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20/20 CHALLENGE-Callout #2-- Fundraising Ideas

May 17, 2019     NOAC 2020

Are you excited about going to NOAC 2020, but unsure how your lodge can raise enough money? Hopefully your lodge leadership is already thinking about fundraising and may have even started already. The more money you raise, the more Arrowmen can attend this outstanding event August 3-8, 2020 at Michigan State University!!

Here are some ideas that have been collected from lodges all across the country. Some are simple, and some are more complex. They all require some work and time to make them successful. You can choose one or several, but the key is to get started now!  Please be sure to follow the BSA rules for unit fundraising and be sure to run your ideas through your local council or lodge staff adviser for approval before you begin. 

 

  1. Car Wash: picking a high traffic area where most cars are travelling at city pace. Most people do not want to give up more than 15 minutes to get their car wash, so staff it appropriately.
  2. Spaghetti Dinner: a time-tested favorite! For the general public, using a church or sponsoring institution hall works well. For a "Friends of (name) Lodge" event, consider an evening at your summer camp dining hall.
  3. Golf Tournament: a complex fundraiser. Suggestion is that you find a local charity tournament and see if they need help staffing the event. Also, if you have someone who has managed a golf tournament before (or can find one!), you may be able to handle it on your own. Big earning potential, but approach with caution! Get experience help.
  4. Haunted Hayrides/Haunted House: Location, Location, Location! Most of these do well by word-of-mouth, so in your first year, being on the "beaten path" is a plus. Advertise with a large sign in front of the location, or in a local news outlet. Staff heavy, as this takes more work than it appears. Set dates and keep them!
  5. Parking Attendants: Seek out local fairs, craft shows, renaissance fairs and ask if they need help parking cars. With some adult adviser support, perhaps you can manage the lot for them. Over-staff the event to assure rest breaks.
  6. Sporting Events: If you are fortunate enough to have a sports team in your area, there are several opportunities. Parking attendant, manning a concession stand or cleaning up the arena after the game are a few. Be clear on how many times and when you are expected to be there. No second chances on a miscommunication!
  7. Selling Christmas Trees: a high earner but complex. Can be pre-order, spot selling or both. Get a mix of 6 ft and 8 ft trees. Best if you partner with a local fire department. Set up a tree lot next to the fire company (or any 24/7 manned organization) consisting of rebar hammered into the ground and a fence if you can erect temporary posts and chain-link. The three weeks approaching the holidays works best with the Arrowmen manning the event in the evenings and during the weekends, and the fire company manning it during the school days. Contact tree makers via internet or local growers. Sell out! Manage your inventory to run out before Dec. 25th!
  8. Holiday wreaths: Simpler and works well with a pre-order approach. Lots of knocking on doors!  Vermont Center Wreaths (www.vermontcenterwreaths.com) advertise in SCOUTING Magazine, along with several other companies, on wreath sales. Also try Mickman Brothers.
  9. Mulch sales: need access to a stake bed or other such vehicle. Visit upscale neighborhoods and take orders for bags of mulch. Work out a deal with a local garden shop to buy the mulch. If you have proper manpower and know in advance, you can spread the mulch for a donation.
  10. Pancake Breakfast: can be done at your sponsoring institutions hall or you can partner locally. Applebee's allows Scouting groups to host events where the Scouts sell tickets to the breakfast and serve the customers. Applebee's charges a small fee (about $1), and you sell the tickets at a price you think will work. Everyone likes pancakes!
  11. Memorabilia auction: key is to collect the stuff early! Hit the big collectors and get donations. Pull the older, rarer pieces from the lodge patch box and sprinkle them in. Having a real Auctioneer call the bidding helps as well. These work well at banquets, conclaves, Trade-o-Ree's and other meetings where large numbers of people are interested in the material. Pure profit!
  12. Chocolate Bars: "World’s Finest" is a company that works with Scouting and the bars sell for $1. Easy to sell if Scouts have parents who work in offices! Check out Boys Life as there are usually ads in there also.
  13. Yard work/snow removal: Select an area of your community and offer yard cleanup. After a snowstorm, visit the homes and offer to shovel driveways and walks for a donation.
  14. Concession at larger Scouting events: stock and man a concession stand at events such as Pinewood Derbies, University of Scouting or Trade-o-Ree's.
  15. Walk-a-Thon: Gather "pledges" for a period of time, and then all participating Arrowmen gather on a specific date and walk through a neighborhood or around a track. Large sports arenas are excellent for this also.
  16. "$$ off card": work with local merchants and sporting goods stores to arrange % or dollars off. Create a card detailing the sales and sell the cards in the area. Some stores allow you to stand in front of the store to make the sales.
