Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

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williamkeithdenning
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Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby williamkeithdenning » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:43 am

During a new bishopric training, a question was raised about using Other accounts for tracking the funds that were raised by scout fund raising. These funds are used to fund the annual week camp for the scouts. There was some confusion as to whether a Scout account as a subcategory of the Other account was to be used since funds in the budget accounts can now roll over quarter to quarter. Is there a policy or letter that gives us guidance as to what is the appropriate way to account for these funds?
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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby johnshaw » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:10 am

There are several church budgeting principles that I see from this post. The first is to be sure and understand that fundraising for fundraising sake is not necessarily a right. All money for All activities should come from the budget, always. If, and only if, money is not available for those funds should a fundraiser be considered. It is also a better practice to find the money in another budget category rather than add fundraisers - For instance, do the adults need as much money as is given them? Could $1000 be taken from an activity and used for scout/girls camp? etc...

When the fundraiser is deemed necessary it should be for a specific planned activity. The other account should be created with that in mind. Scout Camp 2014 for example. The money collected should only be used to fund that specific activity. In fact, a fundraiser should be matched to the amount of money needed. If you only need $1000 for your fundraiser, don't fund an elaborate fundraiser that raises $3000 - otherwise you would need to go back and talk to everyone that contributed and refund the money or have them re-donate it in a way that is THEIR choosing and not your own.
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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby jdlessley » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:20 am

williamkeithdenning wrote:Is there a policy or letter that gives us guidance as to what is the appropriate way to account for these funds?

Take a look at the guidance found in Handbook 2, 13.2.8, about funding for activities and section 13.6.8 about fund-raising. Additionally there is information on the Other account and AMFA (Authorized Member Funded Activities) categories in the RKATS article The "Other" Category.

Fund-raiser funds must be deposited in an Other/AMFA sub category appropriately named for the activity being funded. These fund-raiser funds should not be deposited into a budget category. Follow the direction found in Section 13.2.8 for the source of funds used to fund the one annual camp. The source of funds listed in order of priority are:
  1. Budget funds
  2. Funds from participants
  3. One group fund-raising activity annually.
There are several threads in the forum discussing camp funding and fund-raisers. One thing to note is that funds can be transferred from the unit budget into an Other/AMFA category to make-up for a deficit of funds in the AMFA sub-category. But excess Other/AMFA category funds should not be transferred into a budget category. Excess funds in an summer camp Other/AMFA category can be used to pay for equipment and supplies for that camp, returned to the contributors, or remitted to the Office of the Presidency if the first two options are not possible. Some forum users may submit that excess funds can be rolled into the next year summer camp. Your stake president will have to make that call after carefully reviewing the guidance provided in the Handbook.

williamkeithdenning wrote: There was some confusion as to whether a Scout account as a subcategory of the Other account was to be used ...

Are you are talking about creating individual summer camp accounts (sub-categories) under Other/AMFA for each scout? This is possible, but it is unwieldy and messy. Once a sub-category is created it cannot be deleted during the record retention period. Once the sub-category is zeroed it can, however, be deactivated. There could end up being a large number of subcategories under Other/AMFA , both active and deactivated. We do not know if there is a limit to the number of sub-categories that can be created in MLS. Then there is the issue of writing one check from a large number of categories and tracking partial payments to the camp in each individual category created for each camp participant.

A method I have used, which I think is less messy and simpler, is to track the funds for each camp attendee outside MLS and have one Other/AMFA sub-category for each summer camp. For example, the one for 2014 would be titled "Scout Camp - 2014". That individual camp attendee tracking information must be stored off the computer hard drive and in a secure location such as on a USB drive locked in the clerk filing cabinet.
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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby martyriker » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:37 am

I spent a few hours trying to glean information from what is posted here. There is lots of great information, but I still have questions.

Our ward has an approved fund raiser. We want to motivate the individuals to take advantage of the fund raising opportunity we have been given. So we tell the boys that from every $5 they take in (selling donated fruit, if you must know) 10% goes back to the grower (his agreement) and the rest is for camp (YW, Scout or AP Camp). We do the picking so we've allocated the remaining 40% to those picking and 50% to those making the sale, encouraging the sometimes unmotivated youth to go make sales. This motivates the pickers and the sellers. This is not the first year, but the first year we have this financial incentive set up.
If the weather cooperates, we'll yield a bounteous harvest and collect lots of fruit to fill our orders, and we'll have as many youth picking as possible.

