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Do you know how much money your unit needs? Fundraising 101

Do you know how much money your unit needs?

Every unit needs funds to run.  Funds are needed for basic unit expenses, including supplies, advancement, and registration fees. Units also need funding for programming.  The level of programming your unit has contributes greatly to the retention of the Scouts, and the families. The saying “go big or go home” fits nicely, as Scouts will not participate if the programming isn’t worth their time. 'FUN'draising!

To make sure that your unit has the funding needed to do the great things Scouts do, you need to start with determining what your Scouts want to do.  Start with compiling a list of all the things the Scouts want to do, whether it’s a two-hour visit to an aquarium or a week-long trip to Sea Base.  Determine, as a committee, the funds that are needed. Create a plan and a budget.

Budget planning should be part of your annual planning meeting; but can also be adjusted throughout the year if your plans change.  Once you have your budget, you’ll know how much fundraising is needed to fund your annual programming.  Sharing your budget with the families of the Scouts is very important. It helps them to realize why you need to fund-raise and elicits more support.  They want their children to be able to participate and are very happy not to have to pay out of pocket.

The first choice of fundraising should be the annual popcorn sale. 

  • Community members know about popcorn and expect to see it every year.
  • Twin Rivers Council sets everything up for you—and there’s no risk.
  • Allows for the potential to earn all of the funding your unit needs in one fundraiser, leaving plenty of time for the great programming you have planned.
  • Benefits the Scouts (less out of pocket, benefits the units (covers unit expenses and most, if not all of the programming costs), and benefits the council (helps the council’s expenses, too. Camp improvements, basic business expenses, and support for units). The only other fundraiser that your unit participates in that also helps the council (which supports your Scouts) is the Nuts for Scouting.

Hopefully your unit will do well enough with popcorn that your Scouts do not have to spend their Scouting time on other fundraisers. If more funds are needed, though, there are many other fundraising opportunities out there that your unit can participate in to raise money for programming. 

To begin, please note that Twin Rivers Council does not ask for, nor require your units to give any of your fundraising funds to the council.  The money your unit raises stays with your unit.  We are here to support your unit.  If you have any questions about fundraising or fiscal policies, please don’t hesitate to contact Beth Bush, Development Director at or 518-869-6436 x32

While we encourage your unit to raise the funds needed for your programming, please keep in mind that there are some guidelines to be followed.  A unit’s money-earning methods should reflect Scouting’s basic values. Whenever your unit is planning a non-council sponsored money-earning project, the Unit Money-Earning Application must be filled out and submitted to your District Executive. 

The purpose of the application is to prevent your unit from straying from Scouting’s basic values. It also helps the council support you.

For the Unit Money-Earning Application, Click Here

Would you like more information about fiscal policies of the BSA, including tax ID numbers, checking accounts, etc.? Click Here

More information about Budgeting?  Click Here

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