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FireKat

BSA not allowing scouts to ring bells for Salvation Army

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Why do you need to let people know who you are? The Scouts know who they are isn'that enough? And they will hopefully learn from this that it is important to help others for the sake of helping others and not for the recognition they get from it.

 

Matthew 6:2

"Therefore when you do merciful deeds, don't sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men."

 

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Thank you BW:

 

If one is doing a Scouty thing (traveling to camp, service project for CO, selling popcorn or donuts or xmas trees for the Troop or Pack, staffing Daycamp, whatever) wear the uniform. And the uni is not only the "class A" field uni, it is whatever is defined by the authority and circumstance. Campshirt and shorts is the uni. Full dress and sash is the uni. Troop sweats is the uni. "STAFF" shirt and shorts is the uni.

But if it is NOT a Scouty activity, and wearing the uni would make it appear so, then don't wear it. Political canvassing. Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Soliciting funds for Habitat for Humanity. Directing parking at the High School Concert. Raising money for the band? wear the BAND uni. Do it because it is worthy of your support, but go in civies.

GREY AREA::: District is asked to help volunteer at Community Festival: Color Guard duty, message running, setup, breakdown, traffic directing, bundle carrying. Uniform activity? As a group is invited, and no money is involved, I would say yes. Here, it is obvious that a service is being done and not soliciting.

 

Judge accordingly, ask the District/Council folks for advice.

 

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I did not like the donations being handed to us at all; but I have finally given in, seeing that some others would prefer to donate and when units agreed to use donations to purchase popcorn for others.

 

Yah, Crew21, I think you need to take a step back, eh?

 

The proper response when someone gives a donation to your charitable endeavor is to say thank you. Generosity and charity is something we want to encourage, not discourage. The youth in your unit should see that it is a good thing to give money to a worthwhile cause for kids. These people are providing an example.

 

Plus, people are savvy these days, eh? They know that payin' an outrageous fee for a bit of popcorn in a tin ain't thrifty. It means that a good chunk of their money is going to a popcorn tin vendor, and to shipping and council overhead. They don't want their money to go to those things, and they don't want some boxes of mediocre-quality popcorn. They might be unable to give their time to Scouting, but they are willing to do their part for the community by giving their dollars. They just want to be thrifty - again, a great example to the youth.

 

Now, here's an important point of ethics that you and your district/council folks need to fix. When you accept a donation, you must honor the intent of the donor. You may not take a donation that the donor intends for Scouting and use it instead to buy popcorn for the Red Cross. Especially if the donor didn't want to buy popcorn! I understand how yeh feel, but what you're doin' simply isn't ethical, nor strictly legal.

 

Again, the proper response to a donation to your unit is "Thank You!" If yeh feel it's important, ask the donor for permission to give half to the BSA council Friends of Scouting campaign. Your unit and the council will have more funds, and you will have honored the generosity of a scouting supporter in your community.

 

Beavah

 

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Fellow Scouters,

 

 

Yeah.. I may be a little sensitive about donations.

 

Allow me to clarify, when I say it irks me. I meant in regard to fellow Scouters that speak on behalf of the entire BSA. Or the falsely represent the district or council.

 

For example when we do the community FOS drive, and local businesses state they have already made generous contributions to the Scouts. Which is partially true, they made generous contributions, but to one pack, troop, or Eagle Scout project, stating they were representing all Scouts.

 

Or local businesses that do not want to conduct business with the district, because a pack or troop has forfeited on a contract, while they stated they were representing the BSA.

 

Those are the issues that irk me. When individual Scouts falsely give the impression that they represent the local council and national (such as a professional BSA employee would legitimately do).

 

I have no problem, when they represent their own pack, troop or crew. But when an individual Scouter falsely speaks on behalf of the district, council, or national, I do have a problem with that.

 

Regarding the donations. I am appreciative of business, but not charity. I don't believe that my troop or crew should be seen as a charity. When we are selling popcorn, we are selling, not asking for handouts.

 

I can appreciate the concern about honoring the intent of the donation. Although I have never sought a donation, on behalf of my pack, troop or crew. When we are in a courtyard or at the local mall selling popcorn (or any council product), albeit marked up in comparative price, I was always hesitant with people thinking Scouts are a charity. The scouts would be at the mall, selling popcorn, not holding their hands out begging for money. Bottom line, I don't like the local public to believe my Scouts and Venturers are a poor charity.

 

Simply we represent our own troop selling a product, and I've seen more than a few mall customers which are very adamant about giving donations. So I have always felt hesitant with those that urgently wanted to donate. My fellow Scouters in the district have shared similar concerns. Similarly, we don't want the district or council, or even the neighborhood board association to get the notion that we are falsely representing a charity drive during our popcorn sales.

 

So it was slow and stubborn in changing my mind, but I do say "thank you" now when receiving donations. But I make sure my Scouts and Venturers disclose how the contributions will be used (which my unit committee has decided to use, and other units have similarly determined), and that Scouts are not a charity.

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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Yah, Crew21, I think you're strainin' at gnats.

