spelunking requires rental of equipment, McDonald observatory requires entrance fee, etc.  We determine what we want to fund through fundraisers.

 

We provide that number to the committee.  The committee also budgets for equipment replacement/maintenance, COHs & summer camp.  Once it's determined what we need for the year, the number / type of fundraisers are set for the year. 

 

This year we're doing 2 - one in the fall - selling mistletoe; and one in the spring - selling camp cards.

 

We based this on the "Ideal Year of Scouting".  It's not our council, but it laid it out pretty well.

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I didn't answer all of your questions.  I apologize.

 

Different people run the fundraisers each year.

 

We did camp cards last year & will do them again this year.  This is the first year for mistletoe for this Troop.

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At the beginning of the year the boys plan their calendar and figure out how much stuff costs to make the program happen.  They they decide on whether or not they want to fundraise to cover the costs or pay out of their pocket.  They are seriously looking at no summer camp next summer because of the cost and will do a week long canoe trip of their own creation instead.

 

Whatever money is raised this year will be taken into account for next year.

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I was wondering the same thing. How involved in the planning, in a boy led troop, are the boys once the decision is made to hold a fundraiser?

I'm on our committee and a few of our ASM's have complained that our last fundraiser was not boy led, that they need to do it not the committee or parents. We hosted a bazaar, the rental fee from each vendor was the fundraiser. It did very well, but for the majority of the planning, getting vendors, renting a location, advertising etc., was done by myself and my son on occasion. The boys did participate by setting up the day before and by being there the day of selling hotdogs, craft items they made, santa pictures and helping vendors or directing traffic etc. The other fundraisers we do are car washes and Christmas tree recycling. The boys always participate but not in the detail planning of the fundraiser.

We are in the process of switching to a boy led troop and I'm curious on how others involve or not involve the boys in the process of planning.

Thanks

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My boys are not at all involved in the fundraising of the troop other than in volunteering to help with the adult's project.  The parents are totally responsible for the finances of the troop.  Either they pay for the program out of their pocket or they fundraise.  I don't care which they choose to do.  If they plan an event, they can take in 100% of the proceeds for the troop.  If the boys help out, they get a cut for their patrol account.

I've never had any drama with the set-up over all the years it's been in place. 

OMG!! the boys don't EARN THEIR OWN WAY?  Seriously people, 99% of the scouts basically are getting other people to pay their way, either mom and dad cough it up or one walks up and down streets hawking over priced merchandise.  And seriously, who really sells more mom and dad at work or the scout himself?

Get real and get practical.  Mom and dad do the selling, just have them set up the fundraiser they want to do and as SM don't worry about it. 

I don't know how many hours I spent sorting out wreaths, popcorn, and Mother's Day flowers over the years.  Really wasn't my job, most parents were invisible, and as an adult led program so were the boys.  Nope, not for me.

It was interesting at the first meeting with the parents, they asked me if all the traditional fundraisers were going to be kept in place.  Told them it wasn't my problem and I wasn't going to make it my problem, but if they want to take over, no problem.  If not, all moneys necessary for their boy's activities will need to be paid in advance.

As the program support person and not a member of the committee, I focus on my own lane.  If the money isn't there, not my problem.  And for some strange reason, they money always shows up so I'm happy with how it works.

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Adult association is a method of scouting.

So, we basically get adults to support fundraisers that boys will get behind. That means scheduling around important events, asking for help appropriate to the boy's skill, and helping the boys understand the balance sheet especially regarding the financial benefits to the troop.

This especially means that participation is voluntary. So you better make it fun.

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Posted (edited)

I'm sure that many here sympathize with you about the difficulty of running a scout program financially within the given guidelines. But no one here has the ability to pass your note along to anyone in authority. Everyone here are just other clerks and local leaders like yourself.

The only mechanism to provide this kind of feedback is through your priesthood line. Your stake president can talk to his area authority who can bring it up with the appropriate general authorities.

However, if you want to discuss ways and ideas on how to fund things within the current guidelines there very well may be others on the forums here that can give their own experiences and ideas.

Edited by JohnyWalter

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Our troop does 3 fundraisers a year, technically 4.

 

1. Popcorn through council (we split our commission 50/50 with the scouts, but do not do any show-n-sells, take orders only)

2. Concessions at a local RV dealership seasonal open house.  They cover cost of food and equipment, so all sales are profit.  We schedule the Scouts to work shifts (they volunteer for the time slots) and then a portion of the sales go towards the Scout account, and the rest is for troop expenses

3.  We have done for the second year, a pancake breakfast.  A local business covers all cost of food, so once again, its all profit.  The Scouts pre-sell tickets and get a portion for their account as well.  First year it was $8, 6 for the troop, 2 for the Scouts.  This year, to help with the high expensive of whitewater rafting, it was 2 for the troop, 6 for the Scouts.

4.  Maine has a 5 cents fee on bottles and cans, so the first meeting of every month we promote a in house bottle drive.  Last year, the troop earned an extra $400 in bottles.  Some Scouts bring 3-4 bags of cans.

 

 

All the fundraisers are setup by the adults/committee, but the actual event is ran by the Scouts.  And there kept "easy" so they can manage doing it, and it doesn't become a "chore"

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Hello ?  Do we need to start another thread about the risk/illegality/inappropriateness of "Scout Accounts"?   Any other Scouter dot commers  out there with stories about this?  

UNIT Fundraising is the idea, not Individual Scout Fundraising Thru A Scout Unit Fundraiser, yes? 

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11 minutes ago, SSScout said:

Hello ?  Do we need to start another thread about the risk/illegality/inappropriateness of "Scout Accounts"?   Any other Scouter dot commers  out there with stories about this?  

