Jump to content
SCOUTER Forum
BlackEagle603

Council Pressure

Recommended Posts

We had a similar experience so our SM had a scout give the presentation. It was off the cuff and pretty funny. He had bullet points to read from but he got nervous so he winged it based on what he knew. He had everyone laughing.

 

I'll bet he had everyone giving too.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my opinion, but generally I think that FOS barks up the wrong trees. Why on earth would you ask the families that are already supporting Scouting at the Unit level to contribute more to the Council? They should be working like the development arm of any other non-profit, and target businesses. Go for deep pockets, and stop the nickel and dime stuff.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my opinion, but generally I think that FOS barks up the wrong trees. Why on earth would you ask the families that are already supporting Scouting at the Unit level to contribute more to the Council? They should be working like the development arm of any other non-profit, and target businesses. Go for deep pockets, and stop the nickel and dime stuff.

 

I have always wondered the same thing

 

If a kid joins Little League or Pop Warner Football whatever, I assume there is some entrance fee and the cost of equipment etc. and I am sure the families are asked to sell candy bars or work at concession stands or whatever, to raise money from OTHER people.  (Someone correct me if I am wrong; my kids weren't in those things, and to the extent they participated in sports, which wasn't much, it was all recreation-department connected, and if THEY need extra money the town just increases my property taxes.)

 

So far, all of what I have described is very similar to Scouting.   But I don't think Little League or Pop Warner also hit up the parents of members with a hard-sell pitch for MORE money.  Scouting does.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My council always asks for money right at the same time my payments are due for summer camp or high adventure. My parents forced me to pay my own way for these events. It always struck me as odd that bsa would ask for money from people right after new scouts have paid their joint fees and spring dues, or right when current scouts are paying for summer camp. Who has money to spare but the really rich people?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my opinion, but generally I think that FOS barks up the wrong trees. Why on earth would you ask the families that are already supporting Scouting at the Unit level to contribute more to the Council? They should be working like the development arm of any other non-profit, and target businesses. Go for deep pockets, and stop the nickel and dime stuff.

 

They already are.  There is a common misconception about the Friends of Scouting campaign and that is that it just asks families of Scouts to give.  What most Scouters know of Friends of Scouting is the presentations that are part of the family enrollment campaign but the Friends of Scouting campaign has other prongs to it as well, such as asking local businesses for money and local philanthropists (aka the rich guy in the corner house that seems to have a brand new car every other month).  Want to be on the Council Executive Board?  While it isn't necessarily pay-to-play, the Councils run like many other larger non-profit executive boards - if you're on the board, expect to pony up some cash - back when my father was on the executive board, it was expected that board members would give a minimum of $1,000 to FOS - and this was in the 1980's.  You should check out some of the members of the boards of things like zoos, botanic gardens, museums - many are on those boards because of how much they're donated.  Want to be a life-time member of the Board of Directors for a zoo?  Donate a building.

 

Have you heard of the rule that Units are not supposed to ask for cash donations from businesses to support their unit?  The reason is because Council may be planning to approach that business to ask for cash donations as part of the Friends of Scouting program.  The thinking on that is that you walk in to Ray's Heating, Cooling and Waffle House and ask for $100 for prizes for your Pinewood Derby and it makes it more difficult for the Council to walk in and ask for a $1,000 donation.  There's a lot of truth to that too.

 

The BSA isn't necessarily hiding that from us either - they're focusing on the family enrollment campaign at the District and Unit levels - and most of us won't make the time or effort to check any further in to it.

 

If you start digging around, you can find some interesting numbers.  Most Councils get the biggest chunk of their funding from Friends of Scouting - usually in the 35-45% range.  At the same time, the family enrollment campaign provides about 20% of the total Friends of Scouting funds - that means that the Professionals and Council Board is raising the other 80%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our unit does do a FOS presentation each year but does not do popcorn sales.  Several years ago our unit was informed by council that  our unit would not be able to use Council property if we did not sell popcorn.  Our units answer was so what, we have so many other different places  to go camping that we did not have to use Council property if we did not want too.  Also our Scoutmaster informed our Council Executive of how much the company that he worked for gave the Council each year and that that money could stop being given.  Our Scoutmaster . company  Chairman of the Board has told our Scoutmaster several years before that the company would stop giving to the Scouts each year on only the Scoutmasters word.  Needless to say the Council backed down.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update - The DE has decided (read shamed or coerced) to drive 180 miles one way next Wednesday to plead the Council's case with the Unit parents.  As far as I can tell, this is the very first time a DE has darkened the door in this town.

