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Eamonn

Donation? Or Fee?

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I personally have no problem with the FOS system as long as they do a presentation, distribute and collect the pledge cards (and money) and leave it at that. No asking for more. No forcing people to sit through another presentation. Being OK with $0, $5 and $10 donations.

 

Perhaps if a unit is within a small percentage of a Gold Card status level (which gives discounts on advancements and camp fees to the unit), it might be ok to say something, but not do a second presentation. It would need to be a small percentage though.

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Paging the Beavah, or Vicki, or Ed in his "banker suit" or even nldScout in his judicial role ....

 

If Scouting, to the membership (youth/adult) was made fully fee-based... vice some fees for events, but much of what's done is by donation...

 

How does that impact the National Council and the Local Councils as "non-profits?"

 

How does the non-profit status affect our ability (for those of us who can make charitable donations) to write off what we voluntarily give, vice must pay as a fee???

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John-in-KC

I have been told that I'm tighter than two coats of paint.

But even someone as cheap as I might be isn't going to lose that much sleep over the tax deduction on a fee of about $100.00.

Ea.

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Eamonn,

 

You won't, but what about the big foundations that give us charitable bucks for some of the really big project? They're looking for the write-offs.

 

When Jim Terry was the SE here in KC, he and the corporate board type volunteers on our exec board worked hard to get the Mabee Foundation, Capital Federal Savings, and others to philanthropically donate. They were a big part of recapitalizing our Reservations.

 

If we become a for-profit, does that money go away?

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John-in-KC

I really don't see that asking members to pay a set fee is in any way going to do anything that will make us lose our non-profit standing.

Just as the Red Cross charges for their First Aid classes.

 

While I really don't know how things are set up, but a lot of the areas that the BSA is involved in does to me seem to be for profit.

I'm thinking of Scout Stuff and Boy's Life Magazine. These seem to me to for profit.

They of course might be set up as so to not be part of the BSA.

Things at times can get very complicated.

Because I was worried about my liability when I was selling alcohol. I set up several corporations to help shield my assets.

Right now I don't own my home/house! It is owned by a corporation in which I own nearly all the shares. You can guess who owns the rest!

Another corporation that I own has a few liquor licenses, in case I'm ever dumb enough to want to go back into the restaurant business.

Eamonn.

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I'm not a lawyer, nor a tax accountant. But the Red Cross example is one that came to mind also. They routinely charge "fee for service"...such as first aid and swimming classes, and the blood program. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they charge hospitals for blood? So I don't think that charging to cover expenses would jeopardize the "charity" designation. Another question...if the BSA went "for profit"...would anyone buy the stock?

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Maybe if we all looked at what we do in Scouting as having stock or shares in our local Councils a lot of things might be better.

Each and every COR has an invite to attend each and every District Committee Meeting. Sadly very few bother to attend and seem happy to allow unit leaders the task of correcting any mistakes that a District might make or airing opinions that the District Chairman can take to the Council Executive Board.

COR also have a vote on who sits on the Executive Board, again very few attend the meeting and those that do fail to find out about the people who are have been nominated for election.

As volunteers we seem happy to wait till the Board does something that upsets us and then try to undo what has been done. Pushing aside the fact that when the people who do this stuff were nominated we did nothing to prevent them from being elected in the first place.

If the COR is not doing his or her job? We need to talk to the CO and try to get someone who will represent us when needed.

Eamonn.

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How would a local council membership fee be different from the one national already charges. How would charging a couple bucks for weekend camping (which many councils already do) be different from charging for a week of summer camp?

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If asked to give more for scouts I would be gone, period. I love scouts but enough is enough.

 

I already passed on the FOS and if this singles me out, too bad. When I was in the corporate environ in healthcare, as a Controller/CFO there was a "voluntary" PAC contribution. And I knew 100% if I didnt contribute, my boss would be po'd and my name would go on a list that went to the CEO of the COMPANY. But that was a case of protecting my job.