  17. Krispy Kreme Donuts: works well with taking pre-orders. This can be repeated a number of times. If you don't have a Krispy Kreme, check with your local donut shop and see if you can work a deal.
  18. Patch sales: Design and sell patches locally or nationally to raise funds.
  19. Donations from adult Lodge members: Works well with adults who have attended a NOAC and know how much it can mean to a youth. Asking for a set donation, say $20, on a Vigil weekend or breakfast can work well. Often, a personal letter sent to members who rarely participate in lodge events asking for their financial help can pay off!
  20. Day of Community Service: Contact local agencies explaining that lodge members would be willing to do a day of service (cleaning, planting, etc). Once you have selected the event, collect sponsorships from local citizens or businesses in the form of committed money. Ask your local TV station or newspaper to visit the event.
  21. Sports Tournament: Organize a tournament such as 3-on-3 basketball and charge teams to compete. Award the winner with a trophy. This also works for tennis, volleyball, badminton and mini-golf).
  22. Sub Sandwich Sale: Work with a local sub shop where you receive a portion of the sale of each sub. Then ask other parents or scouters who work in large offices or factories to advertise the sale on a certain day at lunch. Place the orders with the sub shop and deliver the sandwiches. This could be done several times at the same office or at a different location. Another way to distribute is to take orders from members of the churches your Arrowmen attend and distribute them in the church parking lot immediately after services (and just in time for football!)
  23. Karaoke Party: Find a donated venue (school gym, Sports arena, large hall, etc.), and pass out flyers advertising a Karaoke party. Borrow a machine and the screens and projectors and ask for donations at the door. Your food service committee can make sandwiches to sell for donations as well.
  24. Cake Walk: ask parents and Scouters to make baked goods and sell them for donations at a large event such as a dance or ballgame.
  25. Pump it up: coordinate with a local gas station and have Arrowmen serve as gas station attendants for donations.
  26. Popcorn Sales: This must be closely coordinated with your Council. Use the Trails End Popcorn Sale and have Arrowmen sell popcorn with their share going to the lodge to support NOAC 2020. PLEASE: check with your council BEFORE conducting this fundraiser to assure no other conflicts.
  27. Yard Sale/Flea Market: Ask the Arrowmen to collect things of no further use from their families, charter organizations or other institutions in their area. Store these until you have a substantial amount, and then blitz advertise (being sure to mention the sale revenue is being used to send scouts to a BSA event) the sale. Conduct it at a highly travelled location and be sure to sell out! Your Chairman of the Finance Committee can play a key role as a negotiator.
  28. Council Executive Board: Make a sharp, crisp and upbeat presentation on NOAC 2020 to your CEB. Ask that they set up a scholarship fund to send Arrowmen to MSU. Be sure to invite the members that are Arrowmen to attend with your lodge!
  29. Bike Rally: Coordinate with a local bunch of motorcycle or antique car enthusiasts and arrange a rally where the Arrowmen can collect pledges at a dime or quarter a mile, then on a given day, have the group travel a certain route, and the pledges can then be collected.
  30. Christmas Tree disposal: Most townships require Christmas Trees to be recycled. If you are in an area where the city does not pick up the tree, you can advertise and coordinate picking up trees and recycling them for a donation. Select 2-3 pick-up days after Christmas, line up customers and Arrowmen with pick-up trucks, and make some money!
  31. Nuts for Scouting: Sell cans of nuts door-to-door or at a parent’s workplace. Virginia Diner (www.nutsforscouting.com) offers a 50% profit on sales.
  32. First Aid kits: Who knows more about First Aid than the Scouts? A company that caters to first aid kit sales is Responsible Fundraising. You can make about 30% profit on a sale, and more info can be found at www.responsiblefundraising.org.
  33. Conclave dunk tank: Set a goal (one NOAC fee, for instance) and have Conclave attendees donate towards the fee to toss balls. A "pie in the face" contest can be done similarly where people contribute to the fee, and then a name is chosen to toss the pie.
  34. Happy Holiday lights: Canvas more affluent neighborhoods and offer to put up Christmas lights for a donation. Size up the job, select a date, and return with Arrowmen and ladders. Safety first!
  35. Pine needle removal: In some parts of the country, cleaning roofs and gutters on homes is an annual task. Visiting homes and offering to clean roofs and gutters for donations can save a homeowner a lot of work! Bring ladders, hoses and brooms.
  36. Sustainability: Collect specific wastes and turn them into cash. Terracycle (www.terracycle.com) has a program where you collect a specific type of waste (chip bags, water bottles, etc.) and send it to them (they pay postage) for cash. When you sign up, you select the "non-profit" of your choice to receive the rewards, and the Lodge collects the money! This may also work towards Sustainability Merit Badge.