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mashmaster

How to motivate the scouts to fundraise

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@@mashmaster We have a camp card show and sell at Bass Pro Shop on President's Day. I'll post again afterwards share some insights and results.

Cool!  let me know how it goes.  We did find someone in Bass Pro corporate that gave us a discount Bass Pro equipment.  It wasn't a set percentage but they worked with us.

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Much as maybe I hate to admit it, I'm a lazy toad!

 

Many fund raising events depend on the parents carrying the load and doing the bulk of the selling and annoying family and friends.

I hate being the pest, the person who people avoid because they soon learn that any meeting with me will mean that they will leave having departed with them being a little poorer than before..

I don't have the time or the inclination to be bothered with selling stuff, collecting the cash and sometimes feeling that I'm guilty of having ripped them off, selling stuff that is way over priced.

My time is valuable and given the opportunity, I will write the check and pay what is asked.

 

Back in the day. (Yes it was sometime back!)

The Patrol Leaders Council would meet, as a rule sometime in September or October for a weekend and come up with their Annual Plan.

Themes for each month were laid down, sometimes knowing what events the District had in store.

Dates for what events were put on the calendar.

A budget was made.

This budget covered the easy stuff, things we knew that really didn't change that much from year to year.

Some things were a little harder to estimate, such as transportation.

But, by the end of the weekend we had a fairly good idea of how much it was going to cost each Scout for the year ahead.

This cost became the "Magic Number".

The PLC came up with what fund raising events they wanted to do.

The families were given the Magic Number and the opportunity to just pay the cost, pay part of the cost and participate in the fund raising events or pay the entire cost using the fund raising events.

As SM I didn't care jut as long as the money was in the Scouts Camp Bank Account.

Any monies above the Magic Number were placed in the Scouts account.

 

There were times when the Committee were a little unhappy with how high the cost was.

But being as everything came from the PLC and going over the plan, as a rule they fell into line.

 

The Panning wasn't easy, trying to steer the PLC into not going way over the top was sometimes a challenge, not wanting to step on their toes and take away from it being their Troop and them running the show.

I will admit that a lot of the time I was guilty of push them in the direction that had more to do with what I wanted.

However the trick was making them think it was their idea and that it came from them.

I have never been a great lover of the Council Summer Camp, so coming up with an alternative event that they wanted to do was as a rule a wonderful way of saving a lot of money and often helped in buy much needed camping equipment.

 

Having the PLC say what fund raising events we would do gave them ownership of the events.

So while maybe the Mulch is a good and money making event, that has worked in the past?

If the Scouts feel it is more of the same old same old and feel that it is being forced on them?

They might tend to not be interested in it. (Of course I don't know if that's true or not!!).

 

Having the Scouts being involved in every step of any fund raiser is very important.

Having them make all the plans, making the flyers, organizing the transportation .

 

There will be times when this fails and can fail badly.

However at the end of the day, we are in the business of helping young men learn from things that work and do fail, the lessons are important and failure isn't always a bad thing.

Eamonn 

   

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I appreciate the feedback, I agree with you.  I am hopeful that my message to them about what they will lose out on from their plan by not carrying through will motivate them.  Otherwise, I suppose them losing out on those activities was motivate them for next year.

 

On a side note: the great thing about the mulch is that we are able to sell it cheaper than home depot with delivery and the boys spread it.  So it doesn't feel like popcorn or other selling that is overpriced.  But none the less, it could be for all the reasons you point out.

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Our fundraising is adult conceived and adult driven

The only reason we're doing it is "so the boys learn"....but with adults doing 90% of it what are they learning?

 

Even if it was 100% scouts coming up with the idea and making it happen, I still think it should be secondary at best to scouting.  With such a limited amount of time available in the week, I'd rather scouts spend there time scouting and doing scout stuff rather than learning about finances and the like... they can learn that elsewhere.

 

I do support the idea of a scout using his own money to pay for things, but that doesn't have to be a troop function all the time...

 

My family is just wrapping up GS cookie deliveries.  A lot of work for not much benefit.  Put me in the camp of "I'd rather write a check"

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I don't know, @@blw2. I understand the time constraint. I also see a lot of parents pushing their kids to get scholorships of all sorts when learning how to run your own business, even if it's just spreading mulch or raking leaves, can make a bigger dent on college expenses.

 

I agree it doesn't have to be a troop event and it certainly shouldn't be the parents doing all the work. But something that encourages and teaches the scouts how to make some money would be better than the Personal Management MB.

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We annually sell mulch for fundraising but this year, only 3 scouts have bothered to sell.  How do you motivate them to try?  

 

Motivating Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts is very different.  