But what about those who pick but don't go to camp? They have earned something with their efforts and we feel we could reward them, but the planned reason for the fundraising doesn't apply to them. -- We will probably allocate their picking profits to those who do go to camp. However the final decisions on camp attendance isn't immediately known.
Relatedly, if we allocate $200 to Billy, who then decides not to go to AP camp in June, now what? We can't very well give those funds back to the 40 people who paid for $5 bags of fruit. So what to do with the funds, except send it to CHQ, or send proportional refund checks to those who did go and paid out of pocket for their child to attend? That's potentially a lot of checks.

And what if a YW and her family work very hard and earn more than the cost of Girls Camp for 2015? Can we reward that extra effort?
1) Roll it over to 2016 (a forseeable future expense)
2) Distribute it to others who are attending 2015 camp
3) give it to the family who earned it, to use at their discretion on Camp supplies?
4) buy camping supplies for the Ward or Stake.
5) Send it to the Stake, who is paying quite a bit to support the church's YW camp facility? (This is probably tithing funds and would violate some policies.)
6) Send extra Other funds to CHQ, per family.

What about unattached funds donated "to the YW"? without fruit in return. I think my best answer is to spread it out to those YW going to camp. Any other ideas? Or is this a tax deductable donation and needs to go to CHQ, like tithing.

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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby russellhltn » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:10 am

There's a number of things that trouble me here:

martyriker wrote:(selling donated fruit, if you must know) 10% goes back to the grower (his agreement)

That doesn't sound "donated" to me. I also have to wonder if it runs afoul of "sale of commercial goods or services" and possibly "Activities that would be taxable".

martyriker wrote:if we allocate $200 to Billy, who then decides not to go to AP camp in June, now what? We can't very well give those funds back to the 40 people who paid for $5 bags of fruit. So what to do with the funds, except send it to CHQ, or send proportional refund checks to those who did go and paid out of pocket for their child to attend? That's potentially a lot of checks.

Yes, that does sound like a problem. Not sure what to suggest there. Maybe it's time to re-think the motivation factor. Or at least move the motivation to something else where the effort is recognized but isn't translated to anything financial.
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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby aebrown » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:18 am

martyriker wrote:Our ward has an approved fund raiser. We want to motivate the individuals to take advantage of the fund raising opportunity we have been given. So we tell the boys that from every $5 they take in (selling donated fruit, if you must know) 10% goes back to the grower (his agreement) and the rest is for camp (YW, Scout or AP Camp). We do the picking so we've allocated the remaining 40% to those picking and 50% to those making the sale, encouraging the sometimes unmotivated youth to go make sales. This motivates the pickers and the sellers.

It sounds like a lot of your questions arise because you aren't sure whether this is a fund-raising activity, or an opportunity for youth to earn money.

Handbook 2, Section 13.2.8, explains that Budget funds are to be used first for annual camps, but if they are insufficient, the youth can pay a portion of the costs. If funds from participants are insufficient, then the bishop can authorize a fund-raising activity.

The requirements for fund-raising activities are explained in section 13.6.8 (you didn't mention how the selling of your fruit was being done, but note that that section specifically states "Nor should they sell products or services door to door").

Nowhere in the section on fund-raising is there any mention of allocating funds to individuals. It's also not explicitly prohibited, but it does seem that some of your complications arise from your attempts to merge the concepts of individuals earning money and the group raising funds. Note that everywhere the Handbook talks about fund-raising, it uses the term "group fund-raising activity."

In our ward, we've always encouraged everyone to participate, but we treat it as a group fund-raising activity. The proceeds are used for the costs of the annual camp, independent of the effort expended by any individual. It's kind of like the process of cleaning the church -- we never get 100% of the members to take their turn at cleaning the church, but everyone is still welcome to come to the building and participate in meetings and activities. I can understand why you want to have an incentive for youth to participate in the fund-raising activity, but it seems like you're not really providing a GROUP fund-raising activity the way you are structuring it.

