(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 7 Dec 1995 11:04:05 -0600
(I am replying through the list as well as sending a copy to Joe, because
this question does come up often enough to merit a response this way)
Joe Olivo wrote:
>Plase advise as to BSA guidelines (if any) --
>As Troop Committee Chairman, any restrictions from my soliciting and
>accepting donations ($$) from local corporations (i.e., Coca Cola, United
>Parcel, etc.) that have a major presence in the community?
There are two sets of "guidelines", but only one set which is written.
The BSA has a set of money-earning guidelines, which MUST be approved by your
District or Council's finance committee before you start about getting money
directly from a corporation or anyone for that matter. Basically, the
guideline form insures both you and the corporation that they are NOT
"buying or leasing" the name of the Boy Scouts of America, the local
Council, or the unit which they are giving monies toward. Additionally, the
form insures that if this is to go onward, that any formal contract or
agreement is signed without binding the local Council or the BSA. Finally,
the form insures that "a fair value is being given for" whatever you are
getting the monies for.
That's what's WRITTEN. The form is BSA #4427, and a copy of the form, ready
to be photocopied, is found in the current Scoutmasters' Handbook. Your
Council has lots of other forms as well.
What's NOT written is this: BE VERY CAREFUL AND TALK WITH YOUR PROFESSIONAL
STAFF MEMBER BEFORE YOU PROCEED. You *could* be "undercutting" his or her own
efforts as to getting that company to contribute to the Council; or they may
already may be contributing to the Council this year, but in sucessive
years, the Council may experience a loss of their "regular contribution"
because "we give to Troop 000 instead...it's STILL you guys, right?"
The District/Council's Sustaining Membership Enrollment/Friends of Scouting
(SME/FOS) supports the ENTIRE Council's budget, NOT just of one or two local
units. It provides the professional support to the program, the Council
Service Center and (in larger Councils) satellite offices, the postage, the
camping facilities, and all of the other services which are essential to
Council operation. No, the money does NOT "trickle downward" to the local
What the unit benefit (or should, or if they are not, they should DEMAND it) is
improvements in operation, the availablity of a (or several) professional
fulltime Scouters ready to (at least try to) answer your questions and
concerns and to make your program the best it can be, and all of the program
materials that you can get your hands on...if you ask.
Many Councils have a "rule" which states that "units may not solicit direct
funding from corporations or businesses within the territory of the local
Council; they may request and obtain INDIRECT funding from those
organizations without Council approval." or something like this. What this
says, Joe, is that you can write the local Coca-Cola bottling company to
have them to donate four cases of Coke products to your unit for a specific
event or activity; but you cannot have them to donate $900 to your unit for
a specific event or activity.
"THIS ISN'T FAIR", some will scream at their screens. "WHAT GIVES THE
COUNCIL THE RIGHT TO GO AFTER THE "BIG BUCKS" AND WE CAN'T EVEN ASK FOR $100
Simple. Units BELONG to a Chartered Partner AND to the BSA. The Council is
the BSA in that particular area. Without the Council, your partnership with
organization that provides Scouting would be one-sided and your Scouts would
not get any benefit from using the BSA's services. When all necessary,
units should request funding from their chartered partner organization or
from their community. This leaves those with "big bucks" to realize their
responsibility to the larger community's needs -- which includes the
assistance of developing youth through the programs of the "Cardinal
Council, BSA" or whatever the name of your local Council is. Your
District/Council professional (career) staff tries to convince, inform, and
yes, "shame" them into that realization.
As I've written before about this, yeah, it's NOT completely fair or
equatible, and YES, I've been there on BOTH sides. On the volunteer side,
trying to raise monies for our unit by doing the regular things (yard, bake,
and rummage sales;
car, house, boat and pet washes; participation in community fairs and carnvials;
and a host of other things as well as just plain out and out asking my
chartered partner for $40 to send a Scout to Junior Leader Training camp).
And on the professional side, actually going out to coal and truck
companies, only to be
"sideswiped" by local units that have asked and obtained monies which COULD
be better used to benefit the 43 OTHER Troops in the Council besides the one
they have given money to, as well as going from place to place to place to place
and managing to raise only a small amount of money to assist in our work to
fix our camps, to hire a new professional, and to keep the lights and
postage meter running.
Check with your Council BEFORE you do this, Joe, and don't forget to
complete the money-earning form.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Servics of Kentucky __)_
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