10 Scout fundraising tips to maximize profits and fun

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Young people didn’t join Scouting to participate in fundraisers. They joined to have fun, get outside and hang out with friends.

But the right fundraiser done the right way provides revenue that powers that fun. That’s why it’s important to maximize the short amount of time you spend fundraising.

Here’s how.

The next time you’re gearing up for a money-earning project, follow these 10 Scout fundraising tips. These time-tested secrets are served up by See’s Candies, famous for its American-made, delicious candy that’s easy to sell, making Scout fundraisers deliciously profitable. 

1. Keep the selling period short.

Nobody wants to sell products for months and months. A short selling period — two or three weeks — keeps Scouts interested and motivation high.

2. Prepare a script.

Help your Scouts come up with a personalized sales script to make their job easier. This doesn’t need to be memorized, but a Scout who knows what to say to the stranger to whom he’s selling will be more successful.

3. Remember you’re selling more than a product.

Sure, technically you’re selling delicious candy or popcorn. But it’s about more than that. You’re selling Scouting, and by participating in your fundraiser, the customer is supporting your Scouts’ journey.

4. Practice at a meeting.

Arm your Scouts with Monopoly money and some fundraising samples, and spend a few minutes at a meeting rehearsing. They can try to sell the product to adult leaders or to their fellow Scouts or Venturers. Once everyone’s done, they can even sample the samples!

5. Start with people your Scouts know.

Before approaching strangers (with adult supervision, of course), encourage your Scouts to sell to relatives, friends, parents of friends and other people with whom they’re comfortable. Once they’ve got the hang of it, they can move on to tougher “customers.”

6. Remember to smile.

No scripted sales pitch will ever beat a warm, friendly smile from a Scout. (If the Scout is wearing his uniform? Even better.)

7. Find a good location.

Pick a spot where people are already spending money and are likely to have some dollars to spare for a good cause. Scouts and Venturers have found fundraising success outside drugstores, home-improvement stores, grocery stores, malls and sports stadiums. Just be sure to get permission from the manager or owner first.

8. Try some creative signage.

Advertising works when you set up a fundraising table outside a store. Have your Scouts create some eye-catching signs that are easy to read at a glance, for example:

SUPPORT SCOUTS.

EAT CHOCOLATE.

$2.

Remember that you’re selling Scouting and a product, so include at your table some photos from a recent Scout outing or community service project.

9. Offer samples.

Give potential customers a taste of what you’re selling — literally. People will be more likely to buy something once they’re confident of its quality. Speaking of …

10. Try a See’s Candies fundraiser.

When your unit tries a See’s Candies fundraiser, you’re selling delicious, American made candy with no added preservatives. (I mean it when I say this candy tastes great. See’s sent over some samples, and the magazine staff devoured them in record time.)

With See’s, you’ll get profits of up to 50 percent and all the free materials you need to get started. The friendly See’s team is ready to help and offer a variety of fundraising options to make your fundraising experience a sweet one. Visit the See’s website to get started.

10 Comments

    • This is not accurate. According to guidelines of the form #6. …council executive boards may approve use of the uniform for any fund-raising activity.

      • And how many have? Has there ever been a council executive board that has approved uniform use for fundraising beyond popcorn? Our council authorized camp cards and it came with a disclaimer that Scouts couldn’t wear their uniform while selling them.

        • Yes. We were authorized to wear ours for a fundraiser we were planning to have. It got postponed, but it was going to be a great way to raise money AND get the word about scouting out to the community. I asked and they approved. We’ve got to stop being the best kept secret in the county and we’re not going to do it unless we can get them to let us wear our uniforms. The public doesn’t want to see t-shirts. The public expects scouts to be in uniform. It’s as plain and simple as that.

  1. You should really read “sponsored article” before posting it. Unless this fundraiser is a Council sponsored fundraiser, Scouts cannot wear their uniform. It is a violation of the Unit Money Earning Application.

    Very much not a fan of these “Sponsored” posts.

  2. Yeah, not a fan either. BUT, Scouting Magazine does have advertisements so it stands to reason that they’d be in Bryan’s blog (it pays the bills and salary, I’m sure.) I just don’t put a log of time into reading them.

    All of these suggestions, however, apply to popcorn and any other fundraiser so they are good points.

  3. Now that BSA is saying that we really should be following IRS regs regarding Scout Accounts, how do you get full participation on the fundraising end, not just on the spending end? How do you get the many who will participate in the spending end to assist the few who will participate in the money raising? Scout spirit?

    Sometimes I think National views the world through rose colored glasses when it comes to matters like this.

  4. So we want to promote an additional unit fundraiser in the midst of the fall popcorn sale? Seems as if this would harm local councils and units efforts to be successful.

  5. Ah, how things have changed.
    Back when I was earning my Stegasaurus Husbandry Merit Badge, my Troop sold donuts. About every three or four months, we would meet at the church at 7am on a Saturday. One of the dads would go down to the Krispy Kreme bakery and come back with his stationwagon full of fresh, aromatic, gooey glazed donuts. Each pair of Scouts would load another dad or mom’s car with , say, 20 or thirty dozen donuts and we would go off and cruise a neighborhood (there were prized routes!). Go up to a door, knock knock knock. “Good morning . Would you like to buy some fresh donuts?” I think we sold them for $2 a dozen. Folks would sometimes buy 4 or 5 dozen (“oh, we wrap them up and freeze them!”) at a time. Some would close the door, shaking their heads, and say nothing. But we would have everything sold in three or four hours. People would say, “where were you last month? I am all out by now!”
    In uniform. No need to add “…to support Troop XYZ”.
    Paid for a lot of trips and visits. I think every Scout went free to most of the Museums and such, but we paid separately for our summer camps and weekend overnights.
    The Eagle Patrol , we would pay our Patrol Treasurer $3. and that would be the budget for all the food for the 4 or 5 meals on the campout. The Patrol Treasurer collected our Dues (weekly, at the meeting), too, and that was paid to the Troop Treasurer for us for the years dues. I mowed a lot of lawns for my dues….

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