Ches Martin 803-656-2481 (CHES@CLEMSON.BITNET)
Mon, 5 Jul 1993 12:41:00 EDT
Sorry to be so late responding to the thread on fund raisers, but I have
just returned from a week at summer camp with 38 scouts. Our troop has
a VERY effective fund raiser, we think. For the past 4 years we have
only done one fund raiser a year (and it's not popcorn). We have a
barbecue in March of each year. This year, with 42 active scouts, we
sold 2,100 advance tickets at $5 each. It just so happens that we
scheduled our barbecue on "blizzard of the century" day, and still
served over 1,300 plates (with over 6" of snow on the ground - unheard
of in the foothills of South Carolina).
I break down the profit into two categories: gross profit (before money
goes into the boys' accounts) and net profit (money going into the troop
treasury). This year's gross profit was down slightly from 1992, we
blame a lack of "at the door sales" on the weather. Our gross profit
was close to $8,000, I don't have the exact figure in front of me. Our
net profit was between $5,800 and $6,300, again the figures are not
Incentives work something like this:
- After a boy sells 25 tickets, he gets a dollar for every ticket to
be used on a Scouting activity, be it summer camp, jamboree, troop
weekend outing, etc. (If he leaves the troop, he forfeits his
account to the general troop treasury).
- After a boy sells 100 tickets, he get a free troop tee shirt.
- The patrol to sell the most tickets gets me (the Scoutmaster) as a
slave on the next camping trip.
- The boys are broken into teams (evenly distributing mega-sellers and
no-sellers based on past performance). The team to sell the most
tickets, gets a pizza party after the barbecue.
Tricks we've learned to make it successful:
- We have a drawing for a free ham at 3:00 the day of the barbecue.
Everyone who buys a ticket is entered in the drawing. We have to
have your name, address, and phone number on the ticket stub to
contact you should you win. Ah ha - the starting point for next
year's ticket sales, "Hi Mrs. Smith, this is Billy from Troop 84.
You bought a barbecue ticket from me last year, I hope you enjoyed
it. Can I count on your support again this year?" Salesmanship
Merit Badge 101.
- We sell to lots of businesses who work on Saturday (car dealerships,
accountants - just before tax day, the hospital, etc.), and if you
or your business buys 10 or more tickets, we'll deliver the plates.
- We provide live entertainment - a Bluegrass band who plays for their
supper, if you eat in. Also, if you eat in, the Scouts will serve
- We get local businesses to support us with donations. We get cups,
ice, food containers, tea, slaw, drink carriers, pickels, buns, etc.
donated. We bend over backward to thank them for their donations
so that they will donate again next year. We make sure that every
one who gets a plate knows which businesses supported us, and we
send the contributors free tickets.
- We have a bake sale running in conjunction with the barbecue, set up
right by the door, to entice you to buy a cake or pie on the way
out. We get parents to supply two cakes, three pies, or three
plates of brownies, cupcakes or cookies, or any combination thereof.
- We REQUIRE that the parents support us heavily with the barbecue.
The only thing we do not do is cook the hams - we chop the hams,
make the cole slaw, make the baked beans, prepare the plates, etc.
This requires approximately 60 simultaneous workers from 7:00am
until 4:00pm. The parents are generally quite receptive to this
(only one fund raiser, and one day of work a year as opposed to
several fund raisers throughout the year).
Needless to say, this is a science that we are quite proud of. It has
taken us 7 years to get to this point. The first year, we only sold
300 tickets (and had two other fund raisers), in 1991, we sold 1100
tickets, in 1992, we sold 2000 tickets, and in 1993, we sold 2100. Each
year we have people calling us, wanting to know if they have missed the
barbecue, because no one contacted them to buy tickets.
My suggestion is to get a product or service and continue it year after
year. Hopefully it will grow, like our barbecue, because of the scout's
support, the parent's support, and the community's support. In the
first couple years, you may have to have a couple of fund raisers to
generate enough money to operate, but plan on really concentrating the
efforts on the fund raiser you want to develop as your "cash cow."
Scoutmaster, Troop 84
Blue Ridge Council
Anderson, South Carolina
(803) 656-2481 (w)
(803) 226-3249 (h)
P.S. Come see me at the jamboree - Troop 1739 (Southern Region)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City