Boy Scout fundraising is an important part of sustaining any troop. Most troops will need to do one or more fundraisers throughout the year to offset the operational costs. With a bit of creative planning, your troop can reach the fundraising goals it has set.
About Boy Scout Fundraising
According to Boy Scouts of America, the nonprofit organization is a volunteer-based organization, with about 50 million alumni. Though most troops charge a small membership fee to enroll, most troops rely on fundraising to help pay for equipment, events and to offset the cost for needy families.
Before taking on any type of fundraising event, discuss your troop's plans with the local council. Some councils require approval of fundraisers before allowing troops to engage in those programs. In addition, most councils work with local organizations to fund troops. Businesses and others can sponsor troops or regions by contacting the local council through the Boy Scouts website.
One of the ways scouts can earn money for the troop is to sell products, foods or other items to family and friends. The Boy Scouts of America does not encourage door-to-door fundraising, but does encourage this type of sales fundraising. The following are some ideas to help you to find just the right things to sell.
- Gift Cards: One of the options to consider is the sale of restaurant gift cards. Organizations such as Restaurant.com will allow organizations to sell gift cards to local restaurants through the company's program. The organization receives a cut of the profits of each sale.
- Treats: Consider raising money by selling treats like cookies, candy or even pizza kits. Work with a company like The Goodies Factory to sell gourmet foods to family and friends.
- Popcorn: Selling popcorn from Trail's End is a tradition for many troops. The troop keeps up to 70 percent of the sale price. Other companies may also sell popcorn products for fundraising.
Selling products like this is something any nonprofit organization can participate in. The selection process should focus on both the amount of return received by the troop for participation in the sale, as well as how well the community will receive the product. Discuss one or more of these options throughout the year.
Fundraising Through Work
The "Do A Good Turn Daily" slogan of the Boy Scouts of America does not imply donations, but in some cases, it is appropriate for troops to sponsor local events to raise funds. Try to work together to develop unique ideas for your area. Some ideas to consider are:
- Car Washes: Hold a car wash at a local, prominent business. Have the troop request donations as payment for the car wash instead of stating a fee. Ask local businesses to donate supplies.
- Sponsorship: Contact local businesses and request sponsorship. In return for that sponsorship, the scouts may do something in return for the company, such as cleaning up the parking lot. Ask business managers what services they need. You just might find a great new fundraising idea this way.
- Special Event: Host a special event. Invite members of the troop, family, friends and community leaders. For a donation, guests can enjoy a meal, engage in conversation, learn of upcoming events or participate in other ways.
These are just a few of the ways your troop can serve others and earn funding for the troop's activities and needs. It is a good idea to focus specifically on what works in your community.
Fundraising Means Transparency
One of the most important things to do as a Boy Scout troop is to be financially transparent. If the troop leaders clearly demonstrate the need for fundraising, it is more likely that the members of the troop will participate in the fundraising programs. Encourage all members to come together to discuss fundraising options, too. Keep the options open and vary the fundraising opportunities used to keep people interested.
Keep Scouting Affordable with Fundraising
Boy Scout fundraising is often a must to avoid higher costs associated with membership. Higher costs often drive away boys within the community that would benefit from membership in scouting programs. This is one reason that raising money is so important to Boy Scout troops.