 

Also, did some more digging, found this jewel from the Council's web-site:

 

~ The Partnership for Scouting asks every unit to support the Council with $145 per youth member. This contribution may be realized through Friends of Scouting, popcorn sales, other unit fundraisers, or a combination of all three methods.  The Partnership for Scouting recognizes that different units
prefer different methods of fundraising. Thus, consistent with council policy, each unit is free to decide how to raise money within their own unit. Units should select whatever fundraising activities are best suited to their abilities and resources. Within a unit, at the unit leadership’s discretion, individual members can also select between these funding paths depending upon their circumstances. ~
 
Apparently, this Council is also considering making the "suggested" contribution mandatory or they will not charter or recharter a Unit.  Even more surprising, some Council's already do something similar.
 
Baden-Powell must be spinning in his grave. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it hard to believe they would not re-charter a unit since it means they will lose a unit and members and that speeds up the inevitable Council merger when they collapse and some jobs are lost. But I am not privy to this sort of 'inside baseball' as some others in this group.

 

One danger of this approach is that it can poison the relationship between local units and Council; we are all volunteers ya know? I have seen a few strong arm attempts like this (and we are a wealthy area) turn off enough leader-parents to drop scouting and turn to sports (even though they have there set of demands as well I am sure). 

 

We see our DE at three or four meetings a year and camporees, etc so it is hard to turn him down. He has sat in on an occasional Committee meeting and we tasked him on getting an 'official' answer on something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Also, did some more digging, found this jewel from the Council's web-site:

 

~ The Partnership for Scouting asks every unit to support the Council with $145 per youth member. This contribution may be realized through Friends of Scouting, popcorn sales, other unit fundraisers, or a combination of all three methods.  The Partnership for Scouting recognizes that different units
prefer different methods of fundraising. Thus, consistent with council policy, each unit is free to decide how to raise money within their own unit. Units should select whatever fundraising activities are best suited to their abilities and resources. Within a unit, at the unit leadership’s discretion, individual members can also select between these funding paths depending upon their circumstances. ~

 

Is that $145 on top of the BSA dues and unit costs? That's one lazy council.

 

What do they do if the unit does not submit tribute to Caesar?  ;)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our council the "suggested donation" this year is $167 per family (or at least that's what I recall from the flyer that I briefly glimpsed at a roundtable.)  I am not aware of any "penalties" for a unit failing to do so, other than the occasional whining-and-complaining phone call that our CC and/or SM receive when our troop doesn't come anywhere near the council's "goal" for us... and doesn't go to summer camp at our council's camp... and doesn't sell popcorn... have I left anything out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our council the "suggested donation" this year is $167 per family (or at least that's what I recall from the flyer that I briefly glimpsed at a roundtable.)  I am not aware of any "penalties" for a unit failing to do so, other than the occasional whining-and-complaining phone call that our CC and/or SM receive when our troop doesn't come anywhere near the council's "goal" for us... and doesn't go to summer camp at our council's camp... and doesn't sell popcorn... have I left anything out?

 

I ignored those complaints from council. We go out of state for summer camp and rarely use local camps, but we do 1-2 service projects there every year and our OA guys go there to help often too. FOS we simply ignore and give lip service to. We donate used gear to needy troops and we do thousands of service hours at local food banks and other institutions each year.

 

Council can complain all they want. In the end, we have a good program where the boys fulfill their civic obligation and raise their own money for their needs. Council can pass the hat elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my opinion, but generally I think that FOS barks up the wrong trees. Why on earth would you ask the families that are already supporting Scouting at the Unit level to contribute more to the Council? They should be working like the development arm of any other non-profit, and target businesses. Go for deep pockets, and stop the nickel and dime stuff.

Population of deep pockets varies.  As you know, not so many in Detroit, Cleveland, Gary, Youngstown, and Dayton as there once were.  And these's a lot of us to target, being way above average in support of Scouting.  I just wish the pitch would be honest about where the $$ goes (payroll) and stop the "Send a Scout to Camp" stuff.

 

Our new SE says success is no longer measured in $$ raised, but in unit health.  He has acted by changing performance metrics for his staff to unit health metrics, whereas his predecessor was more about $$.   He stooped the former demand for a pad of 20% on every district event budget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our unit does the popcorn sales because they sell enough to make it worth it to the unit.  We don't care what the council gets out of it.  FOS has not been run in our unit since it's formation 5 years ago and our boys have never opted to camp at the council's camp.  If the council were to offer what the boys want, then the money coming in shouldn't be a problem.

 

Spring camporee - not offered by the district, boys chose to camp on their own.

Summer camp - two different camps, never the local council's camp.

Fall Camporee - it's a Cub program run by the boys.  First year was okay, no interest since.  They do go out-of-council to a Haunted House fundraiser that is a lot more fun.

Klondike?  - Been postponed after only 1 or 2 units showed up.

 

So one then must ask, what's the money collected by our unit going to?  When the council cuts the percentage of popcorn sales to the units far enough, the boys will figure out how to make money elsewhere, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×