Re: Raising money for poorer scouts
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Mon, 9 Jun 1997 15:46:01 -0500
Bill Pierce wrote:
>I would like to send some of our less fortunate webelos to a full week at
>summer camp. This can be costly and I was wondering if I can ask
>corporations for contributions towards this end? I know BSA has strict
>rules about these issues....can someone enlighten me?
It depends, Bill, on whether you feel it's more important to send those five
WEBELOS Cub Scouts to camp over a corporation underwriting cutting the cost
for five HUNDRED WEBELOS Cub Scouts to go to camp for the same period.
I call the "unwritten policy" concerning this the "Don't Bite the Hand that
Feeds You" unwritten policy. Here it is in straight American English:
Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You:
"Units are STRONGLY DISCOURAGED from seeking funding from anyone that your
District Executive has access to and whom has the potential of giving more
than $1K ($1000) to your Council."
(you will NEVER see those words or anything like it in any print form
produced by any local Council. Please don't ask them for a copy of it.)
Note that the words "strongly discouraged" are in caps. There's nothing
that says, on paper anyways, that your unit cannot go to 3M in Cynthiana,
Kentucky, meet with the Plant Manager and get a $17,000 check from them to
go toward your Cub Scout Pack and whatever it is your Pack wants to do with
it. Sometimes, those "gifts" fall from the sky and units do receive
unsolicited checks in the mail from corporate leaders or their businesses.
In most cases, they saw a Cub Scout for instance, and was moved by their
rememberances of the good times they had and the great things they learned
that when they got back to their offices or homes, that they write
a check and mailed it to "the Cub Scouts" or "the Boy Scouts" in their
However, when you accept that check, it is the BUSINESS's frame-of-mind that
"I've just given to the Boy Scouts of America", which we can argue the
semantics over and over, but it's NOT the same as giving it to the Cardinal
Council, Scouting/USA or the Heart of America Council, BSA or the Greater
Lowell Council, Boy Scouts of America.
So when the District Executive comes up there, meets with the Plant Manager
and talks about his or her "corporate pride in the community", and the Plant
Manager gets red in the face and tells the Executive "I've just GIVEN YOU
SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS....and you're back here asking for MORE?? GIVE ME
A BREAK!!!", the Executive gets that knot in his or her stomach...the one
that in a lot of cases, stays there until he or she finished the "trail
session" with his or her boss, the Field Director later on that day or the
($17 grand in a lot of District's cases, comes alfully close to meeting 100
percent (or more) of their SME/FOS goals....now, can you imagine the meeting
between the Field Director and the District Executive?? Can you imagine the
meeting between the District Exec and YOU, as the "person going to 3M" and
getting such a larger check?)
That "rule" is unwritten, but no matter what local Council you go to, you'll
note that nobody gets bent out of shape when a Pack, Troop, Post or Ship
raises a "grand". But let that amount (or the amount in the unit's treasury)
get more than that, and everyone working on that important SME/FOS goal
starts coming back to you asking "wouldn't you like to help out ALL of the
units in the District by your unit donating, say, $1000 to the SME/FOS
And don't stop bugging you until you did. Or wished that you did.
In the past, it was not unusual for a unit to have literally hundreds of
thousands of dollars in a treasury....to send Scouts and Scouters to
National AND World Jamborees, to make sure that every Scout registered get
to go to a week of summer camp, and to make sure that every youth and adult
leader gets the training and coaching stuff they need.....in return, Scouts
and Scouters literally work their tail feathers off doing everything from
washing cars and painting houses to flipping burgers or pancakes. When
people started to ask why was everyone working SO HARD toward a week's worth
of camping someplace, those Scouts and Scouters cheerfully replied "A Scout
pays his own way", while taking a short break or while continuing to work.
Companies interested in local community development gave monies directly to
units, because they were small then and in a better position to see exactly
where their monies went and to which particular unit it went toward. In
many cases, it went to the unit that *they chartered* and had employees
leaders within. And the local Council emphasized program instead of its
Today, local Councils still look after their programs carefully, but they
also are being evaluated more and more on the amount of money that comes in
and goes outward to develop the Council's programming options. Kids today
are living differently than those of our past, and Scouting needs to keep up
and provide alternatives to negative programming out there. And that kind
of programming costs real dollars -- a lot more today than what a typical
Council took in the past!! Add to this, the loss of a lot of "neighborhood
units" and units chartered to the corporations and industries of our cities
and towns, and put in a large dosage of "dontwannabeinvolved", and you get
the picture why Councils are very protective about how, when and who raises
monies "for Scouting" in their territory areas.
So for your unit to go to 3M (or any corporation) and ask for a donation to
support "Scouting in our community", is like taking away your District's
ability to together develop some innovative programming for those kids that
want Scouting but can't get to it or can't afford it. It's not neccessarily
"treading on someone else's turf", but raising significant funding to help
everyone is part of the District's "reason for being."
Others will say here that "it IS treading on the DE's turf". It isn't
because WE SHOULD be the ones out there asking 3M for a contribution
alright, but one toward the District/Division's SME/FOS campaign...and WE,
not the District's Executive, should be making "the pitch" and collecting
"the check" and sending it to the Council for recordkeeping and deposit. By
US "taking back the program", as our predecessors did before we got
involved, we give the 3Ms of the nation a FACE to go with the request.
We can tell the Plant Manager SPECIFICIALLY about our unit, and the
fact that with your generousity AND with our kid's hard work, not only will
those five or so WEBELOS Cub Scouts get to go to camp, but practically ANY
OTHER WEBELOS Cub Scout in our District will get to go to camp....because
And believe me, they will remember your faces and the faces of those from
your unit or District a lot longer than they will the face of someone in a
suit and tie bringing a plaque and asking for a check in return.
Check with your local Council, Bill, BEFORE you go out there....it could be
that the local Council has not "targeted" them for a donation to SME/FOS.
Or it could be that they are not interested in giving monies to the BSA but
WOULD be interested in giving monies to a specific unit for programming.
Also, Bill, don't forget that you need to complete a "Money-Rasing Permit"
application and also remind those going out there that they SHOULD NOT BE in
a BSA uniform when asking for or raising funding for the unit.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://www.vhm.com/~uscardnl/
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