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Momleader

Grants?

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Are individual units allowed to apply for grants and keep the money - or are they supposed to turn it over to the council?  I’ve looked all over and haven’t seen anything but our unit commissioner thinks we have to turn it all over to the council since we aren’t a popcorn pack.  We found a grant that we can apply for that would help cover two of the enrichment activities for the pack and help with the fees. It’s not huge $$ but would make a big difference in our pack budget -we could keep a couple hundred in the checking account to start off for next fall.    
 

Our pack has been trying to come up with a way to fundraise to cover a couple

guest speakers for pack meeting enrichment and the increase of national fees and the increase of council fees for the 2020 recharter. Going back to the families for an additional $20 per kit was not feasible since so many were on payment plans as it was.

Pack Committee and parents decided last spring/early summer that popcorn would not be sold for a host of many reasons, all that were valid. We are rural (no real neighborhood housing developments), most of the parents are either self employed or work where they aren’t allowed to help their kid sell at work, setting up a booth at the town fall fair is expensive and takes a fair amount of the profit earned in past years, our  local supermarket isn’t allowing groups other than school groups to have sales outside their store, 3 years ago we had more than a few quality complaints (council wide thankfully) and parents are tired of selling period.  
 

 

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If council gets it, are they gonna pay for the guest speakers?

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Here is the Unit Money Earning Application,  point 7 states "At no time are units permitted to solicit contributions for unit programs".  I have always held the position that grants should not be considered soliciting funds as the are saying "we have money, fill out this application and we might give you some".  I doubt your council will see it the same way.

Also, your money is your money, you do not have to give the council a 1¢.

 

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34427.pdf

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We have several Grants in our troop, they go on outings, one is working on his Eagle project, great kid....not sure this is helpful to your question

On a serious note agree with @robert12 - your money is your money, do the best program you can for YOUR unit

 

Edited by Jameson76

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IMHO, a grant or award is not a contribution. It is $ given for something the grantee will do or the awardee has done. Your pack will tell a funding agency that you all would like to do something for your community. If that community and what you proposed to do is of interest to that agency, they will grant you resources accordingly. That's where my previous comment comes from. If council will fulfill the goals of the grant, they can apply for it.

Your beef with the council and popcorn sales is irrelevant. The UC should not be linking that with how you apply for public funds. It may be within his right to point out anything that the council does for your unit and appeal to your good graces. But, telling you that because of your choices, you have to do things in a way that is not documented anywhere ... that is going overboard.

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Agree with others.  If you qualified for the grant, you keep it.

BTW - this is different than in the Girl Scouts.  In the Girl Scouts, units are owned by the GSUSA - so if they say turn over the money, then you have to.  In the BSA, you are simply paying the BSA a fee and agreeing to follow some basic rules in order to utilize program and name.  In the BSA you are a separate entity and so money you obtain like this belongs to your unit and your chartering organization.  If you ask enough council/national people - someone will tell you that soliciting funds and applying for a grant are the same thing.  But, they are really not.

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40 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

In the BSA, you are simply paying the BSA a fee and agreeing to follow some basic rules in order to utilize program and name.  In the BSA you are a separate entity and so money you obtain like this belongs to your unit and your chartering organization. 

Correct.  I would also add the fact that the people giving the grant money did not intend for it to go to the council.  You should use it for the purpose the grant was intended.  It would be dishonest to do otherwise.

  • Upvote 1

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Essentially a grant isn't a donation. It's a payment for an act or service to be completed, just in a less direct manner than hiring someone to specifically perform that service. The unit is just acting in a pass-through capacity in receiving the funds and then distributing them in performance of the Grantor's desired benefit.

 

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11 minutes ago, David CO said:

Correct.  I would also add the fact that the people giving the grant money did not intend for it to go to the council.  You should use it for the purpose the grant was intended.  It would be dishonest to do otherwise.

This is an excellent point I had not even considered.  You most likely cannot give the grant money to council anyways due the this fact.

