Feb 10 2013

Fundraising and Scouting

Below is letter that I sent home to the parents of our Troop and Pack regarding fundraising and its importance to the Scouts. I thought the points in the letter might be helpful to other Scouters. I hope this is true.

Dear Scouts and Parents:

We will be having two fundraisers this winter. The first will be held in February, and the second in March. Our fundraisers provide Scouts an excellent opportunity to earn money to pay for their Scouting program. We are also trying to schedule a Chicken BBQ fundraiser in May.

I want to take a moment of your time to express to you the importance of the Scout doing the work for fundraising.

  1. It’s educational. It teaches them that things in life are not free. They require hard work and cost money.
  2. Financial responsibility. Scouting costs money. That money has to come from somewhere. Either a Scout earns it through fundraising, or mom and dad write a check. It’s great if mom or dad helps out, but we believe the Scout should be doing his share to earn the money for his Scouting experience. After all, the Scout is the one having all the fun going different places.
  3. Outdoor adventure. Scouting provides access to some excellent outdoor programs. This includes Summer Camp, but for Boy Scouts this also includes High Adventure. Many Scouts have expressed an interest in going to Sea Base in Florida, or to the Northern Tier facility in Minnesota. Summer Camp for Cub Scouts is between $120 and $160, and for Boy Scouts is $325 each summer. A high adventure trip will cost around $1500 per Scout. We start planning for a high adventure trip at least 18-months in advance, so now is the time to start for a trip in 2014. By starting early and taking advantage of fundraisers, a Scout can fund all or a majority of the costs associated with these extra programs.

Another important benefit of fundraising is to the Pack and the Troop. With better fundraising participation, the Pack and Troop are better able to provide a quality program to the Scouts. Dues paid each month fund the program 100%. This means that money to fund extra, non-budgeted activities by the Pack or Troop comes from somewhere else. The money earned by fundraising helps the Pack and Troop provide financial assistance for youth training, summer camp, equipment, and supplies.

In addition to these program costs, there is also a significant administrative cost to the Pack and Troop each year. Each year we are required to re-charter the units with the Boy Scouts of America. We are required to pay the following for each youth and adult registered:

$15.00Registration Fee
$ 5.00Insurance Fee
$12.00Boys’ Life Subscription (youth only)
$32.00per youth/adult

We currently have 50 registered members (adult and youth) in the Pack and 40 members in the Troop. This means that we have to pay roughly $1600 and $1300, respectively, to re-charter the Pack and the Troop this year.

By participating in fundraising, the money earned by the units and the Scouts help us to absorb these significant annual administrative costs.

So now you know why fundraising is important.  Here are some tips on how a Scout can be more successful at it.

  1. Set a goal. The Scout should know what he is fund raising for. He should know how much Summer Camp or a High Adventure trip costs. He should work towards that goal.
  2. Be open and honest. Always be truthful and clear when you are asking someone else for money. If the Scout shares why he out selling hoagies, popcorn, etc. he will be more successful. For example, tell the customer that it costs $1500 for you to go on a High Adventure trip to Florida next year. Tell them you have a goal of selling 300 hoagies to help pay for the trip. Most people will help when there is a clear purpose for the fundraising, and know exactly where the donation will be used.
  3. Love thy neighbor. The easiest and most convenient way to sell is in your own neighborhood, or in a relative’s neighborhood. Walk with your mom, dad, or older sibling around your neighborhood and ask your neighbors to support your Scouting. This makes delivering hoagies really easy because you are near your home. Also, it lets your neighbors know that you are active in Scouting and help out in the community. Remember to thank your neighbor even if they choose not to help this time. Never have a Scout go out by himself. Remember safety first.
  4. Include a personal note. When fundraising sometimes mom or dad will help out by asking their co-workers. When doing this, have a personal note to include explaining to where the fundraising money is going. Explain what your goal is. Instead of saying, “Help support my son and Boy Scouts”, include a note stating, “Hi. My name is Bobby Smith, and I am a Cub Scout in Pack 1234. I really want to go to Summer Camp this year and I could use your help. My goal is to sell 100  to pay for one week at Summer Camp. I know you will love the , and it will help me a great deal. Thank you.” You could also include a photo of you in your Scout Uniform to make the note more personal.
  5. Don’t get discouraged. Some people you ask are going to say “No”. It’s unfortunate, but if you never asked them in the first place, it would always be a “No”. The good news is that you will get many “Yes” responses. Every “Yes” puts you one-step closer to your goal. Remember to smile and say “Thank you” to each person you ask, regardless of their answer.
  6. Repeat customers. If a customer supports you the first time, they are very likely to support you again. Keep track of who bought candy, sandwiches, BBQ, or popcorn from you, so you know to contact them again. Since we are having back-to-back fundraisers, remember to take your March order form with you when delivering. Ask your customer if they would like to order the same amount of  for next month. Remember to thank your customers.

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