Scouting is a great way for kids to learn about the world around them and discover new skills and hobbies. Starting a new troop, as well as funding the projects, awards and camping that are integral parts of scouting, may seem daunting. While these tasks can seem overwhelming there are ways to find funding for a new troop.
Boy Scouts of America leaves funding up to individual troops, which must follow established fundraising guidelines. Leaders can obtain funding, but scouts cannot in any way solicit funds. Possible grants sources include local businesses, civic groups and the organization that charters the troop. The general rule for this type of fundraising is that the troop cannot ask for funding from companies or groups that fund scouting on a national or district level. Obtain a list from your local scout office. Contact several of these groups and schedule a short meeting with each one individually. Be sure to have a outline of the needed funds and how the money will be spent. Keep good records of any funds collected and submit them to your troop's financial officer.
Searching for Grants
Searching for grants online is an option, few options are available for small organizations. Most grants are limited to specific towns or groups. A better option is to contact local churches, schools and government offices in your immediate area. Grants and scholarships available from these groups often go unused because few people know about them. Most organizations require forms be submitted by certain deadlines. Keep a notebook of due dates and contact names to make this process easier.
Alternatives to grants are numerous and diverse. Boy Scouts of America encourages boy-led troops, meaning the boys are in charge and the adults serve as guides. One important aspect of this idea is to help the boys help themselves. They can earn money as a troop to finance the things they want to do. Examples include selling candy bars or running a food booth at a local community festival. Guidelines prohibit any type of gambling, such as raffles and other games of chance. A Unit Money Earning Application form must be submitted to the local district office two weeks in advance of fundraising activities. A printable copy is available on the Boy Scout website. Your district office can help you determine which fundraising activities are acceptable.
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