Exactly what can be funded?

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Exactly what can be funded?

Postby eagles nest » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:27 am

I have enjoyed lurking among the site topics for quite a while and now I need some of your wisdom for myself....

We have a boy in the troop whose eagle project is about 150 miles away. It is at a non-profit church camp and will be a 3-day weekend project with everyone staying on site. Through a fundraiser, he has raised all the funds to support the project. Seeing as how it will require feeding a group of about 40 boys/leaders over a 3 day period and there is quite a drive involved.... can some of the raised funds be used to cover food and gas?

I found someone's opinion that snacks should not be covered but am wondering if there are any specific guidelines anyone knows of?

Thank you,

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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:06 am

This is okay. No "guidelines" other than he needs to make sure all costs are listed in his project plan and how they will be covered in his financial plan. Some of the attendees may choose to donate the food/gas etc and they should be listed in the Donations Received area.

Sounds like quite the project!
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:32 am

Welcome to the forum Eagles nest! I concurr with smtroop168. I had a similar situation for a Scout who went to a private school 1 1/2 hours away. Some of his fundraising covered the food and, all of the adult drivers donated gas and tolls, so he had some $$ left over. He donated that to the school, not the troop. Also, IMHO, tell your candidate NOT to give any $$ left over back to the donnors . . . they might not like that and won't give to the next Scout that asks!
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby eagles nest » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:14 am

The current eagle workbook says "all extra money must be returned to donors". We don't want to do that, for the exact reason you mentioned. Our first choice would be to donate the balance to the camp which has many other needs, but I thought we could not do that?? Our second choice is to expand the project to use up all the funds. He is replacing a portion of a failing boardwalk. The "portion" may grow to use up the funds.

Thanks for the replies!

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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:58 am

Make the donations = the project needs. :)

I can't imagine there being a huge pot of money left over on any EP.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby eagles nest » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:16 am

On Friday, a supplier surprisingly donated almost all the rest of the materials he needed. By then it was too late to cancel the fundraiser planned for Saturday. It's a good problem to have... just want to make sure we're following the letter of the law. Especially since his dad is the SM ..... we want no appearances of any special allowances.

We really would prefer to give them the extra. Think he should call the Eagle Board Chair and see what they think?
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:33 am

Around these parts, if there is a significant change to the scouts APPROVED EP, he is required to go back to the folks that signed off on it and explain the situation and get their concurrence.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby Cowboy » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:59 am

I agree with smtroop. Having a majority of the materials donated unexpectedly is not a negative change, but it is a substantial change. He should contact the DAC who signed off on the project and let them know what is happening. He should also let the DAC know what his new plan is for the funds that he will be raising. There may be issues with donating substantial monies to the Camp as one of the few rules is that the project can not be a fund raiser and this could very well change the scope of the project in that respect.
On another note: The project guidelines do say that all fund overages must be returned to the donor. As a businessman, if a Scout came back and said: "Mr. Cowboy, I raised more money than I needed here is some of your donation back." I would take the money back, congratulate the boy, and then have more money to donate to the next project. My 2¢
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby Quailman » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:40 pm

If the project involves construction, as many I've seen do, there's probably going to be a need for maintenance down the road - applying another coat of varnish, repainting, whatever. I would think that the remaining funds could be contributed to the beneficiary's maintenance and repair fund to help offset those costs. This should be documented in the changes section.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby evmori » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:37 pm

I don't think donated materials is a major change to an Eagle project. It should be noted in the proper place in the workbook but there is no need to get the project re-approved.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:56 pm

evmori wrote:I don't think donated materials is a major change to an Eagle project. It should be noted in the proper place in the workbook but there is no need to get the project re-approved.


Ed...I don't think it's the donated materials that's the concern, its the cash generated by the fundraising dinner and what to do with it. Getting a re-nod from his EP signors is a formality that shows the scout thought about it vice listing it as a change and having a bigger concern at the EBOR.

"Oh yeah...I got $2000 from my fundraiser that I didn't need so I just gave them the money" - probably being proactive on this is a good idea.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby RWSmith » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:05 pm

Bill Pitcher wrote:Also, IMHO, tell your candidate NOT to give any $$ left over back to the donnors . . . they might not like that and won't give to the next Scout that asks!

Cowboy wrote:The project guidelines do say that all fund overages must be returned to the donor. As a businessman, if a Scout came back and said: "Mr. Cowboy, I raised more money than I needed here is some of your donation back." I would take the money back, congratulate the boy, and then have more money to donate to the next project.

Might not be a bad idea to counsel the Scout that some folks can be a bit sensitive (it does happen) about getting some money back (or, more likely, [and I'm guessing here] the original reason for this rule being instituted... some portion of the donations being re-directed to some purpose, worthy or not, other than that originally specified when taking the money) after they've made a donation; and, have him advise any donors --in advance-- that he is required to (and will return) any overages. Of course, the Scout could also phrase it so that the donor is given the alternative "opportunity" to roll a reasonable amount over to the benefiting organization... and the benefiting organization, only. As long as it's not a significant change from the plan, then any excess funds should be minimal. I wouldn't see that as breaking (or even bending) any rules... instead, it would be a pro-active effort to prevent a potential problem. Now, if Donor "A" gives a $1,000 (for materials) and then Company "B" donates the materials? I'm sure the Scout would call Donor "A" immediately and EXPLAIN THE SITUATION. [Edit: I see several other good posts in here, e.g., the fund raiser situation, noting changes in the workbook, etc.; so, I'll leave mine like this -- y'all get the idea.]