 

Boy Scouting is a charity. We're a 501©(3) tax exempt charitable educational program. It would be incorrect to represent the BSA as anything other than a charity. And dependin' on who your sponsor is, it would be incorrect to represent your unit as anything other than a charity.

 

The popcorn sale is a charity fundraiser. That's the only reason your mall and your grocery store and whatnot let you set up shop and compete with their merchandise. Until yeh start paying commercial rent at that mall, and taxes on your income, claimin' you're not a charity just isn't bein' honest.

 

There's nothing dirty or bad about being a charitable organization, and yeh definitely don't want to teach your boys that there is! Charitable organizations are schools, and hospitals, and social service organizations. We're part of that very special group of organizations that exist solely to help others. The BSA is proud to be a charity. You should be, too. Far more than popcorn sales, it is philanthropy that runs our camps and provides resources that make for good scouting.

 

Can't speak to da rest about your feelings WRT folks misrepresenting da BSA. Sounds like yeh have some local issues. Yah, but in this matter you are your own enemy, eh? ;)

 

Beavah

 

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Boy Scouting is not a charity. The Boy Scouts of America corporation is a not-for-profit charitable organizaion. The local Scout Councils are not-for-profit charitable corporations.

 

Boy Scouting is a youth program developed and made available through other organizations for youth. It is one of a few programs developed and offered by the BSA to both for profit and not-for-profit organizations to use for their youth programs. Boy Scouting in itself is an acvtivity not a charitable organization.

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LOL. Yah, OK, yeh got that nit, BW. :)

 

But I reckon that since da BSA has exclusive rights to the term "Boy Scouting" in the U.S., and that a set of youth program materials cannot accept or hold tangible personal property or cash equivalents, nobody besides you was confused. ;)

 

Beavah

 

 

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I disagree that this is a nit. Your definition Beavah, gives the definite impression that the troop is a not-for-profit charitable organization and that is an incorrect explanation of the structure of Boy Scouting.

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Balderdash, folderol and poppycock.

German hard salami, too.

 

BW: We usually depend on you to quote chapter and verse to us. And truly, your expertise is encyclopedic. But I must defer to my significant other, who is an experienced bookkeeperslashaccountant. She says that an organizationslashgroup to whom the IRS has issued a 501©(3) status is a quote charity unquote. Any arm of the BSA is therefor included. She knows of no defined difference between a quote charity unquote and a quote not for profit charitable organization unquote. If the Scout unit is sponsoredslashchartered by a non-profit 501©(3), then they are included under their CO. I frankly don't know of any Scout unit chartered by a for profit organization, but it is possible, I suppose. Would that confuse the issue, I suppose so.

 

When the public says to us "no thank you, we don't eat popcorn, but here's something for your Scouts" and hands me a twenty, I respond "thank you, and you have a good day, ma'am!" and make sure the money goes in our Troop's Camper Fund.

 

 

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The BSA would disagree. As evidence, units do not have a tax exempt ID from either National or Council. The unit is a part of the charter organization. This is an element of what is called the Charter Concept structure of Scouting.

 

The CO contracts with the BSA to use its programs and abide by its policies and procedures. The unit belongs to the CO and uses the BSA program but is not an agent or auxiliary of the BSA. And while indiviuials are members of the BSA that membership is limited and does not give the member the corporate status of the BSA.

 

The Councils too are separate corporations from the National council. Each separately contracted to be the legal agent of the BSA within a specific geographic area. Units do not make up the council. Charter organizations belong to the council and the units are youth program owned the charter organizations.

 

As I said before the BSA owns the program and its identifying names and symbols of the Corporation which is what gives the BSA the authority to control their usage. The local unit volunteers have NO authority in altering those policies.

 

 

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Yah, BobWhite, sometimes I think yeh just don't take the time to read what other people are writin'.

 

-----

 

" It would be incorrect to represent the BSA as anything other than a charity. And dependin' on who your sponsor is, it would be incorrect to represent your unit as anything other than a charity. The popcorn sale is a charity fundraiser. That's the only reason your mall and your grocery store and whatnot let you set up shop and compete with their merchandise. Until yeh start paying commercial rent at that mall, and taxes on your income, claimin' you're not a charity just isn't bein' honest."

 

"She says that an organization/group to whom the IRS has issued a 501©(3) status is a "charity". Any arm of the BSA is therefore included. She knows of no defined difference between a "charity" and a "not for profit charitable organization". If the Scout unit is sponsored/chartered by a non-profit 501©(3), then they are included under their CO. "

 

-----

 

Please explain how either of the above statements misrepresented the BSA chartering arrangement. Both correctly state that the BSA and its affiliated councils are charities. Both correctly state that the unit's status depends on its CO, but recognize that the vast majority of our CO's are charities and most of da rest are still NFPs that conduct charitable activities. Both correctly identify the popcorn sale as a charity fundraiser. And both correctly imply that a BSA unit is free to receive donated funds and materials.

