Archive for the ‘Fundraiser’ Category


Our local community access television station, Mel-TV, and Boy Scout Troop 68 have worked together during the last 23 years to provide programming about local Scouting. Courts of honor, troop outings, and Laughs For Lunch Shows were regular features. It was a great way to keep Scouting in the public eye.

Due to recent budget cuts Mel-TV closed its doors on December 31, 2010, and the channel went black. I was a member of the board of directors for twenty years but retired one year before the decision was made to close the station. I had invested hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to the station and programming. I was sorry to see it close down. It was a great asset to the community.

During the last six months of 2010 the board of directors began the process of shutting things down. Some of the thousands of video tapes and dvd’s were given to another local television station, but most of them went to the Melrose Area Historical Society. The equipment was divided among several local organizations. The Boy Scout troop was offered some things. We ended up with a set of lights, a tripod, a microphone and stand, and the music library.

Monday evening, during the troop meeting, a member of the Mel-TV board walked in and handed me an envelope. He explained that the remaining funds needed to be distributed to various non-profit organizations. I joked with him about getting a new iPad 2. He asked how much one would cost. When I told him he replied that there was enough to buy one. Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope and found a check for $1000.00.

This donation to the troop comes at a great time. The committee has been talking about replace some of our twenty year old equipment. This check will go a long way toward doing that very thing.

As for the iPad 2? I do not think that would be the best use of this donation. Sorry about that Mr. Jobs.

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    Last week I wrote about a new fundraiser the Boy scout troop was going to try, a Dad’s Belgian Waffle supper. (Read the article HERE.) Since we currently have a small troop we needed to try something different from our usual breakfast fundraiser which requires more people to work then we currently have available.

    Well, the results are in. While we did not make as big a profit with the Friday night supper that we do with the Sunday morning breakfast, we did do pretty well. The troop cleared over $850 after the bills were paid. That will help to pay program and equipment costs through the year.

    The troop has already reserved another Dad’s Belgian Waffle supper for next year which will be held the Friday before Palm Sunday. Once again, we will have the Boy Scouts presell tickets. The committee has already discussed a few ideas to increase the sales, including placing signs at a couple of the busy intersections in town to inform people of the supper that day.

    Everyone who came to the supper really enjoyed the waffles and the variety of fruit. Some people even went back for seconds and thirds. It was an “all you can eat” meal after all. If next year’s supper is more successful than this year’s I could see this becoming an annual fundraiser for the troop.

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      Boy Scout Troop 68 has done pretty well with pancake and sausage breakfast fundraisers over the last two decades. On average, they have netted the troop over a thousand dollars per meal. We use this money for the Scout’s camp funds and for equipment and program expenses.

      It takes a decent sized crew to do a breakfast. Parents do the cooking of the pancakes, sausage, and scrambled eggs. The Boy Scouts set the tables, clean them off, and do the dishes. It usually takes a couple dozen parents and Boy Scouts to work for a breakfast.

      Unfortunately, our troop membership has dwindled during the last few years and we now struggle to find enough people to work for a breakfast fundraiser. This year, the troop committee has decided to do something a little different.  Instead of a pancake and sausage breakfast we will be hosting a Dad’s Belgian Waffle supper on Friday, March 26.

      One big advantage of hosting a Dad’s Belgian Waffle meal is that Dad’s provides the crew and gear to make the waffles. They provide the paper plates and plastic silverware, and the waffle fixings. That means the troop will not need many people in the kitchen or doing dishes. Parents will prepare fruit cups while the Boy Scouts set and clean the tables.

      Dad’s Belgian Waffles will charge the troop a fee for each plate served. The troop set the price of the tickets which the Scouts have been preselling. If we serve at least 400 people we should make a nice profit.

      Why did the troop committee decide to do a supper this spring instead of a breakfast? Our troop is located in a predominately Catholic community. We thought this would present a good Lenten option for the area’s families. We will find out Friday if we thought correctly.

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        I received an email from Todd at http://latterdayscout.blogspot.com asking for a few more details about our troop’s breakfast fundraisers. His troop has been thinking about conducting a breakfast of their own and are looking for some tips and advice. Okay, here are a few more details.

        We serve a full meal which includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage (smoked and unsmoked), frosted bread, coffee, milk, and a few condiments. It is an “all you can eat” meal so people know they will get their money’s worth. This “all you can eat” policy has seldom been abused by customers. We also allow people to do take-outs.