My point is: The Scout should not just "ask for and take a donation for XYZ project"... the Scout needs to get it all on the table, BEFORE taking a dime... 1) this is the plan; 2) based on the plan, this is what I need; 3) things can change mid-project; and 4) if I come in under budget... I have to give you back what's left over, unless you want me to give it to the benefiting organization. If for some reason, I come in significantly under budget (say, 10 or 20%), I can call you and ask you what you want me to do. But, the idea is to get all this cleared up in one session, so you don't have to call back about the subject... just send a thank you card, etc.

[Just my thoughts.]
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby evmori » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:08 pm

smtroop168 wrote:
evmori wrote:I don't think donated materials is a major change to an Eagle project. It should be noted in the proper place in the workbook but there is no need to get the project re-approved.


Ed...I don't think it's the donated materials that's the concern, its the cash generated by the fundraising dinner and what to do with it. Getting a re-nod from his EP signors is a formality that shows the scout thought about it vice listing it as a change and having a bigger concern at the EBOR.

"Oh yeah...I got $2000 from my fundraiser that I didn't need so I just gave them the money" - probably being proactive on this is a good idea.


Regardless, there is no need to get anything re-approved at this point.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:25 pm

Maybe informing vs re-approval is a better way to say it. The approvers may want to sign acknowledging they know about the situation.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby FrankJ » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:44 pm

Generally eagle projects are not unit activities so the application for unit fund raiser does not apply. Pretty much all eagle projects cost something & are not self funded. So all projects have a fund raising component. I bet people filing a money raising permit with council is close to 0.

When the scout is raising funds for his project, he is suppose to be clear that the funds are benefiting XYZ cause & not the Boy Scouts in general. When you take money for a specific cause, you are suppose to use it for that cause. Hence the logic of returning unused funds. Complete re-purposing the fund (ie troop treasury) might even be illegal. (Probably not an issue with friends & family, but could be with an institution.)

Reimbursing reasonable expenses of the volunteers should be considered in scope. Increases in scope to consume extra funds I would just document unless the amount was really large. I cannot see the ebor turning some one down just because they did more than they were supposed to.

Good luck to the scout. Sounds like an ambitious project.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:27 pm

IMHO, if a Scout raises $1000 by washing 200 cars @ $5.00 each or by selling 100 tickets @ $10 each for a roast beef dinner, it will be pretty tough recalling who all bought car washes or tickets! So, that's why I suggest giving it to the organization benefitting from the project. As mentioned above, to a maintenence fund is a GREAT way to handle it!
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:09 pm

eagles nest....Aren't ya glad you asked? and welcome!

Anyway...we tend to give advice based on the info we are given and sometimes (maybe most) times we don't have enough details so we assume things.

This sounds like a pretty good size project (e.g. feeding 40 folks for 3 days) so the materials donation and/or dinner fundraiser could be a sizeable sum. This is why I recommended the "powers that be" in your council be cut in on the recent development so there are no surprises at EBOR time.

Each Council has some latitude on how they manage the Eagle process from Project approval to EBORs and you are wise to understand that process if you have 12 more in the pipeline.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby eagles nest » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:51 pm

Thanks for all the info. Our troop has only had 3 eagles over the last 3 years and each of them have done projects funded by the benefiting organization. There is a surge of excitement and the Life Scouts are starting to get creative and think outside what's always been done within our troop. It's going to be a job keeping up with them and trying to steer them within the guidelines. I also find that there is a "spirit" behind the letter of the law that sometimes can be best understood through the eyes of the more experienced Scouters. Thank you all for your input.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby razor_strop » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:16 am

Bill Pitcher wrote:IMHO, if a Scout raises $1000 by washing 200 cars @ $5.00 each or by selling 100 tickets @ $10 each for a roast beef dinner, it will be pretty tough recalling who all bought car washes or tickets! So, that's why I suggest giving it to the organization benefitting from the project. As mentioned above, to a maintenence fund is a GREAT way to handle it!


Exactly. Folks seem to have been simplifying the problem. To continue on the scenario above, consider the Scout raising, say, $1500 from 10 - 15 separate donors, and each donor contributes a different amount--a business donates $250, another donates $100, a friend donates $10, a grandparent donates $25 and so on. If the Scout completes his project under budget (materials cost less than he originally priced them due to a 10% discount, or he needed fewer materials than he had planned), are we really going to ask him to calculate percentages and return $1.50 to Uncle Bob, $6.77 to Acme Lumber and $0.19 to neighbor Joe? For those concerned, no, I'm not "worst-casing" this; I mentored a Scout just this year that ran into this very situation. As Quailman mentioned, the project involved constructing something that would require maintenance, so the Scout gave the organization the surplus funds to seed a "maintenance account". He didn't get his plan re-approved (this was correctly viewed as a change to the original plan), and he passed his EBOR with ease.

We can certainly 'what if' a million difficult scenarios, but I believe the bottom line is the ESLSP is designed to exercise the Scout's planning and leadership skills, not to make him the youth equivalent to a Project Management Professional or Systems Engineer. The project is merely the tool used to help the Scout practice and learn, not the focus of the exercise.
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Re: Exactly what can be funded?

Postby nolesrule » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:20 am

The Eagle project workbook even asks in the AFTER COMPLETION section:

Did the project follow the plan?
If changes to the plan were made, explain why the changes were necessary.


Nothing about going back for a re-approval. I think a major change that would require re-approval would be along the lines of changes to the actual project concept or a change in beneficiaries, not the method to acquire materials. Addressing those changes and how they were dealt with is part of the post-project review and the Eagle Board of Review.
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