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AKdenldr

Rent a Scout

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Hello all,

 

Our high adventure group is looking into fundraising that doesn't involve selling products.  (15 and 16 year olds a little tired of the popcorn thing.)

 

I seem to remember there was a discussion in the forums about a troop that has good success with a 'rent a scout' program for fundraising.

 

Can someone point me to the old links or provide best practice details?

 

Thanks much, T26 Anchorage -- Philmont 2016 Chilkoot 2017

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An old English scout (parent of one of my cubs when I was in college) told us* that a popular scout fundraiser was called "Bob a Job."   The English shilling (£0.05 in old money) was called a "bob."  The fundraiser was basically going door-to-door to hire yourself out to do an odd job for a shilling which you then donated to your troop.  I believe it was phased out many years ago due to youth protection concerns.  Perhaps @@Cambridgeskip and @@ianwilkins and our other British posters can comment

 

 

 

 

*=an old Bear requirement was to talk to some one who used to be a scout and learn how things were then.

Edited by 00Eagle

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I personally would never recommend this fundraiser unless all the money collected by the scouts went into the general fund of the troop instead of an ISAs.  This is basically a clearing house for scout employment with no taxes withheld, reported or 1099 issued for tax purposes.

 

As far as the popcorn sales goes, I know of a scout that in one season using the questionable practice of ISA's "earned" enough money to pay his entire cost of the trip to Philmont.

 

This practice has always left a rather uncomfortable feeling for me when compared to the Scout Law.

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While some of this probably varies from place to place, there may be a body of federal labor law that applies to this idea. If a scout is 'rented' to someone in return for compensation of some kind, then someone might be considered an 'agent' or an 'employer'. But definitely, those scouts could claim to be 'employed'.

Seems like it would be far better for the boys to decide on their own to seek part-time work and just keep the compensation for their own purposes and if that happens to be for some aspect of scouting, fine.

Edited by cyclops

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An old English scout (parent of one of my cubs when I was in college) told us* that a popular scout fundraiser was called "Bob a Job."   The English shilling (£0.05 in old money) was called a "bob."  The fundraiser was basically going door-to-door to hire yourself out to do an odd job for a shilling which you then donated to your troop.  I believe it was phased out many years ago due to youth protection concerns.  Perhaps @@Cambridgeskip and @@ianwilkins and our other British posters can comment

 

 

 

 

*=an old Bear requirement was to talk to some one who used to be a scout and learn how things were then.

Yes, Bob a Job was just that and yes it was phased out many years ago for a number of reasons although child protection was one of them.

 

It's sort of been brought back in recent years as Scout Communities Week although this is more aimed at getting scouts doing community service work than it is for fund raising.

 

The best fund raiser we normally find is bag packing, so packing groceries for customers at supermarkets. In terms of money in for man hours used you can't beat it!

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We don't either.  Never could figure out why or how a troop could justify their usage other than maybe selfish greed.  :)

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I was taught that Scouts didn't accept charity.  Obviously,  as least as to B.S.A., that has changed.

 

If a Scout actually earns money and benefits from his labor, I find it hard to see that as "selfish" or "greed."   

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I was taught that Scouts didn't accept charity.  Obviously,  as least as to B.S.A., that has changed.

 

If a Scout actually earns money and benefits from his labor, I find it hard to see that as "selfish" or "greed."   

If a scout is earning money, he honestly shows up at the door and says, "I'm earning money to go to summer camp, may I shovel your walk for $15?"  He earns his money and the money goes into his pocket.  Everything is upfront and honest and he reports it on his tax return or his parents do. 

 

On the other hand the troop using the non-profit status of their CO says they are raising money for summer camp, yet the money collected doesn't go to the troop, it's actually the CO's money because the troop is not a non-profit organization in and of itself, but instead of the money going to the CO it is placed in a reserved only for the scout account on the books.  The money was requested as part of a charity drive, so the donor think they have contributed to a non-profit, but the money in reality ended up in an earned account for a single boy, not the non-profit.

 

Just way too many hidden and clandestine operations going on here that don't settle well with me in the honesty part of my moral code of ethics.  I was asked to keep financial records for me first troop, I refused.  As SM of my second troop, they did this practice, but I made it very clear I as SM was to have no part in any and all such activities including the actual fund raising activity.  It was 100% the work of the CC and Committee.  In my current troop we have no ISA's because I set it up that way and we are doing just fine without them.

