scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: FOS vs. Scout Program
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Sat Apr 24 1993 - 19:25:36 CDT
Scott Patterson asked on this Glorious Easter Day (and it was WONDERFUL here
in central Minnesota!!)
>Why can't the BSA separate the Program from the Fundraising. Have some
>professionals that do nothing but fundraising and some that do nothing but
>the scouting program.
Good question, Scott. About 25 years back, that's EXACTLY what the BSA did.
Councils would hire "Finance Directors" and "Directors of Developmental
(DDS, not to be confused with Dentists who hold that Doctorate). Their main
role was to serve as leaders of the Council's Sustaining Membership
Enrollment (SME, the forerunner to "Friends of Scouting") campaigns, to
coach volunteer Scouters throughout the Council on how to work with,
cultivate and "make the pitch" for monies for the Council, and serve as the
advisor to the Finance Committee of the Council. Developmental Directors
and Executives would also work with bequests and wills, and cultivate lists
of people in the community whom would give to Scouting if given a good
enough reason to do so.
The Director of Developmental Services would also serve as the supervisor
for "experimental programs" (demonstration programs, mostly underwritten by
a grant or loan), the finance directors and executives, and other
professional staffers (some Councils, believe it or not hired their own
auditors and CPAs). In smaller Councils, the Finance Director or Executive
would handle all aspects and it became a "training ground" for the eventual
promotion to larger Councils with larger financial responsibilities, and
larger staffs to execute the Council's financial goals.
District Executives STILL raised money...it was an important part of their
"business", but with several volunteers trained by the Finance guy, and with
the Finance guy himself "doing the heavy lifting" and hitting the "major
organizations" in that Council's territory, the DE spent more time on the
programming and support end of his mission than he did raising dough. And
when it came time for him to raise money, it was a VOLUNTEER from his
District that "made the pitch" and explained what it is they were giving to
and why...and the professional would make sure that the volunteer got there
and back home and that the check reached the Council office.
In the late 70s, the BSA made a radical shift. Instead of promoting and
developing more Finance guys and gals (the first gals were hired in the
middle 70s), the BSA decided that EVERYONE should be "finance guys and gals"
and included in their work descriptions (and more importantly, in their
"critical acheivement lists", the lists of goals mutually agreed upon by
professional and professional supervisor), the additions of doing many of
those roles previously given to the Finance Directors and Executives.
In other words, Scott, the cost of having separate Finance people got to be
more of a burden for the "average Council" and all but the largest 25 or so
dropped their Finance executives.
The BSA emphasized in their hiring practices that they were looking for
individuals with business experience and business degrees in addition to
those "liberal arts and sciences" degree holders. In some Councils, they
chose to hire individuals with business degrees so that they would be able
to "relate better" to the business leaders than someone that had "volunteer
experience but don't readily understand businesses".
What this did was to shift the burden on fundrasing from specialists to
generalists at an attempt to "grow" the population of professionals and
hopefully some of those that the BSA was hiring with business, finance and
economics degrees (with little to no experience as a BSA volunteer nor
member!) would pay off in more "enhanced professionals" aimed at raising the
monies needed to expand the BSA's programming base.
Only thing, Scott....there was a change in Chief Scout Executives and a
shifting from expanding to consolidation of operations, at the National
level and later at the Council level. Those "growths" of professionals
didn't happen. Most of them by then either were Field Directors, with NO or
LITTLE INTEREST in the "finance track" because let's face it....the FIELD
TRACK leads to Council Executive/Scout Executive positions, not the FINANCE
TRACK now; or they left the profession totally for the lack of the"big
bucks" they would receive as insider traders or as members/partners in
accounting or financial management firms just getting into their own during
that time! New DEs were forced to do even MORE "fundraising and financial
support" to the Council because even those few Finance people have moved
upwards or left the profession all together.
So, what's the answer?? A return to specialists?? Not likely.
Your Council is trying to "do more with less" manpower now. We volunteers
have been "harping" for years about "the numbers of professional supporting
us" and that "some of them don't really have a job". It's not that they
don't have a job...it's that we don't see them working their jobs!
The BSA won't bring back working FDs in every Council any time soon. There
ARE some FDs out there....and some of them have "bucked the tide" by
becoming Scout Executives eventually.....but not enough to make a trend to
occur. In the meantime, one of the most important things CAN be done,
Scott, and this is something your DE and every other DE SHOULD do in that
82-hour workweek and that 28-hour workday that they have *grinning*:
They should be TRAINING and COACHING their volunteers to conduct and
deliver FOS presentations FOR THE DISTRICT. This will cut a lot of the
number of FOS presentations that he or she has to deliver and will INCREASE
the amount of money given consistantly to the Council...because there's NOT
a professional "asking for the dough" but a VOLUNTEER...a volunteer that
KNOWS the program, UNDERSTANDS THE NEED, and can EXPLAIN IT TO OTHERS IN
SIMPLE, EVERY DAY AMERICAN ENGLISH to people who do not know Scouting, don't
know what a "Council" is, and only know Scouting from what they read in the
paper and see occassionally on TV.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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