 

Remember that neither National or individual councils have the authority to issue tax ID's, eh? That authority belongs to the IRS. Councils are of course free to receive funds under their charitable ID for scouting in their service area, including donations designated to support individual units. In fact, councils with active Scoutreach programs frequently solicit funds to support individual units.

 

Beavah

 

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Fellow Scouters,

 

 

Greetings!

 

 

I never intended to highjack the discussion. But, I never look at the BSA as being a charity.

 

I was attempting to reply and offer my opinion to SMEagle819 comment. "Youth members shall not be permitted to serve as solicitors of money for their chartered organizations, for the local council, or in support of other organizations." Now forgive me if I am misinterpreting this, but shouldn't this apply to popcorn sales?"

 

To clarify for Beavah, I sincerely respect your comments, but I think you are misinterpreting my post. I do see selling a council product and soliciting for charity as two separate agendas. My units have requested and obtained permission to sell popcorn from the neighborhood board association and mall management. Our intent has always been to sell popcorn, not to beg for handouts. I am appreciative of others generosity and I do say "Thank you". I think I've said that long before Beavah's post, and appreciate Beavah's attempt to teach me to be courteous. But our application agreements with the neighborhood association and local mall is that my units are not a charity, but conducting a fundraiser.

 

I do know of (and a long time member of) another private organizations (not a BSA organization), which conducts membership campaigns monthly. The written application with the neighborhood board is that they(we) are only accepting funds for membership into the organization. They ask mall customers if they would like to join our organization. If the customer says no, they will the hold up a "donation can" and shake it in the customers direction while turning their heads the other way. Which totally violates our application with the neighborhood board. I no longer participate in those membership drives and protest during our monthly business meeting.

 

I offered this story to say, I don't like misleading the mall, mall customers or the neighborhood board. My troop and crew (as well as other scouting units) have been applied to the mall to sell a product, not to solicit charity. I have always had happy customers, that were glad to purchase popcorn, or others that were pleasant but did not desire to purchase anything. But overwhelming increasingly during the past two years I have seen many people that wanted to donate to Scouts, at our popcorn sales display. Our units are trying to honor the intent of the generous giver, and honor the intent of our application with the mall and community board, and honor the intent of the unit money earning project not to serve as solicitors.

 

So, regarding the original thread. In my opinion, I can appreciate the charitable events of the Salvation Army. I can appreciate why the Unit Money Earning Project states Scouts in BSA uniform should not ring a bell for the red kettle charity or other similar soliciting events. Call me a renegade, but I do like and purchase popcorn for my family, and I believe that it is selling a product, not a charity. I like to honor my agreements or applications with the neighborhood. I've slowly resisted accepting donations during sales, but have sense changed my opinion. And I've always said "Thank you" to customers as well as donors; again my own values, but I preferred to have a happy customers rather than a dutifully compelled donor.

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

 

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No Crew21-Adv it is product sales which is allowed under the BSA unit fund raising policies. Hal gave you the correct information several posts ago.(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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But our application agreements with the neighborhood association and local mall is that my units are not a charity, but conducting a fundraiser.

 

Yah, Crew21, I might just be thick, eh? But what you say here makes no sense at all to me. Only charities can conduct fundraisers. If you are not a charity, you are a commercial enterprise, and you should be paying rent to the mall, charging sales tax, and paying taxes on your income to the government, just like everyone else who claims to be just selling a product. Not to mention goin' through whatever licensing your state requires as a food vendor!

 

The only reason your community association or the mall are letting you have access is because they recognize that the BSA is a charity and want to support it. They're giving you access they would never give to someone who is just selling a product. And let's be honest, eh? Da only reason people are shelling out $50 for a tin of popcorn is because you're usin' a bunch of nice looking boys in uniform to bat their baby blue eyes at 'em, and they want to make a charitable contribution to help those lads. The product is a sideshow.

 

But if it makes yeh feel better to think of yourself as a vendor, OK. ;)

 

I think what you're seeing in your customers is becoming more and more the norm. Back in the day, sales fundraisers were pretty rare, eh? Nowadays, especially as public school groups have gotten more into the fundraising sales of this that and the other thing, people have become saturated. They don't want to buy candy or cheap first aid kits or expensive popcorn. That means tins in a landfill and empty calories added to their waistline! They just want to give a donation to help without being burdened by a product they don't want. I think it's polite to honor their wishes myself. Makin' 'em buy popcorn they don't want is a lot like jangling a can in their face.

 

Just for the record, the meaning of "solicit contributions" is specifically to ask someone for cash or cash equivalents. It's perfectly fine to accept freely offered donations. So what you're doin' is just fine by every rule in the book. So relax, mate! Be grateful that you live in a country where people are so very generous to charities like us. We wouldn't have camps or Philmont or any of the other great resources we provide for kids if it weren't for the charitable donations of our fellow citizens. A land that truly makes children pay their own way is an impoverished land indeed.

 

Beavah

 

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>>Why do you need to let people know who you are? The Scouts know who they are isn'that enough? And they will hopefully learn from this that it is important to help others for the sake of helping others and

not for the recognition they get from it.

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