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21 minutes ago, David CO said:

Correct.  I would also add the fact that the people giving the grant money did not intend for it to go to the council.  You should use it for the purpose the grant was intended.  It would be dishonest to do otherwise.

Hi, I'd like to apply for grant funding of $2000

What do you want the money for?

We'd like to give it to the local BSA Scout Council.

We'll pass thanks.

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What you can do with the grant money is most dependent on what the terms of accepting the grant are.

It's important that you understand that your unit is not an entity, it's a subset of your Chartering organization.  When you are making the application for the grant it will be the CO making the application for the grant to be given to the CO.

My interpretation of "solicit contributions for unit program" is you're not supposed to go out and just ask for cash donations.  As mentioned above, most grants have some sort of quid pro quo or otherwise limiting condition that makes them something other than just a straight cash donation.  

Work through your CO, if they're OK you're OK.

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27 minutes ago, ianwilkins said:

Hi, I'd like to apply for grant funding of $2000

What do you want the money for?

We'd like to give it to the local BSA Scout Council.

We'll pass thanks.

Actually, @ianwilkins, we have volunteers who do apply for grants for their council. If you propose to have your council do great things with it (e.g., reach a thousand scouts announcing a special program put on by the funding agency) $2K in that direction could be readily forthcoming.

It just depends on the agency. Some want to distribute small amounts to small individual units, others want to distribute large amounts regionally or nationally.

But you are correct that the notion of a grant being "passed on" to anyone other than the grantee does not sit well.

Edited by qwazse

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1 hour ago, David CO said:

Correct.  I would also add the fact that the people giving the grant money did not intend for it to go to the council.  You should use it for the purpose the grant was intended.  It would be dishonest to do otherwise.

In some cases, it would not only be dishonest, it would be illegal as well.  The school district I am employed by makes use of a number of state and federal grants.  Most of those grants have very specific conditions as to what funds can be used for, and we have to submit follow up reports documenting that we used those funds properly.  Some grants have unannounced monitoring, to ensure that everything is being done above board.

I any case, a grant is usually given for a specific purpose, and cannot be used by anyone else, for any other purpose.

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The BSA is very clear. The individual Unit may NOT "ask" for money.   "A Scout pays his/her way".  Something of value (a product, a service, some useful exertion) must be exchanged for any money "earned".

Yes, there are organizations that will give (grant?) money to other worthy people/organizations if they deem your efforts in agreement with their aims and goals.  College scholarships come to mind. Meet the agency's requirements, fulfill their expectations (keep a "C" or better average grade) and receive their largesse.  Charity?  "Send this Scout to camp". "Sponsor our speaker series".  "We'd like to buy your Scout Troop a Camping Trailer" (it will be titled in the XYZ Church's name, give it to them and they will let us use it).  But simply to ask for and accept a "Grant" to aid Scouting, sorry, I can't agree to that.  Does the agency have any windows to wash?  Busses to clean? Perhaps something might be worked out?

Make it a definite, one time event or purpose, maybe.  But not a general donation...…

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17 minutes ago, SSScout said:

... But simply to ask for and accept a "Grant" to aid Scouting, sorry, I can't agree to that.  Does the agency have any windows to wash?  Busses to clean? Perhaps something might be worked out?

Make it a definite, one time event or purpose, maybe.  But not a general donation...…

Every funding agency sees the activities of its grants through different lenses. So, while to us it sounds general ...

7 hours ago, Momleader said:

... two of the enrichment activities for the pack and help with the fees. ...

I can very much envision a grantor who sees reducing the cost of admission to scouting in a particular area to be directly in line with its mission and vision. For that agency, a beneficiary more narrow than a district or council may be paramount.

For others, if they ain't donating their strip mine to attract scouts across the nation and world, they ain't writing the check.

@Momleader, that brings up a fine point that I trust your committee has reviewed. Pay attention to the fine print. A grantor may expect you to commit to certain activities or objectives that, while noble, could have you wishing you had sold popcorn instead. :ph34r:

Edited by qwazse

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