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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby allenjpl » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:24 am

First: none of the funds obtained through charitable fundraising can "inure" to the benefit of an individual. That's fundraising fraud. The primary reason that you aren't having to collect and remit sales tax on this fruit is because you are doing so to promote the aims of the charitable organization, in this case, the church's interest in developing youth. So if it's a church-sponsored fundraiser, the proceeds should go to reduce the cost for all the individuals attending, not just the ones who worked the fundraiser. It is also acceptable to reserve some for "camperships," which essentially promotes the aim of the church by paying for an individual on a case-by-case basis when that person is unable to pay on their own. In no case can you ever cut a check back to the youth as compensation for their participation. If they don't attend, their efforts were still to benefit the group.

The key here is that "group" fundraisers are the only ones authorized. The individuals are raising funds for the group, not for themselves. This is distinctly different from cases where the individuals raise money for themselves (i.e. they have a job, be that babysitting, lawn maintenance, or buying and reselling fruit.). In the latter case, the church isn't really involved, and truth be known, it's the preferred method in both the BSA and the church. (The former: "A Scout is Thrifty. He pays his own way." The latter: "If the ward budget does not have sufficient funds to pay for the following activities, leaders may ask participants to pay for part or all of them.")

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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby martyriker » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:59 pm

russellhltn wrote:There's a number of things that trouble me here:

Yes, that does sound like a problem. Not sure what to suggest there. Maybe it's time to re-think the motivation factor. Or at least move the motivation to something else where the effort is recognized but isn't translated to anything financial.


- I agree. I think I do need to rethink motivations. I'm such a fan of the Law of the Harvest, it feels like a downgrade to promote a Collective Good law, vs a higher United Order law. Hard to know how best to help the individuals, while helping the group.
If I go the direction of working only for the group - all profits are distributed to those who camp, then I feel we'll be back to where we started, no one participating at all, only minimum orders from the ward. (For a data point, this year we've had 550lbs of fruit from non-youth families in the ward and 2000lbs from families - non-ward orders, a reflection of their personal selling.) As another comparison - the total expected need is $3600 for those expected to attend summer activities. So $500 isn't helping the ward participants out nearly as much as the $2500 will. And my fear is that without this motivation, we'll be putting in mediocre effort and getting back mediocre returns. That was exactly our experience in the past, with no personal financial motivation.

aebrown wrote:It sounds like a lot of your questions arise because you aren't sure whether this is a fund-raising activity, or an opportunity for youth to earn money.


This is a good point I hadn't thought about. In my mind they are pretty much the same. And maybe that's what needs to change. For me fund raising activities are all youth earning money activities. I think about past experiences - popcorn sales, candy bars, Scout-o-Rama books, Christmas wreaths, pizzas, etc. All of these activities rewarded the sellers more than those that didn't sell.
But some rewarded the group more than others. Spaghetti dinners were collective efforts to reward the collective campers. But getting participation was like pulling teeth and we rewarded those who came and helped cook, and serve more than others who didn't but still camped. Mostly it felt like leaders put in all the efforts and the kids had little to no motivation to help but got rewarded anyway. If it hadn't been for the leaders, the event would not have happened at all and been a complete flop, not only for the kids, but broken expectations from those promised something to eat for their $10 donation.

aebrown wrote:The requirements for fund-raising activities are explained in section 13.6.8 (you didn't mention how the selling of your fruit was being done, but note that that section specifically states "Nor should they sell products or services door to door").


Door to Door selling has been explicitly prohibited, per the guidelines above. But selling to non-member friends is perfectly legit and encouraged.

I reviewed this post about Fund Raising Ideas:
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=18662&hilit=fund+raising+ideas

It was very helpful but some of the ideas made me ask policy questions to myself.

If the church puts on a dinner/auction, and the kids auction off services, then the church doesn't get involved in the babysitting job or the car wash because they are private transactions. But the kids use the money as they wish for video games and candy? Or should they be required to report their profits and come up with that much money when funds are due for camp? I can see that getting potentially sticky, not to mention the hurt feelings etc pointed out by some other posters.

silus99 wrote:Our ward tries not to do group fundraisers, but her are some of the ideas that have been successful for individual youth raising money on their own:

1. Cinnamon Rolls - A young woman contacted members to offer trays of uncooked homemade cinnamon rolls that would be delivered the Friday before conference weekend, and a preview Friday before that. Some people signed up for the first Friday, and then word got around and the conference Friday orders started pouring in. She made enough money for two years of girls camp. (They were really good!)

2. Weekly Dessert - Some young women sold four weeks of a weekly dessert they would deliver on Saturday. You did not know what the dessert may be, but it was always delicious. The three sisters made enough for their camp.