        Tickets prices are very reasonable. Prices for adults are $6.00 in advance, $6.50 at the door. Children’s tickets (age 5 to 11) are $3.00 when purchased in advance, $3.50 at the door. Children four years old or younger eat for free.

        The number of people we serve varies from year to year and season to season (spring or fall). Melrose is a rural community in central Minnesota with a population of 3300 people. We served 372 meals at Sunday’s breakfast which was up about 30 people from last fall, and up about 100 people from last spring. We have served up to 450 people in previous years.

        As I stated in the previous post, preselling tickets is a key to having a successful fundraiser. This not only helps to spread the word about the breakfast but you will find people who can not come to the breakfast but will buy a ticket or two as a donation to support the troop. Those sales are one hundred percent profit.

        Make sure you advertise the fundraiser. I make up posters to hang around town on my home computer and printer. For more hints about how to advertise for nearly no cost to the troop read my post from a year ago by clicking HERE.

        I hope this information is helpful to your troop Todd. If any of you have any more questions please write me.

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          Another Boy Scout Troop 68 spring breakfast fundraiser has come and gone. The troop has held a spring and a fall breakfast for over 20 years. The two breakfasts are the main source of income for our operating funds and individual Scout credit accounts.

          The key to having a successful breakfast fundraiser is to presell tickets. We begin this process about three or four weeks before the event. We will take a troop meeting night and send the boys out to cover as much of the town as possible in 90 minutes. We have the city mapped out into ten sections. Parents will choose a section, then drive out with two or three boys. We hope to sell enough tickets during that first night to pay for the breakfast expenses. This was easy to accomplish when we had a troop of over thirty members, but with a current membership of only nine Scouts we did not even sell enough to cover half of the expenses. Thus, it becomes very important for the Scouts and parents to make the effort to sell tickets during the next few weeks.

          Of course, we also sell tickets at the door the morning of the breakfast. We charge fifty cents more for a ticket sold at the door then we do for a presold ticket.

          It looks like we did better at this spring’s breakfast then usual. After adding up our income and estimating our expenses it looks like we will have made a profit of over $1600.00. Most of the success is due to the preselling of tickets. In fact, we had one young Scout who sold over $600 of tickets himself, setting a new troop record.

          A breakfast fundraiser is easy to do with a troop of thirty Boy Scouts. Troop 68 currently has only eight active Scouts. I am amazed that we can pull off a successful breakfast with only eight families. It is a great demonstration of the support and dedication of the parents to keep the troop alive. Unfortunately, if the troop gets any smaller we may have to drop this fundraiser because we will not have enough people to work for it.

          On a final note, this is the first time ever that I had to stand at the grille and make pancakes. (Since I became the scoutmaster my job has been to collect the money from the Scouts, supervising them as they do they duties, and pouring coffee as people sat down to eat.) By the end of the breakfast I was getting decent at making Mickey Mouse pancakes.

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            The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 recently have a pretty busy weekend. It began on Saturday morning when the Scouts and parents met for the annual Scouting For Food Drive and the bi-monthly paper drive. Both began at 9:oo am. Part of the troop worked at the paper drive which was held at a local grocery store parking lot. The rest rode around town looking for the bags of food left outside by the front doors of homes. Both were a great success for our small community of 3100 people. This was the third time holding the paper drive and we have seen an increase in paper products collected each time. The troop also collected over 530 pounds of food during the food drive, for which the food shelf was very thankful.

            The work was not done though. The third project that morning was our semi-annual road clean-up project. The troop cleans the road ditches of a three mile section of County Road 13 south of Melrose. This is not the boys favorite project, but they do it well. It can be quite interesting with what is sometimes found. There was nothing very special this time. In fact, there was a smaller amount of trash collected this fall. Maybe drivers are becoming more responsible and not throwing so much trash out their windows.

            The troop held it’s annual fall pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser Sunday morning. The boys and families pre-sell adult tickets for $6.00 each. The tickets cost fifty cents more if bought the morning of the breakfast. A few of the boys did an excellent job of selling advance tickets. The boys and parents worked hard that morning and served 349 people, up from last spring. It looks like the troop will make a nice profit (over $1500.00) that will be applied to program costs and individual accounts. Good job Scouts!

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              Your pack or troop is planning to hold a fundraiser. Is it a one day event, such as a meal or a car wash? If it is, then you need to get the word out about it. You need to promote it.