UNIT Fundraising is the idea, not Individual Scout Fundraising Thru A Scout Unit Fundraiser, yes? 

If @SSScout want's to cross-link to those threads, he may. But my takeaway: low risk, legal, and appropriate. Here's why:

  • Scale matters. The amounts raised by most scout accounts (even those HA bound) pale in comparison to those parents used to launder money for exorbitant registration fees of their gymnastics/sports clubs.
  • A prepared scout is a benefit to the troop. ISA's should be for scouts to purchase gear or defray the cost of training events like summer camp so that he and his troop can better serve his community.
  • Individual resources yields individual charity. Inculcate a hand-it-down culture so that the scouts purchase gear in stewardship, to eventually pass down through multiple generations of scouts.

So, if that's your troop's culture, carry on with funding Individual Stewardship Accounts. Keep that uniform closet full, and get pictures of the same necker on different shoulders over multiple years.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, qwazse said:

If @SSScout want's to cross-link to those threads, he may. But my takeaway: low risk, legal, and appropriate. Here's why:

 

Scout accounts:  I agree with Qwazse on only one of his takeaways.  The others I partially agree with.

My takeaway?  low risk, potentially illegal and potentially inappropriate.

Is it illegal for individual scout accounts?  The IRS has not yet made that clear (in other words, there have been no test cases), however the IRS did send a letter in response to a unit that asked them about it (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/02-0041.pdf) and while the IRS wouldn't come right out and say it (hmmm - kind of like National perhaps?), they strongly hint that it is probably not ok for a Scout to use the funds to purchase anything he may keep after leaving Scouts.  They don't appear to have an issue with a unit using the funds to hep offset Scout's activity costs, or even for a unit to offset 100% of a Scout's activity costs in case of hardship.  The key point though is scale and this is where it gets tricky because they won't define the actual scale.  Could a Scout use an individual scout account to buy a handbook?  Probably below the scale of what the IRS would consider significant.  If the Scout uses it to buy a $250 backpack or $300 tent that won't become unit property when he leaves?  That might tip the balance.  If he uses an individual scout account to pay for a trip to the World Jamboree or for a Council contingent to Philmont?  These will more than likely run afoul of the personal conversion rules (they may benefit the Scout but how do they benefit the Unit in a really meaningful way). 

Is it inappropriate?  Depends on your view of the Scout Law and whether you believe that you're delivering a bad example to the Scouts by skirting what may very well be illegal - of course it is only potentially illegal since the IRS hasn't gone after any BSA units that use individual scout account.  It really depends on how comfortable you are about gray areas.  It's up to individuals to make this decision.

I do agree 100% with Qwasze on the risk.  He is right on when he says scale matters.  Right now, the scale involved with individual scout accounts is pretty small - the IRS isn't likely to be too worried about them right now.  That could change in the future but for right now, it's pretty low risk.

I think the most important takeaway is to just be diligent if you are using Individual Scout Accounts.  Keep very good records, always remember that, unless your unit is also using them as "savings accounts" where a Scout can "deposit" their own money in to the account to help pay their own way, that the funds in a Scout's account is ultimately the units (yeah, I know - its ultimately the CO's - but lets keep it simple) and not the Scout's.  Know that if the Scout leaves the unit, you don't cut him a check for what is left in the account (again, unless you're returning his own money he has deposited), even if he is transferring to another Scout unit (though it might be ok if he is going from one unit to another that is chartered by the same chartering organization - and I still wouldn't do it because most of those transfers are from Cubs to Scouts and it's rather unfair to the Pack).

I'll leave with one other thought - Parents love to try to guilt Scout Leaders in to transferring fundraising dollars to their son's new units, or for the unit to pay for their son's individual trip to a different summer camp, by claiming that their Scout has done a lions share of the fundraising and why should other kids get the benefit of their son's superior fundraising skills.  I once witnessed a Scoutmaster asked this very question - and the Scoutmaster's response was perfect - he told good old businessman dad that while his son may have sold more popcorn than anyone else, he didn't clean the kybos once during summer camp, he leaves his patrol to set up his tent, he doesn't do his share of the cooking and cleaning up - he just wants to do the fun stuff leaving everyone around him to do the work - so the Scoutmaster would just consider his superior fundraising as a tradeoff.

Edited by CalicoPenn
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What about a fundraiser that promotes both Cub Scout Pack and Individual growth? We just did one (that i would love to share nationwide) and the boys earned $12 each item and the pack earned $3.50 also. I'm a new Cubmaster and trying to help these families with no out of pocket expenses after popcorn sales. Can someone help me out, is this not the way to do it? Many thanks.

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@KC4KEV, welcome to the forums.

Look, if each kid is raking in thousands of dollars on these fundraisers, the IRS will be interested. If it's a couple hundred in the boy's pocket, it would cost more to process the paperwork than the taxes that would be collected.

BSA does care about what kind of fundraiser it is. That's why you should send a unit fundraising application to your council. 

You do want the earnings to be spent on scouting stuff. For example, a uniform: no scout has to buy one, but when he does and he wears it, it makes your unit look sharp. The funds you gave that boy benefit the pack.

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Isn't a Scout supposed to be Thrifty? Now how is this Scout supposed to earn this money, if not from Unit fundraisers? A paper route like I had? They no longer exist without a car and drivers license. Cutting lawns? Maybe, but they'd have to use a tool the GTSS wouldn't let them use as a Scout.  Options, obviously, open up upon reaching 16 years of age, but they tend to replace much of the time spent Scouting. Other than Mom & Dad, what other good options are there for Scouts, especially younger ones, to earn their way today?

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