3. Backyard Broadway - Two young women (sisters) offered a camp for kids at their house called Backyard Broadway. It was a half-day camp on a Monday thru Friday in the summer where kids would go and practice a fun play that they would perform for their parents on the Friday night. They had simple costumes, some pretty large sets and would have about 20 kids in a camp. They soon had to expand to more than 2 weeks of the camp to accommodate the demand. They have been doing it for six years now and as the families next daughter gets old enough they take over for the one too old for camp. I believe they charge $25 per kid for the week and the youngest age is 7.


These I really like. Again - the Law of the Harvest. This wasn't a YW leader passing out signups in RS soliciting ward members. While I'm sure these didn't happen in a leader vacuum, they are stories of kids taking initiative and earning their own personal money needed to pay for camp. That's ultimately what I'm hoping for. And how can I turn this incredible resource into such an activity?

Unfortunately, the orchard is 1 hour away driving time, so for individuals to have all the initiative it takes some resource availability, which is not always there. But that is the direction I'm thinking for next year. Make this purely a fund raising opportunity. If taken, the youth will need to do their own selling, picking and delivering and managing of the funds. We might collectively pick on the same day, but every person is on their own and reaps their own rewards.

What do you think about that? Not that I need your opinion, and I(the bishop) will still go back to the leaders and discuss this with them, but I sure like the relative anonymity that this forum provides for honest and open conversation.

aebrown wrote:In our ward, we've always encouraged everyone to participate, but we treat it as a group fund-raising activity. The proceeds are used for the costs of the annual camp, independent of the effort expended by any individual. It's kind of like the process of cleaning the church -- we never get 100% of the members to take their turn at cleaning the church, but everyone is still welcome to come to the building and participate in meetings and activities. I can understand why you want to have an incentive for youth to participate in the fund-raising activity, but it seems like you're not really providing a GROUP fund-raising activity the way you are structuring it.


I hope to get there some day. But 15+ years of experience with youth and their lack of motivation to step out of the entitlement society they are immersed in have taught me that either our youth and their families are not ready for it, or we are not teaching them sufficiently as leaders to show them the way. More often than not, even if the kid does nothing, the parent still pays for them to go. Even when they can't afford it. It is a crying shame, but that's what I'm up against.

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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby martyriker » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:22 am

allenjpl wrote:First: none of the funds obtained through charitable fundraising can "inure" to the benefit of an individual. That's fundraising fraud. The primary reason that you aren't having to collect and remit sales tax on this fruit is because you are doing so to promote the aims of the charitable organization, in this case, the church's interest in developing youth. So if it's a church-sponsored fundraiser, the proceeds should go to reduce the cost for all the individuals attending, not just the ones who worked the fundraiser. It is also acceptable to reserve some for "camperships," which essentially promotes the aim of the church by paying for an individual on a case-by-case basis when that person is unable to pay on their own. In no case can you ever cut a check back to the youth as compensation for their participation. If they don't attend, their efforts were still to benefit the group.

The key here is that "group" fundraisers are the only ones authorized. The individuals are raising funds for the group, not for themselves. This is distinctly different from cases where the individuals raise money for themselves (i.e. they have a job, be that babysitting, lawn maintenance, or buying and reselling fruit.). In the latter case, the church isn't really involved, and truth be known, it's the preferred method in both the BSA and the church. (The former: "A Scout is Thrifty. He pays his own way." The latter: "If the ward budget does not have sufficient funds to pay for the following activities, leaders may ask participants to pay for part or all of them.")


OK. I forgot to reply to this post. I've reread it several times and have to agree as well.

If the ward has been offered this fruit as an opportunity we can either invite the youth to make it a personal/private transaction with the owner and only be superficially involved, or promote it as a fully group activity and any sale profits go to the individuals attending camp, reducing the cost equally for all. Period. No individual benefits one above another, except perhaps in welfare type cases when families can't afford it. (Which is unfortunately, quite common).

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Re: Other Accounts used for Scout Fund Raising funds

Postby lajackson » Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:17 am

martyriker wrote:If the church puts on a dinner/auction, and the kids auction off services, then the church doesn't get involved in the babysitting job or the car wash because they are private transactions. But the kids use the money as they wish for video games and candy?

When we have done this type of service project auction in the past, the members paid at the auction for a specific defined service. The youth did not handle the money.


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