 

I have absolutely no problem with the boy going out and earning money to support his Scouting addiction.  That is the way I did it.  Whenever I participated in a Scouting fund raiser as a youth, I never expected to see a penny of that money taken in and I paid my own way out of my own earnings when I needed to.    I was 12 years old the first time I earned enough money to file a tax return.  My mother taught me now to do it and I've done it ever since, until I got married to my 2nd wife.  She's a tax accountant which is why I married her in the first place.

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Rent-a-scout cannot be part of a troop fundraiser because then you may run afoul of child labor laws with kids under 14, as well as liability  insurance problems.  In my neck of the woods, each Rent-a-scout is a self-employed business man (good for several merit badges: American business, home repairs, painting, personal management, salesmanship, etc).  They are all active Scouts, and are supposed to use some of the money to fund their Scout activities.  They do go through an informal training session with two of our Scouters who happen to be businessmen.  In this workshop they discuss pricing the jobs, customer satisfaction, over promising & under delivering, job scheduling versus school work, and so on.

  We do require near First Class.

  The advantage here is that a disabled (Scout) parent acts as the clearing house (commercial phone line needed -- paid by the Rent-a-Scouts as a whole).  When a call comes in he checks his master list of which boys want to do that kind of work, what geographic areas they wish to cover, and what their hourly rate is, and are they currently available. 

  It is important to have the customer understand that this is not an official Scout activity.  It is a private money earning venture by a group of boys that happens to be Scouts to earn money for High Adventure and Scout  popcorn eating.  For initial customer contact the Scouts must be a minimum of two.

 Neither the troop nor the chartering sponsor can take an active role in this.  It is strictly a voluntary association of self-employed young businessmen.

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One of the best fundraisers I ever heard about was a Snow Removal Service a troop did in SE Louisiana. For those who may not know it, SE Louisiana is semi-tropical,  and the only time I ever remember it snowing was when the Saints won the Superbowl. Only natural if Hell froze over, so too New Orleans and surrounding areas.

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So, here's a newbie question...

What is an ISA and why does it seem to generate some controversy?

Individual Scout Account ... When sufficiently large, a boy's fundraising in a given year could be seen as an individual benefit for his family as opposed to service for the group. Meaning that a boy earning more than a couple thousand might need to report taxable income.

We say "might" because there is no specific case where the IRS has gone after a scout family on this, but it did make deferminations regarding kids sports teams who have required each member to raise tens of thousands of $ as a condition of membership.

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One also needs to address the issue beyond the points qwazse mentions.  When people make a purchase or contribution to a Boy Scout unit raising money for it's program, there is an underlying assumption that the money is being spent for the whole group, not just a certain individual in that group.  In reality, the money is being generated by the CO and that all the assets both tangible and intangible belong to them and they may or may not be aware of how the money is being handled by the scout unit.  Then when it comes down to an issue of honesty, whether it be $1 or $1,000 amount shouldn't be a justification argument in the process..

 

I do not use ISA's in my unit.  As a former pastor of a church, the processes that were considered proper by that church body are the same as the finances of my scout unit.  For example, the congregation needed a new piano so they raised money in a fund for it.  The contributions were carefully recorded and when someone outright donated a new piano, every penny of the piano fund was returned to the various donors so they could do with it as they wished, but the need for the piano was no longer there.

 

We do have a process where there are IPA's (Individual Patrol Accounts) and the boys working together can raise money for their patrol equipment and activities.  If they raise $800 for their patrol they can spend it on equipment or each of the 8 boys gets $100 knocked off their summer camp expenses.  No individual receives a designated amount based on their fund raising efforts.  Otherwise it is defined by our unit as having earned the money and that is a tax issue supported by how honest one wishes to be with the issue.

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I was taught that Scouts didn't accept charity.  Obviously,  as least as to B.S.A., that has changed.

No, a scout doesn't accept a reward for doing a good turn. He can definitely accept charity or payment for a job well done (raking a yard, mowing a lawn, shoveling snow). There might be a fine line between the two, but I tend to think of a good turn as something that a scout volunteers to do (maybe without being asked) without expectation of payment. For example, when my son serves a funeral Mass, sometimes the funeral director offers money to the altar servers (I don't know how this started, but it's happened more than once, so I guess it's a common practice); my son always refuses because he views it as a good turn (and so do I).

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