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Has anyone tried the Country Meats fundraiser? I have been looking into it but it doesn't seem like it would go to well and take up so much more time to make as much as other fundraisers. 

What have you done to make this fundraiser event worth doing being they are very cheap and you have to give a portion back to the bsa.

We are looking for more ways to earn money to upgrade camping gear in our pack trailer and to continue to award our scouts with their patches, pins, belt loops ect.... 

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Our troop has sold Country Meats in the past. Compared to the official popcorn fundraiser, these things practically sell themselves. The sticks themselves are only $1, so people seem to be more apt to purchase several at once.

We have a very small troop, around 10 at the time we did the fundraiser, and managed to sell an entire box (154 sticks) in the time it took to find someone willing to buy one popcorn item. We managed to sell enough so that the scouts who participated in the fundraiser were able to fund their summer camp the next summer (with the addition of the council scholarship).

Though, I've never heard of having to "give a portion back to the bsa". As far as I know there is no such thing with troop-organized fundraisers.

As for the profit margin, it's $89 a case with 154 sticks per case, so $65 profit per case, 42 cents per stick. So, 42% profit. It's a little higher than popcorn's 33%, but even if it was less than popcorn's profit it would be worth it because it actually sells! We ended up eating the leftover popcorn for an after-meeting snack.

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Posted (edited)

A club at our high school sells Country Meats products, cases and cases of them.  As @yastreb said, the things sell themselves.  Very popular, reasonably priced, a product that people actually want. 

Edited by desertrat77

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Posted (edited)

Ditto to everything said already.  Our troop did Country Meats as a fundraiser for Philmont.  In many cases, the Scouts didn't have to look far for a buyer, since their fathers just kept buying them at Scout meetings!

Edited by SteveMM
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, yastreb said:

Though, I've never heard of having to "give a portion back to the bsa". As far as I know there is no such thing with troop-organized fundraisers.

oh, yes there is... council expect you to give them 10% of your earnings for any unit fundraiser.

 

Every new DE we get, it is the first thing they ask us- you don't do popcorn, what do you do for fundraising? We just don't answer...

Edited by HashTagScouts

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It seems like many units have dropped out of the popcorn fundraiser because it not only has gotten to be such a hard sell but also seems to border on encouraging hucksterism. We've dropped out and do other things and usually give a donation to council although not 10%.  If enough units drop out, maybe BSA will investigate adding some other fundraising partners. 

 

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Posted (edited)

We make a half-hearted attempt at popcorn, but most of the funds just get credited to the scouts.  We sell Christmas wreaths for our primary fundraiser for troop money.

We are still building this fundraiser up, but we sold 450 last year with a $6 profit on each one.  My former Cub pack sells about 1100 per year.  The really nice thing about them is that they are priced at slightly under what they cost at the store so the only issue is catching people before they buy one somewhere else.

If a council person ever actually demanded or even requested a portion of those sale funds within my hearing, they wouldn't enjoy the response.  Phrases like "Astounding level of incompetance", "dismal communication", "complete failure at follow through" and a few others would all be mixed in there somewhere.

Edited by elitts
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Our entire Council opts out of popcorn. We sell World's Finest Chocolate bars and Tillamook Country Smoker meat sticks (same idea as Country Meats but local-ish / in-state company). They do pretty much sell themselves. My daughter dons her uniform and goes out on Pokemon Community Day and pushes a stroller around downtown with a big sign advertising "Pokemon Trainer Candy" for $1. If it's not raining too hard, people snap it right up. I've also got a secret stash of meat sticks and candy bars in the staff cabinet in my classroom and it's disappearing at a pretty steady rate. I accept IOUs in the envelope from my co-workers to make it easy.  Oh, and I buy a fair number myself for my lunchbox and for snacks for the kids. This is a Council fundraiser so obviously we're sharing profit with the Council. 

Springtime, the Council runs a Camp Card fundraiser. 

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I've always liked the Country Meats fundraiser simply because it's such a small ask (just $1 per snack), which makes it astoundingly easy for the kids to sell. (Nobody doesn't have a buck in change lying around....)

Scouters who haven't heard about Country Meats can find out more about how it works on the company's web site:  https://www.countrymeats.com/ 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I've always liked the Country Meats fundraiser simply because it's such a small ask (just $1 per snack), which makes it astoundingly easy for the kids to sell. (Nobody doesn't have a buck in change lying around....)

