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BobWhiteVA

GoFundMe for Eagle Projects

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Hoping this is the right forum for this question.  We have had several Life Scouts who have used GoFundMe to raise money for their Eagle Projects.  They are filling out fundraising apps if they need to raise more than $500.  

 

Our concern is that if the Scouts are using their own accounts, then there is potential for abuse.  We're wondering how other units handle GFM and similar sites.  Do they route funds to the Troop and then have the Troop treasurer reimburse the Scout for out-of-pocket expenses and then turn over excess funds to the beneficiary?

 

Or do they just let the Scout raise the money on their own, and hope that "A Scout is Trustworthy" and will therefore turn over excess funds to the project beneficiary?

 

Thanks in advance!

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We have had Scouts that used crowd funding. They managed it themselves through their parents. Not something the troop got involved in. It's their project and up to them to raise the money. There's just no reason for the troop to get involved.

 

Scouting Magazine gave this advice a while ago.

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Our council prohibits using things like GoFundMe for Eagle project fundraising. Other fundraising sources are permitted, just not online crowdsourcing.

How can a council forbid something allowed by national?

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How can a council forbid something allowed by national?

 

You'd have to ask them.  We all received notices last year stating that using online fundraising for Eagle projects was not permitted in our council. I thought it odd, too, but our council has a few things odd that are Eagle-related that no one has really challenged them on.

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You'd have to ask them.  We all received notices last year stating that using online fundraising for Eagle projects was not permitted in our council. I thought it odd, too, but our council has a few things odd that are Eagle-related that no one has really challenged them on.

 

How is using crowd funding any different from asking people for money via email?

 

If the council is going to contradict national then do this: Have the PARENT create the funding site and ask on behalf of his Scout for the money. Then the parent passes the money through to the Scout as a gift.

 

If councils are going to go rogue they have to expect people are going to find ways around their silly "rule".

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You'd have to ask them.  We all received notices last year stating that using online fundraising for Eagle projects was not permitted in our council. I thought it odd, too, but our council has a few things odd that are Eagle-related that no one has really challenged them on.

 

Odd, but no different than units that ignore rules.  You now have two contradicting statements and one that is well published in the BSA Eagle Project Workbook and BSA Guide To Advancement with statements about what can be expected from others (including councils).  

 

IMHO, there is no wrong in ignoring rules that ignore the rules.  

 

Plus, my experience is fundraising is a question, but not a pass / fail screen for the project.  The scout could simply say he just followed the directions BSA put in the workbook.  Hard to penalize a scout for that. 

Edited by fred johnson
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Two different economic realities -  National and Council,

 

Council's complaint with online fundraiser accounts is Council loses control of their donors, For example, for years Council has knocked on the door of Acme Widgets and received a large annual donation. Council has prohibited units and scouts from contacting Acme. Now someone at Acme sees a local Eagle GoFundMe and decides to fund that instead. Council makes their annual call to Acme and are told "We gave online to an Eagle project. Have a nice day."

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Two different economic realities -  National and Council,

 

Council's complaint with online fundraiser accounts is Council loses control of their donors, For example, for years Council has knocked on the door of Acme Widgets and received a large annual donation. Council has prohibited units and scouts from contacting Acme. Now someone at Acme sees a local Eagle GoFundMe and decides to fund that instead. Council makes their annual call to Acme and are told "We gave online to an Eagle project. Have a nice day."

And yet Scouts go to Home Depot or Loews or other companies all the time for funding and in kind contributions. One scout went to Kroger for his food drive, who also happens to be a big sponsor of our camp cards.

 

I think what ticks off council is that fundraising has gotten harder for them. Instead of coming up with creative new ways, they forbid Eagles from raising money. I ask you which is more worthy?

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And yet Scouts go to Home Depot or Loews or other companies all the time for funding and in kind contributions. One scout went to Kroger for his food drive, who also happens to be a big sponsor of our camp cards.

 

I think what ticks off council is that fundraising has gotten harder for them. Instead of coming up with creative new ways, they forbid Eagles from raising money. I ask you which is more worthy?

 

Yes but if a scout asked and received a contribution from Acme Widgets and then Council walked in and was blindsided, Oh we gave to a scout yesterday.  That scout and his SM should duck and cover.

 

Remember a few years  ago, Councils tried too late to reel in units with AmazonSmile accounts? Only Council should have an AmazonSmile Charitable Account...hah, what a circus that was.  Deja vu all over again with GoFundMe, etc.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Yes but if a scout asked and received a contribution from Acme Widgets and then Council walked in and was blindsided, Oh we gave to a scout yesterday.  That scout and his SM should duck and cover.

 

Remember a few years  ago, Councils tried too late to reel in units with AmazonSmile accounts? Only Council should have an AmazonSmile Charitable Account...hah, what a circus that was.  Deja vu all over again with GoFundMe, etc.

Maybe councils should duck and cover. FOS is their major funding source. Tick off troops at your own risk.

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Maybe councils should duck and cover. FOS is their major funding source. Tick off troops at your own risk.

 

Our council gets more revenue from camping fees, activity fees, and golf tournaments than FOS.

 

Their major funding source was once United Way, but that gravy train left the station.

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Our council gets more revenue from camping fees, activity fees, and golf tournaments than FOS.

 

Their major funding source was once United Way, but that gravy train left the station.

Then if my council was this draconian and held such events we'd make sure only council cronies were in attendance.

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I can say that in my relatively short time as Troop Treasurer, we've had a few scouts now make eagle, and I have not seen 1 nickle from any of it.  Not in or out.  Honestly I have no idea how they are raising their money for the projects.

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Council should follow National.  National has actually said they prefer that Scouts not raise funds through fundraising, and some Councils say you must raise funds through fundraising.  Makes no sense.  My oldest son solicited funds through the beneficiary organization where he raised all money that way.  There was a change in leadership at the beneficiary organization and when my youngest had a project approved by the same org, they said he would have to raise money differently.  

I really don't see why Go Fund Me is any different than soliciting checks from people.  Actually provides better visibility and accountability than checks or cash to know what was donated.

 

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