              How do you do that? And how can it be done for little or no cost to your unit? After all, if you have to pay for advertising, then you have to sell more product to cover those costs. Here are a few tips our troop has learned over the last twenty years. (Some of these may work better in a small town then they do in a large city.)

              Newspapers – Placing an ad in a newspaper can be expensive, but some newspapers will give non-profit groups a little discount on the cost. Our local papers have a “local events” listing which lists group activities and fundraisers for free. Does yours?

              Television – Commercials can make a newspaper ad look very inexpensive. However, some stations will air a “Community Happenings” spot during local programming free of charge. You will need to get the information about your event to the station three to four weeks before the event’s date. Many community access television stations run a bulletin board of local events between their programming. Your fundraiser could be listed there free of charge.

              Radio – Some radio stations will do public service announcements. Your fundraiser may qualify as such an announcement. Or bring some tickets of your event to the station and let them give them away to a lucky caller. Volunteer to be interviewed on the air by the deejay. Look at how much promotion the Girl Scouts receive by bringing cookies to radio stations during the sales period.

              Marquees – Almost every bank and credit union has an outdoor electronic marquee these days. Our financial institutions will place information about our fundraiser on their marquees, free of charge, for two or three days before the event.

              Posters – This has got to be one of the oldest ways to advertise. Posters can be easily designed on a home computer and then printed in large or small quantities. Many stores, restauraunts, offices, churches, and schools have cork boards for the placement of these posters. Some businesses will even place the posters in their front window. Just be sure to ask permission before placing a poster.

              Church Bulletins – Contact your local churches. Most of them would be happy to include your event in their weekly parish bulletins.

              Electronic messaging – Send out emails to friends and family. Text your friends on the phone. Just do not do it so much that people start looking at it as spamming. We even post a note about the event on our troop’s website.

              Speaking – Yeah, that is right. Talk about it. Tell your relatives. Tell your friends. Tell your coworkers. Talking has worked for centuries. Spread the word, man!

              Well, there is my list. How does it compare to yours? Did I give you any ideas? Do you have ideas that I did not mention? If you do then leave a comment and share it with us all.

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                Each year on Palm Sunday, Boy Scout Troop 68 conducts a spring breakfast fundraiser. The troop has done this for most of the last twenty years. It has done well, usually bringing in over $1000.00 to the troop’s general fund and the boy’s credits for camp.

                I am getting a little concerned about how much longer we will be able to do the breakfast with our dwindling membership. Ten years ago we had nearly thirty Boy Scouts to presell tickets and work the morning of the breakfast. Currently, we have only nine Scouts, which is barely enough to conduct this fundraiser.

                The troop takes one meeting night three or four weeks before the breakfast to hold a ticket selling kick-off during which we try to cover as much of the town in one night as we can. When we had thirty Scouts we could cover a large area of the town (of 3100 people) in one night. The boys would usually sell $700-$800 worth of tickets in that two hour period which was enough to cover most of the expenses. Now, with our small troop, we cannot even cover one third of the town in that first night of selling.

                And this year was worse. Four of the nine Scouts did not attend due to sickness or family matters. An extremely cold kick-off evening made our time for selling even shorter then usual. The boys did not want to be out in the cold, and I really could not blame them. When the last Scout returned from selling we had sold less then $300 in tickets. “This is not looking good,” I thought to myself.

                During the next three weeks the weather stayed cold with many days below zero degrees. Tickets sales were not going well because the boys were not getting out to sell them. During the fourth and final week the weather finally warmed up, allowing the Scouts to get out for one last push.

                The Boy Scouts turned in their money and leftover tickets as they arrived at the church basement on the morning of the breakfast. I was surprised, and proud, to discover that they had sold over $900 of tickets after that first night. Things were beginning to look up. If the walk-in business was good, then we would do well.

                The Scouts and parents worked hard that morning. The parents did the cooking. The boys set the tables, cleaned them off, and did the dishes. By noon, everyone was exhausted. Eight Boy Scouts and their parents had accomplished what used to be done by two dozen Scouts and their parents.

                Our troop treasurer was sick with the flu Sunday morning, so I took all the money home and began to get the preliminary figures together. I was smiling when I pushed the last button on the calculator. It appears that the troop will once again make a profit of over $1000.00. Nearly $300.00 of that will go toward the boy’s funds for camp.

                Not bad, huh? Everyone worked hard and we did well. We are now done with fund raising until October when we have another breakfast, followed by the council’s popcorn sales.

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