Re: Advice Sought -- Free Riders
Jim Peterson (jpeterson@TZNET.COM)
Sun, 20 Apr 1997 12:30:08 -0500
At 03:38 PM 4/18/97 -0500, Bob Nieland wrote:
>We have several Cub Scout packs who contribute $0 to the District and
>Council. They refuse to sell popcorn, solicit Friends of Scouting
>contributions or sell Scout-O-Rama tickets (our three main sources of
>One idea I have thought of to remedy the situation would be to set a minimum
>"District Assessment" that each pack or troop would be required to pay in
>order to recharter.
I haven't had to deal with a situation like you describe. This year our
district had 100% of its units participating in our Popcorn sale. How do we
do it? First you have to get the units to try it. Once they get on the
program, they'll see how easy it is and ho much money they can earn. As an
example: Our Troop and Pack each sold about $4000 worth of popcorn, netting
us each about $1000 in profits (the Troop outsold the Pack by about $20).
Not much money, you say? Take into consideration that the Pack only had 23
boys and the Troop only had 7 boys at the time of the sale. We give half the
profits back to the boys (pro-rated by how much popcorn each sold) to use
for Camps, uniforms, whatever. Now, how do you sell the units that everybody
wins when they participate in the District/Council fund-raisers?
MAKE THEM LOSE IF THEY DON'T!
Simply have two fee schedules for all district activities; one for units
that participated and one for units that didn't. A more subtle way to do
this is to reward units that participate with reduced fees. Either way, the
units that contribute to the fundraisers get lower fees than those that
don't. Now for specifics. Here's what Samoset Council does: We have a
distinction called the "Diamond Card" (used to be the gold card, but was
re-named for the Council's 75th aniversary and the new name stuck).
To earn Diamond Card status, a unit must:
A) Participate in the Council Popcorn Sale (or make a contribution
of 30% of the net proceeds from a unit fundraiser) and
B) Hold a Friends of Scouting presentation at a Unit Meeting (usually
Blue and Gold or Court of Honor) and raise a minimum of $30 per
_family_, paid in full by June 1.
What's a Diamond Card good for?
Units reaching Diamond Card status reap the following benefits:
* Summer Camp discounts ($5 per boy) for all Council Camps:
Camp Tesomas (Boy Scouts) and Akelas World (Webelos and Cubs)
* 5% discount on _all_ unit purchases at the Council Scout Shop
from July 1 - March 1
* First priority reservations for Summer Camp Sites
* Free cloth badges of rank from July 1 - March 1
* Free use of cabins at any Council Camp for one weekend during the
Summer Camp off-season (Sept. - May)
IMO, this type of "honey" approach is far better than the "vinegar" approach
you suggest ("District Assessment"). As a unit leader from a low income,
rural area I would have a real problem with a flat-out assessment,
particularly if I was in one of your targeted units. If, on the other hand,
you offer rewards to units that contribute, when the target units complain
you only have to tell them, "It's your choice. You can earn these incentives
too. All you have to do is get on the bandwagon."
Advancement Chair, Boy Scout Troop 379, Blenker, Wisconsin
Cubmaster, Pack 379, Auburndale, Wisconsin
"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable
reason why so few engage in it." - Henry Ford
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City