Scouters who haven't heard about Country Meats can find out more about how it works on the company's web site:  https://www.countrymeats.com/ 

We usually opened a box of the microwave popcorn to sell individual packs for a $1. Many folks want to support the cause and willingly dig into the deep scary bowels of a purse for a dollars worth of coins. Country Meats is a great idea.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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Posted (edited)

I'm a shill for Popcorn. Even with the slightly better commission (before Council gets a cut), my son would have to work 5 times as hard to raise the same amount of money selling meat at $1 (even if people bought 5 at a time) versus what he does selling popcorn.

Our problem isn't customers saying "No" to popcorn,  it's catching people when they're home. Those that aren't home or don't answer the door aren't going to buy.  But with meat, the ones that are home are now just going to buy a couple bucks in meat sticks, meaning my son has to visit 5 times as many homes to reach his average sale total of $20. The number of people saying "Yes" isn't going to explode enough to offset the loss in gross revenue.

Those who are willing and able to support Scouts at $10-20/bag more than makes up for those that are only able to support at $1-$2.  Currently, those people who only have a couple bucks but still want to support typically end up offering this as a donation.  By converting that to meat sales, you've effectively lost 58% of the bottom line donation.

This theory has been proven to be true. Numerous people have even gone so far as to entirely eliminate the $10 popcorn options from their lineup and sell only those $20+.  Their sales have increased substantially.  Even though people know popcorn is overpriced, they still want to help support. The problem is they still gravitate toward the cheapest option. By making the cheapest option $20, that's what they take. Make it $10 or $5, or in this case $1 for meat; that is what they choose.

 

 

Edited by Pale Horse
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We should have a contest:

Pale Horse can have a group of kids standing outside a shopping center selling $20 bags of popcorn and I'll have a group of kids right next to 'em selling $1 meat sticks. Whoever makes the most money gets to buy the nicest tents for their troop.

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4 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

We should have a contest:

Pale Horse can have a group of kids standing outside a shopping center selling $20 bags of popcorn and I'll have a group of kids right next to 'em selling $1 meat sticks. Whoever makes the most money gets to buy the nicest tents for their troop.

As I mentioned in my post, people gravitate towards the cheapest option.  By standing right next to the kids selling popcorn, the meat sticks will of course sell more.

Our Pack of 38 Cubs will sell $65k in popcorn. My son is on pace to sell $8k in popcorn, and will barely crack top 10 in our council of 60,000 scouts.  Do people reach those levels selling meat sticks?

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I can't promote Country Meats enough.  I love them.   Like others say, they practically sell themselves.   Yes, in theory you have to move more product but you stand a better chance of people wanting to get $5-$10 worth of sticks as you will with popcorn or nuts. 

I also like to support them as they are what I consider a local company for us as they are in our council area.    Excellent customer service also. 

Plus as a parent I can use one of the promotional items they send you(for free) and just sit a box of them on the corner of my desk and as people walk by they see them and buy them.   I work for a trucking company so items like this are popular with the drivers.

Image result for country meats

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On 10/9/2019 at 11:26 AM, Pale Horse said:

As I mentioned in my post, people gravitate towards the cheapest option.  By standing right next to the kids selling popcorn, the meat sticks will of course sell more.

Our Pack of 38 Cubs will sell $65k in popcorn. My son is on pace to sell $8k in popcorn, and will barely crack top 10 in our council of 60,000 scouts.  Do people reach those levels selling meat sticks?

Let me re-write that for you more accurately.

Our Pack of 38 Cubs will sell $65k in popcorn solicit $65,000 in donations. My son is on pace to sell $8k in popcorn collect $8,000 in donations, and will barely crack top 10 in our council of 60,000 scouts.  Do people reach those levels selling meat sticks?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The core of the problem people have with popcorn is that calling it a "product sale" is so disingenuous it's practically lying.  The popcorn is SO overpriced that it's no longer a product sale, it's merely a conversation opening for scouts to solicit a donation. 

In fact, if a troop approached most councils with a different yet equivalently priced product, it wouldn't meet the requirements for an appropriate fundraiser. 

Edited by elitts

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