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Can a Council take over a tree stand?


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#1 krikkitbot

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:12 PM

If your troop is looking to fundraise through something like a tree stand, can the council come in and take it over?

 

Can they say something to the effect of: well Troop Z your tree stand is too successful and we think that it should be a council stand instead of your troop. Troop X has more people to staff it so they will be primary and share the revenue among all the troops in the council. 


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#2 sst3rd

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:17 PM

No they can't.


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#3 Stosh

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 11:18 PM

Nope!

 

They may try and set up a competing stand next door, but they can't do anything about yours and it will look a bit disingenuous on their part if they do.


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#4 NJCubScouter

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 07:42 AM

Did the troop submit a Unit Money Earning Application to council, and did the council approve it?
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#5 krikkitbot

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 10:53 AM

Did the troop submit a Unit Money Earning Application to council, and did the council approve it?

While in the process the district thinks it's best for the district.


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#6 NJCubScouter

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 01:38 PM

While in the process the district thinks it's best for the district.


I'm sorry, I don't understand your answer.
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#7 David CO

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 03:51 PM

The council can deny a Unit Money Earning Application if it conflicts with a council/district fundraiser. So yes, the district can take your idea and deny your application.


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#8 NJCubScouter

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 04:16 PM

The council can deny a Unit Money Earning Application if it conflicts with a council/district fundraiser. So yes, the district can take your idea and deny your application.

I think that is correct, which is why I asked whether a Unit Money Earning Application had been approved.

In fact, the council can turn down an application simply because they think a fundraising idea would be more appropriate on a council level than on a unit level, even if there is no actual "conflict" at the time.

One the council approves the application, it's a different story, at least in the sense of "good governance". Whether it could "legally" be revoked is something I have never looked into.

Edited by NJCubScouter, 10 December 2016 - 04:16 PM.

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#9 Stosh

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 04:21 PM

I can understand the conflict between different fund raising events, but to use the application to deny an opportunity with no other conflicts other than they want to do it is just plain mean.

 

The CO owns the unit, the CO's non-profit status is used for the fund raising opportunity, I would think as long as there are no direct conflicts, a little MYOB on the part of the council is in order.

 

A unit wants to sell Christmas wreaths in the neighborhood.  The CO is a church.  The boys sell wreaths for the CO and the CO makes a nice generous donation to the scout unit.  I don't see the need for any application.  Of course the boys won't be wearing any scout uniforms and BSA wouldn't be getting any neighborhood recognition, but it's a nice cooperative gesture between CO and unit.


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#10 NJCubScouter

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 06:37 PM

Krikkitbot did not ask whether it would be "mean". He asked whether the council could do it. I think they can. There have been threads in the past that have described things councils have done in the name of money that could be described as "mean". I have seen a thing or two myself that fall into that category.

As for your opinion about when an application is necessary, if there is a sign that identifies the seller as a Boy Scout troop, or if the Scouts tell customers they are selling for the "troop" or the "Boy Scouts" or anything similar, or any other indication that the sale involves Scouts or Scouting in any way, then an application is necessary. The CO does own the unit, and the CO signs an agreement with the BSA to abide by BSA rules and regulations, and that includes the fundraising rules. Does your troop raise funds without telling potential customers that they are dealing with Scouts or Scouting or a Scouting unit? I doubt it. We don't. I don't know anyone who does.
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#11 David CO

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 07:36 PM

We do.  Our unit is largely funded from the profits made by the concessions stands at our school athletic events.  We don't file a Unit Money Earning Application.  

 

I feel that there is enough of an "arms length distance" between the unit and the fund raising to make an honest and reasonable claim that it is not subject to council approval.


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#12 qwazse

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 07:48 PM

We do.  Our unit is largely funded from the profits made by the concessions stands at our school athletic events.  We don't file a Unit Money Earning Application.  
 
I feel that there is enough of an "arms length distance" between the unit and the fund raising to make an honest and reasonable claim that it is not subject to council approval.

concessions at a school are like offering plates at church. I'm pretty sure BSA doesn't want to meddle in either. Revenue that isn't under the rightful eye of the CO is where the start to worry about their brand being protected.
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#13 David CO

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:48 PM

If your troop is looking to fundraise through something like a tree stand, can the council come in and take it over?

 

Can they say something to the effect of: well Troop Z your tree stand is too successful and we think that it should be a council stand instead of your troop. Troop X has more people to staff it so they will be primary and share the revenue among all the troops in the council. 

 

I think it is very smart of you to consider all aspects of a potential fund raiser, including the possibility that the council might try to take it over.  Well done.


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#14 CalicoPenn

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 10:03 AM

Questions:  How long has your Troop been selling Christmas Trees?  Do you have a base of people who buy from you every year because they are supporting your Troop?

 

How active are you in the District (attending events, supplying volunteers, etc.)?

 

How old and successful is your Troop?