 

Cub Scouts get motivated with prizes, recognition and something special like a water dunk tank for leaders or pies in the face or ....

 

Boy Scouts ... yeah ... good luck with that.  If you are selling mulch, does that mean the scouts have to spread the mulch too?  Great idea for a fundraiser but you almost need a group you can require participation from such as a football team.  

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Motivating Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts is very different.  

 

Cub Scouts get motivated with prizes, recognition and something special like a water dunk tank for leaders or pies in the face or ....

 

Boy Scouts ... yeah ... good luck with that.  If you are selling mulch, does that mean the scouts have to spread the mulch too?  Great idea for a fundraiser but you almost need a group you can require participation from such as a football team.  

Yes the scouts spread the mulch.  It is an all hands on deck day for the troop.  They actually end up having a good time on the spreading day.  It is harder to get them motivated for the sale part of it than the spreading.

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If I understand correctly... selling is done individually.  It's likley turnout woud be better if fundraising is a group activiity. XMAS trees, car wash, pancake breakfast, spagetti dinner etc.

More fun, teamwork, leadership opportunity for PL, SPL, Scribe...etc.

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I often wonder how much learning really goes on with fundraising.  The boys never really know the money that's passed around in the project.  The only money they see is what they have to turn in at the end of the door-to-door sales.  Even then the boys aren't trusted enough to get it straight.  Parents are motivated to fund-raise because then they don't have to pay for their own kid's scout activities..  After going out selling, the money comes back, the adults skim off the top on the profits, hand out a few beads and trinkets to the younger boy because they are into the instant gratification kind of thingy, But for the older boys for the older boys the ISA's can be used to "build up an account" of moneys the adults tell them they earned, sans the 1099. 

 

I really don't think many of these "lessons" I really want to teach.  Now if they are going to have fun serving up a pancake supper the parents plan out (they do it anyway, the boys can't prep food by state law) I can see them having a lot of fun with that.  Of course they could also go down to the Salvation Army and serve, too, but they won't get a cash hit on their ISA's, they'd have to have that fun without getting a personal kickback.   Anyway it's hard to justify a service project credit when the boys get paid for their work.

 

If the boys want to learn the process, they can plan what they want to do, do it and then keep everything for their patrol.  Of course they will have to budget it all out and make plans, and do all sorts of things the adults do, but if they are doing it only for their patrol, it can be done on a lot smaller scale where the lessons can be learned and they actually learn the lessons as boy led.  Every patrol has to develop a budge and make plans.  A lot of times that kinda gets in the way of the boys having fun, so it doesn't get done.  Even a small fund-raiser for a patrol would require some effort on the part of the boys.  If they did do it, the motivation would have to come from themselves and they would have to take responsibility in the process.

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......Parents are motivated to fund-raise because then they don't have to pay for their own kid's scout activities..  ......

I'm actually in the opposite camp.... I have a samll part of me that is embarrassed that I'm sending my kid out to bother you about buying something you probably don't want to pay for my kid to do something fun.  I can pay my own way, and in my mind that means covering my responsibilities

 

yeah, I get that the idea is about instilling that same feeling in my son, but honestly I really do not think he's getting any of that from scout fundraising, or band fundraising, or any of it.....none, zero, zilch

where he'll learn the lesson best is figuring out how to earn some money on his own to buy something he wants.

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@@mashmaster The camp card show and sell was . . . disappointing. Four initially signed up. One Scout showed upon time. One backed out at the last minute. Another was an hour late. No-show from the fourth. On top of all this, a Troop from another district insisted they had signed up for the same time slot. The one Scout did his best. Sold a few. I was unable to attend the show and sell, but I voiced my displeasure to the Council's DE after I heard about the situation.

So, I have no answer to the title of your thread! I'm looking for answers myself at this point....

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We sell holiday greens each year. There is an expected minimum of $300 in sales per Scout (not that hard at $15 per wreath, etc.). We have incentives for going over and above that minimum, and we also ask that families who have Scouts that they allow to not participate in the sales write a check for $150 (our net on the sales minimum). We get about 2/3 of our Scouts to actually sell, so I really can't complain too much. We use the Scout Law tactic, and also try to appeal to their sense of fair play with the family budget. But given that the Troop is in a mainly affluent suburban town, that doesn't wash with some kids. Their parents would rather write the check than fight with Tommy Scout.

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Question - have you asked the Scouts that are not participating why they aren't participating?  I think too often we spin our wheels trying to figure things out and never think to just ask.

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In our case, it is a combination of too much family income and the perception that some of the older Scouts have that since they are no longer cute 11 and 12 year old boys, that they won't be successful going door to door. The reality is that people want to help, and all it takes for them to do so is for someone to actually ask them.

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