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Council denies unit fundraiser

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

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The council may also be planning to ask for a large donation from a donor in the community. I know my council was getting ready to ask a donor for money to buy canoes and kayaks for a new sea base program. A local troop  went ahead and asked the donor directly for the money, and got it for themselves instead.

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51 minutes ago, SSScout said:

Here's a sticky point.   Scout units may not ask for "donations",  only the National or Local Councils may solicit outright donations. Scouts are specifically required (?) to EARN their way, thru selling products or work. That has been my understanding for a long time. Am I wrong?  

Now, if the donee gives something without being asked, if the need (watercraft?) is somehow sensed...…. 

All of this is true, but before this thread goes too far off on the tangent of units seeking donations, that is not what the question was about.  It was about fundraisers, in which the unit is seeking to sell a product.  

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23 hours ago, David CO said:

That seems like a lot of bother when there is a much simpler solution. Have your Chartered Organization do your fundraiser, under its own umbrella, and donate the proceeds to the unit. Takes the council out of the equation entirely.

It does, but depending on what the CO is and where you are, selling on behalf of the CO may have a drastic impact on sales.  If the CO is, to pick a common one out of the air, the local Methodist church, and a Scout is standing at the door of a homeowner who is not a Methodist, it may be a tough sell.  The person may think, why should I support a different church (or religion or denomination or whatever)?  They may have been much more likely to make the purchase if it was to support the local Scout troop.

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3 hours ago, David CO said:

They do not have the authority to say no to a Chartered Organization's fundraiser.

Semantics of a different question.  ... To answer the that question, you can skirt the issue with making it a charter org fundraiser.  ... The challenge is I've never seen a charter org run a fundraiser for a unit.  Usually, it's the exact same people that run unit fundraisers.  And the same rules are applied for scout accounts and sharing the results.  ...  Heck, most charter orgs are just not involved at all.  ... It also introduces other issues ... if it's a charter org fundraiser and the charter org donates the money to the unit, I think that makes it much more difficult to credit any specific scout accounts any amount.  The incentives to raise funds should be at the charter org level and specific scouts don't exist as separate entities in the charter org.  

My big fear in calling it a charter org fundraiser is it sets a bad lesson for our scouts.  They see adults skirting policies and permission by effectively lying.  

But then again, my solution is probably not any better.  Our units just don't ask.  We play naive; not knowing we should ask.  

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In my neck of the woods, none of the Scouts, at least until they reach Life and work on their projects, and very few Scouters know you need to fill out paperwork. Even then either the paperwork gets lost by council,  doesn't get approved until after the event occurs, or as is the case with my old troop, the council wants 10% of the profits as a "FOS donation." Many just stopped filling out paperwork as a result.

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Our brand new unit had a fundraising opportunity dropped on it at the last minute. We currently have no operating funds and the Committee members are floating Troop expenses until we can figure it out. So when someone pointed out that we were supposed to submit an application to the Council before doing any fundraising, we all kind of looked at each other, shrugged, and decided it was better in this case to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. Because "It's Tuesday and there's no way we can get the application submitted and approved in time for Friday" was just a reality. We know it's fairly common for units in our area to do fundraising without filling out the "required" paperwork, and we know the Council really wants us to succeed, so hopefully we'll get by with a post-fundraiser application and get told to try not to do that again. 

If we run into problems with Council being too strict with fundraising I think we might try the CO fundraiser route (out of uniform), if our CO will approve, which I imagine they would as long as it doesn't create some kind of conflict with them; but I don't anticipate that being an issue as long as we are also active in the Council fundraisers which happen twice a year (and thankfully don't include Popcorn). From what I can see, the Council is generally supportive of independent unit fundraising efforts.  

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Originally the approval by Council was to insure that scouts weren't stepping on toes with politics, or something similar. As with anything else, when we create rules for guidance, some monitors of the rules use it to leverage an advantage. The Councils are very stressed from lack of funding, so they are probably looking in dark corners to make up for it.

Barry

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We're supposed to get Council approval for fundraisers? 😁

We didn't get approval for our spring fundraiser, we just did it.