 

I'm guessing that during the process of applying for the permit, someone in the District (Council) decided they should do it instead and that is the basis of your questions.

 

I'm asking the questions to make a point - a lot of the answer depends on how much perceived leverage you have.  If you're a Troop of 60 boys, with a history of holding successful tree sales that the people in the community support, that is active in the District and that has a history of producing Eagle Scouts, then a call from the Institutional Head to the Scout Executive can nip this in the bud in a minute - the Institutional Head simply tells the Scout Executive to back off, sign the application and don't even think of competing with the Troop's tree sales or the charter will be canceled, and there will be a front page news article telling the community exactly why the unit is no folding after so many years.

 

If you don't have that kind of perceived leverage, then either ignore the unit money earning application altogether, or have your sponsoring organization hold the sale as a fundraiser for their youth programs,

 

I'd also contact your tree vendor and let them know how disappointed you would be in them if they were to sell their trees to the district/council instead.

 

And if the District/Council succeeds in pulling your fundraiser in as their own, I would have as many boys and their parents that would volunteer for it, stand just outside the entrance to their lot (and on public property/public easements - and out of uniform) holding up signs telling people not to buy their trees from that lot because they stole your Troop's fundraiser.


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#15 T2Eagle

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 11:54 AM

There's nothing in the OP to think this could be the situation here, but the other reason a Council might want to take over a troop project is if the troop has what looks like a good idea that is being done badly, especially if it is reflecting poorly on scouting rather than positively.

 

I do have to add that I can't imagine a Council doing something like this.  Councils need to think about raising funds at the tens of thousands of dollars level which is probably not what a Christmas tree stand is going to do.  Folks at the District level tend to actually be the more meddlesome bunch, and the answer to that is usually going over their heads to the Council where bigger picture viewing tends to take place.


Edited by T2Eagle, 11 December 2016 - 11:55 AM.

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#16 David CO

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 12:11 PM

True. The council is not going to want to run a Christmas tree stand, but that is not the situation the OP describes.

 

The OP describes a situation in which a fundraiser is taken from a smaller unit (Troop Z) and given to a larger unit (Troop X), with some revenue sharing involved. I could very easily see this happening.

 

I disagree with CalicoPenn in regard to picketing the Christmas tree stand.  No matter how mean and unfair I might feel the situation is, I would not picket a fundraiser run by another unit (Troop X).


Edited by David CO, 11 December 2016 - 12:20 PM.

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#17 CalicoPenn

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 01:20 PM

So if your unit was running a successful Christmas Tree Sale for a number of years and some yahoo at the district level decided another Troop should do it instead, you would be ok with it?  What are you, some kind of communist? ( ;) )

 

If another unit decided to start their own tree sale independently, I wouldn't picket it - but if my unit's tree sale was hijacked and stolen, not only would I picket it, I'd make sure it was front page news.


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#18 David CO

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 01:35 PM

That would not be the sort of front page news that would reflect well on my unit or my Chartered Organization.  No, I would not picket another unit's fundraiser.  Instead, I would develop a fundraiser that the yahoos at district cannot hijack.

 

Be Prepared.


Edited by David CO, 11 December 2016 - 01:49 PM.

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#19 fred johnson

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 08:18 AM

A few comments.  

  • A district can't hold money and is the same non-profit organization as the council.  Any funds raised by a district go directly to the council.
     
  • BSA's "unit money earning application" is usually ignored.  In my 13+ years, I've never seen one filled out.  Personally, it sort of offends me.  BSA tells us we can't wear uniform when doing such non-profits.  We can't use BSA good will to support sales.  BSA says sales must be done on their own merit.  As such, I really don't see what the council would be approving as the only thing the BSA council approves is their own non-involvement.  
  • Districts should not be choosing between troops except maybe to staff a district event.  And districts don't run council fundraisers.  And if it was a council fundraiser, one troop running it would not be enough motivation for the boys and adults to keep it running.  It would die.  So from what I understand, we are really talking about giving a unit fundraiser from one troop to another troop.  
  • Hypothetical ... If Troop X started running the tree stand, would Troop X share profits with Troop Z?  I am assuming no.  Why would Troop Z let it happen then ?
  • Essentially ... A tree stand that Troop Z runs is really run by Troop Z's charter organization.  It's theirs and the money raised is raised under Troop Z non-profit status.  The property use agreement (lease, rental, whatever) is with the Troop Z non-profit.  The money might be obviously targeted directly for Troop Z, but it's still the non-profit org. .... As such, the district (a different non-profit business) can't pick and choose who will financially benefit in different non-profit orgs and can't choose who will run it between different non-profits. 

IMHO, letting a district get involved in a unit fundraiser decision puts things at risk.  Keep the unit fundraiser at the unit level and just do it.  Tell the district people to politely focus on their district activities.  


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#20 scoutldr

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 09:27 AM

Well, I got this far thinking "tree stand" had to do with deer hunting.


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