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Tuesday Talkback: Share your pack and troop’s fundraising secrets

Tuesday-TalkbackThe battle for fundraising dollars is on.

At offices everywhere, parents peddle pizza dough, flower bulbs, Christmas wreaths and more to their coworkers in the name of financing their kids’ extracurricular activities. It seems every orchestra, soccer team and stamp-collecting club in a 50-mile radius wants your money.

In this sometimes-cutthroat world, surely there’s a way for packs and troops to make their fundraisers stand out from the crowd. But how? 

Scouters who have come before you have had success with two types of fundraisers: events and product sales.

Events might be cake auctions, pancake breakfasts, flag subscriptions and yard sales. Products include the obvious — Scout popcorn — plus Christmas trees, cookie dough, candy bars, coupon books, candles, batteries and every kind of snack or household product imaginable.

Once you’ve filled out a Unit Money-Earning Application (PDF), your fundraising options are practically limitless. You’ll want to look for something that offers a low upfront cost and a healthy percentage of profits for your unit.

And location matters, too. I’m interested in learning where packs and troops had the most success selling. Did setting up booths outside of grocery stores work? Or was pounding the pavement a better strategy?

Discussion questions for today’s Tuesday Talkback:
  • Which kinds of fundraisers have been most successful in your unit, event-based or product-based? Why?
  • Which products sell the best, and why?
  • Which fundraisers have you given up on because they didn’t work, and why?
  • Where did you have the most success selling?
  • How do you decide what to sell or what kinds of events to plan? Were Scouts involved in the decision?
  • Do Scouts get a portion of the profits allocated to them for Scouting-related purchases, or does everything go into the same pot?

Answer these questions or ask your own in the comments below.

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48 thoughts on “Tuesday Talkback: Share your pack and troop’s fundraising secrets

  1. We of course sell popcorn. A couple years ago we started a yearly dues. We didn’t think it was fair for a couple of boys to go all out selling to carry the Pack at recharter time. We charge $75 a year which covers recharter, badges etc… The boys get the entire share of their sales, our council does a “earn your way to camp” candle sale which the boys also get their 30%. Their account can be used for anything Scouting including yearly dues. We also have some parents that love to barbecue. Our city has a Labor Day festival that had a vendor opening, we got it and sell BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. That event covers our cabin rentals for winter camp and other incidentals.
    Dan Devereaux
    Pack 115
    Jamestown NY

  2. Our Boy Scout troop’s most effective fundraiser is a service project/fundraiser with many life lessons along the way. We call it Flags Over West Chester. We focus on a large, heavily traveled subdivision and for a $30 annual subscription, our boys will install a flag pole sleeve into your yard about 18″ from the curb directly in line with your front door (to find it easily), then post a flag (10′ tall pole) at dawn, retrieve it at dusk, complete with a three second salute, on six patriotic holidays – Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, Labor Day, 9/11, and Veterans Day. The total dollars raised is divided equally amongst the boys who choose to participate and goes directly into their scout account. We typically raise $12,000 per year for around $250 per boy. We’ve been featured on the local TV stations and newspapers because driving down the street lined with flags is an impressive sight. The boys learn service to our community/country and self sacrifice when posting flags on holidays during the school year. Veteran’s and other homeowners on the routes often come out to watch the boys.
    Faith Finkes
    Troop 940
    West Chester, Ohio

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