 

In this environ we have to protect our families and our spending. Yes there are folks that live in high priced homes with large payments. Many of these folks also have lost their jobs or part of their income due to the economic downturn.

 

The bottom line is that its about the kids - and if KIDS cant do scouting because of this its a shame. Anytime you start saying so and so "should" be able to do something, you have to really look closer.

 

I know folks in very expensive homes only because their parents gave them the money. I know people in smaller homes where parents both work. Both situations the folks are pretty much at the extent of "extra" spending.

 

In this day and age we need to be helping not asking for more.

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While I really don't know how things are set up, but a lot of the areas that the BSA is involved in does to me seem to be for profit.

I'm thinking of Scout Stuff and Boy's Life Magazine. These seem to me to for profit.

They of course might be set up as so to not be part of the BSA.

 

Having non-profit status does not mean that you're only allowed to break even. A non-profit with revenue excess to expenses generally will either plow it back into the program or else place it in a contigency fund or endowment.

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This reminds me of the healthcare debate. Everyone is okay with the healthcare they receive, the debate is over how we pay for it.

 

You may not like paying $100 for a uniform, but the truth is national probably makes more off the purchase of a uniform than the $12 they charge for membership fees. Yes, they could turn uniform sales over to Wal-Mart and the cost of a uniform would probably a third of what it is now. But how would national replace that revenue source?

 

Local councils don't really have that option. Scout shop profits are limited to about 5% (E92 can't tell us for sure.) Popcorn is a big money maker. Activity fees are usually break-even or less. But beyond that councils are generally limited to traditional fund-raising campaigns. Part of the fundraising is directed to corporations and foundations, but a big chunk of it is donated by the families of the Scouts.

 

Eamonn's question is really this: is relying on a minority of the families to voluntarily pay for everyone else really the best way to go. Would it not be better to spread the burden around, even if it meant mandatory fees?

 

Firekat and ScoutMomSD, this really isn't about you. Scouting has and always will do everything we can to make sure disadvantaged youth can participate in the program. In our council, pretty much every cent we get from United Way goes to Scout Reach and other special needs programs. In our troop we have made a commitment that we will make sure every boy in the unit is afforded the same opportunities regardless of his family's ability to pay. We've waived troop dues, paid for summer camp, and even collected frequent-flyer miles to get a kid to Philmont who would not have gone otherwise.

 

I know there are a lot of folks with nice cars and houses who are pinched right now -- I'm one of them. There are also folks who simply cannot afford to pay for Scouting at all. But don't argue the margins here. The vast majority of people who don't give to Scouting CHOOSE not to contribute. This isn't about the current economic situation. Most people who aren't contributing now have never contributed. The people who sit on their checkbooks are the same ones who sit on their hands when we need help in our units.

 

I am more than happy to write a check to FOS knowing that my contribution covers the council's cost not only for my two boys, but for two other, disadvantaged kids. But I'm really getting tired for paying for the kids who parents simply choose not to contribute.

 

And we know who you are.

 

 

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"Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they charge hospitals for blood?"

 

Well, only because you asked...

 

The Red Cross Blood system is a voluntary system and as such the Red Cross cannot charge for the blood product it provides to hospitals.

 

However, it can charge for the processing and storage of the blood product.

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The irony is great. We hear about how it's not fair to ask the poor families to contribute to FOS, yet it's not fair either to ask everyone else to pay more. And a fee-based system isn't "fair" either. So who's gonna pay for the family that "can't" or won't come up with their fair share?

 

Hey, make it a government program! Free, no one has to pay!

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We have a hard enough time collecting $20 for dues from the parents of the kid that didn't sell much popcorn. I can see tacking a couple bucks on the fee, but definitely not $100. We have a FOS presentation coming up. I don't expect many parents will come let alone donate. Our council doesn't have a very good reputation with our pack or troop. We've not seen anyone from council all year, they canceled the FOS we had set up last year and we don't feel we get much support. Most people would rather donate directly to the pack or troop, where they know how the $ will be used.

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