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The most surprising thing out of all of this is that a unit actually followed the correct procedure and submitted a fundraising application 

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I just have guesses at this point, but are you willing to be a little more specific? We might be able to identify the guideline that your council thinks it violates.  I think that some councils are stingy about approving things because scouts are supposed to pay their own way.  The official deal is that units shouldn't really need a lot of money (or technically any). 

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10 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

was denied because the council wanted a"FOS contribution" of 10% .

Sounds to me like the council is broke and they're just making crap up. I've seen this before. Just ignore.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, mds3d said:

I just have guesses at this point, but are you willing to be a little more specific? We might be able to identify the guideline that your council thinks it violates.  I think that some councils are stingy about approving things because scouts are supposed to pay their own way.  The official deal is that units shouldn't really need a lot of money (or technically any). 

Fundraising is how they pay their own way. 

Or is a 12 year old supposed to go out and get a "real" job? 

Or is Scouting only supposed to be available to Scouts who get a big enough allowance from their parents?

Units DO need operating funds. They  need money to buy patches, awards, flags, and other Troop assets. It shouldn't be a whole ton of money (depending on your perspective on how much money is a lot of money), but it still isn't free. Are the volunteers supposed to pay for everything out of their own pockets? 

Edited by Liz

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5 hours ago, Liz said:

Fundraising is how they pay their own way. 

Or is a 12 year old supposed to go out and get a "real" job? 

Or is Scouting only supposed to be available to Scouts who get a big enough allowance from their parents?

Units DO need operating funds. They  need money to buy patches, awards, flags, and other Troop assets. It shouldn't be a whole ton of money (depending on your perspective on how much money is a lot of money), but it still isn't free. Are the volunteers supposed to pay for everything out of their own pockets? 

I don't expect a 12 year old to get a real job.  I don't really think the BSA does either, at least not anymore. I think the idea is that dues should cover your monthly budget and that fundraisers should be used for capital expenditures (tents, flags, etc) that last over multiple years.   However, since the BSA doesn't really recognize units as separate entities from their CO I would say that the official line is probably that those things should be provided under the budget of the CO.  Since the CO actually owns anything the troop owns, any fund raisers that benefit the troop alone might really be under the review of the CO not the BSA.  The approval form is for the purpose of conducting a fundraiser as a representative of the BSA instead of the CO.

This brings up another thing I like to point out to people.  A unit cannot solicit donations, but the CO can. Your CO could accept a donation earmarked for the troop. They could also accept (and even solicit for) a goods donation.  The CO giving money to the Troop isn't a donation, it is funding.  We did this when I was a scout.  Our church provided a (albeit very small) budget for the troop each year.  Mostly this money was used for our re-charter (that small).  However, someone did occasionally write a check to the church for the purpose of funding the activities of the scouts. 

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mds3d brings up a good point regarding dues covering the budget. This is an area which the scouts could greatly benefit. The process of budgeting, collecting dues, etc... for the monthly expenditures (including campouts) is such an amazing opportunity for the scouts to learn through experience. Doing this at the patrol level (primarily) is a "man's job cut down to boy size." This is the program of Scouting. Of course it is easier for adults to handle it all with the scouts only part is to say "take it out of my scout account", but this only denies another opportunity for scouts to benefit. Imagine if all the duties presently done by adults were examined critically and compared to what the scouts should be doing how this awareness might generate discussion as to how to provide the scouts a fuller program replete with the growth and learning experiences of Scouting.

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On 7/21/2019 at 9:59 AM, SSScout said:

IMHO, this is an issue that deserves a wider audience.   As I suggested, take it directly to the SE,  and to your COR. The COR is officially your rep to the Council.  Talk to your RoundTable, to your District Leadership.   Compare notes with other Units.   Conflict with popcorn sales is not a valid reason to NOT fundraise somehow for your Unit.  

The only "discipline"  the Council can do is pull your Unit Charter.  That, and rescind everyone's membership in BSA.   Those are the only things the Council thru the SE can do.  I seriously doubt they would go that route, but ya never can tell.   Thus the need for lots of back up, make the issue not just yours, but the rest of Scout Worlds.... 

We are in the process of doing so, but thus far no transparency in decision criteria. Will be certain to share outcome, especially since it involves a new National level partnership that was clearly designed for fundraising at the unit level as one option.

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