A Scout Fundraising Project will help our Scouts get to Kandersteg International Scout Center in Switzerland next summer.
We discussed lots of different ideas, did a bit of research and settled on selling coffee. We contacted a local coffee roasting company and set up an arrangement where we could buy coffee at their wholesale price and sell it for their regular retail price.
Before we do anything, though, we will complete a Unit Money Earning Application to be sure that our efforts conform to B.S.A. policies.
On the reverse of the application form there are eight points that describe the policies every money earning project must meet:
1. Do you really need a fund-raising project?
There should be a real need for raising money based on your unit’s program. Units should not engage in money-earning projects merely because someone has offered an attractive plan. Remember that individual youth members are expected to earn their own way. The need should be beyond normal budget items covered by dues.
Check – our project is beyond the normal normal troop budget and our youth members would be earning their own way.
2. If any contracts are to be signed, will they be signed by an individual, without reference to the Boy Scouts of America and without binding the local council, the Boy Scouts of America, or the chartered organization?
Before any person in your unit signs a contract, he must make sure the venture is legitimate and worthy. If a contract is signed, he is personally responsible.
Check – we did not have to sign any contracts
3. Will your fund-raiser prevent promoters from trading on the name and goodwill of the Boy Scouts of America?
Because of Scouting’s good reputation, customers rarely question the quality or price of a product. The nationwide network of Scouting units must not become a beehive of commercial interest.
Check – we weren’t representing the product in a way that implied the B.S.A. endorsed it or the company that produced it.
4. Will the fund-raising activity uphold the good name of the BSA? Does it avoid games of chance, gambling, etc.?
Selling raffle tickets or other games of chance is a direct violation of the BSA Rules and Regulations, which forbid gambling. The product must not detract from the ideals and principles of the BSA.
Check – no gaming involved, and the product is not controversial.
5. If a commercial product is to be sold, will it be sold on its own merits and without reference to the needs of Scouting?
All commercial products must sell on their own merits, not the benefit received by the Boy Scouts. The principle of value received is critical in choosing what to sell.
Check – I was adamant that we were not going to sell a fifty cent candy bar for two dollars. Whatever we sold had to be sold at or near the regular retail price , not an artificially inflated price. I strongly object to fundraising efforts that sell a product at an inflated price.
6. If a commercial product is to be sold, will the fund-raising activity comply with BSA policy on wearing the uniform?
The official uniform is intended to be worn primarily for use in connection with Scouting activities. However, council executive boards may approve use of the uniform for any fund-raising activity. Typically, council popcorn sales or Scout show ticket sales are approved uniform fund-raisers.
Check – we’ll instruct the Scouts to not wear their uniforms. I was fine with this; a Scout in uniform selling something is a tacit endorsement of the product on the part of the B.S.A. This was one adjustment we argued about a bit, but policy was clear.
7. Will the fund-raising project avoid soliciting money or gifts?
The BSA Rules and Regulations state, “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. Adult and youth members shall not be permitted to serve as solicitors of money in support of personal or unit participation in local, national, or international events.”
For example: Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts and leaders should not identify themselves as Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts or as a troop/pack participate in The Salvation Army’s Christmas Bell Ringing program. This would be raising money for another organization. At no time are units permitted to solicit contributions for unit programs.
Check – we would not ask for cash donations or accept them if offered. This was to be a money earning opportunity.
8. Does the fund-raising activity avoid competition with other units, your chartered organization, your local council, and the United Way?
Check with your chartered organization representative and your district executive to make certain that your chartered organization and the council agree on the dates and type of fund-raiser.
Check – we would overlap popcorn sales a bit, but popcorn sales seem to go year round so when wouldn’t we overlap?
The final statement on the form reads:
The local council is responsible for upholding the Charter and By-laws and the Rules and Regulations of the BSA. To ensure compliance, all unit fund-raisers MUST OBTAIN WRITTEN APPROVAL from the local council NO LESS THAN 14 DAYS before the fund-raising activity.
Once everything is approved we’ll get things rolling. We did the same fundraising project two years ago for our last trip and things worked out well.