The purpose of scouting is to prepare young people to achieve their full potential, become responsible citizens, and contribute to their communities. Scout fundraising (for boy scouts and girl scouts) plays an important role in achieving this. Successful fundraising ideas assist the community, build character and teach scouts new skills. Scout fundraising should be planned, produced, and performed by the girls or boys with adult supervision and guidance when required.
Let’s look at the types of fundraising that work well for girl scout and boy scout troops and provide a list of fun scout fundraising ideas.
Boy Scout Fundraising
Unlike Girl Scouts, Boy Scout (BSA) troops have no national fundraising item and each BSA troop makes its own fundraising decisions. Selling popcorn has been a go-to fundraiser for years but there is fierce competition and troops are coming up with creative new ways to fundraise.
Here are a few things you should consider when exploring Boy Scout fundraising ideas.
- Fundraising should be carried out with a purpose and benefit all members of the troop. The funds should go towards additional needs and not cover the cost of meetings. A good example of a fundraising goal is to fund a trip or outing that will provide badge earning opportunities.
- Your fundraising efforts should not be in competition with another troop. If you are planning on fundraising further afield and not just in your community, you need to check that another troop is not already fundraising in the area.
- Troops are encouraged to offer fundraising products or services for a fee, rather than simply asking for donations.
Eagle Scout Fundraising
The Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank is the Eagle Scout. Scouts who are completing their Eagle Scout projects may need to fundraise in order to purchase materials or facilitate the project in some way. However, it is recommended that scouts find a service project idea that does not require a lot of funds. If the project needs fundraising then it is best to keep it simple and to use service fundraisers like car washes or yard work. Serve-a-thons would be a great option here.
Girl Scout Fundraising
Probably the first thing that comes to mind with Scout fundraising is Girl Scout cookie sales. With good reason, Girl scouts and cookie sales go hand in hand. This successful program has been around for over a hundred years. The annual cookie sales program is used to fund normal girl scout programs. Additional fundraising activities are used when supplementary funds are required and these need to be approved and scheduled outside the cookies sales program dates. For this reason, Girl Scout troops are generally less active than boys’ troops with additional fundraising initiatives.
20 of the Best Scout Fundraising Ideas
Here is a list of fun fundraising ideas to inspire your troop – whether Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.
Crowdfunding Campaigns for Scouts
We love p2p crowdfunding campaigns for scout fundraising! These events encourage Scouts to get out and promote their troop while raising money through donations and often reaching new supporters. Here are the best crowdfunding campaign ideas.
- Sporting Clay Shoots – Sporting clay shoots are common for boy scout fundraising, and adding in a clay shoot website to take donations is easy.
- Walk-a-Thons – These traditional community events can be very profitable. Change up your walkathon fundraiser by adding a theme (such as a dog walk-a-thon or mud run) and raise funds in various ways. People can pay to join the walk-a-thon and get sponsored for every mile they walk.
- Color Runs – A Color Run is a fun, untimed fundraising walk or run usually followed by a party. Participants start the run wearing white and, along the route, are doused in different colored powders, finishing the race covered in color from head to toe.
Product Sales for Scout Fundraising
Cookies and popcorn are not the only things scouts can successfully sell to raise funds. Entrepreneurial scouts can hone their sales skills with these product sales ideas. Make it easy and COVID-friendly by setting up a free online store for fundraising sales.
- Unique and Gourmet Gift Baskets – These baskets could be connected to specific holiday fundraising campaigns. Try including handmade goods baked by the troop and items donated by local businesses. Use your scouts’ creative skills and have them make crafts and cards to include as well.
- Spring Seed and Bulb Sales – Several organizations offer great options for selling easy-to-grow varieties of plant seeds, starters, and bulbs.
- Christmas Wreaths – These are common Christmas and holiday fundraisers. Christmas wreaths and other Christmas products can be sold online or door to door. See a Scout example site selling wreaths.
- Concession Stands – A small concession stand with sandwiches, refreshments, and baked goods at a school or community event can be a great Scouting fundraiser. The number of items offered can be scaled depending on the type of event.
- Used Book Sales – Many people have second-hand books tucked away on bookcases that they are happy to donate to scouts. A second-hand bookstall at a library or community event is a great way to fundraise.
Fundraising Events that Work for Scout Troops
Organizing fundraising events takes coordination and can be more time-consuming than product sales, but hosting events can be worthwhile. Fundraising events raise awareness for your cause, build your donor base, and pave the way for other forms of fundraising and community engagement. Here are some fun event ideas for troops to show off their skills, bring families and communities together, and raise funds.
- Car Washes – These are easy to hold and a fun way for a troop to work together. You can increase your offering with packages such as vacuuming and tire detailing and sell drinks and snacks to raise additional funds. Some organizations even have an option for dog grooming at the same time.
- Food Events – Spaghetti suppers and pancake breakfasts are old favorites and great ways for younger scouts to raise money and promote teamwork. There are various other meal options, like BBQs, that work well and scouts can sell tickets and serve the guests.
- Garage and Yard Sales – Gather donations from friends, family, and neighbors, and host a community garage or yard sale.
- Obstacle Courses – This innovative event could get other kids excited about scouting! To host an obstacle course fundraiser, find sponsors to donate materials, such as wood, ropes, and nails. Your scouts can demonstrate their skills by constructing fun obstacles for participants throughout the course.
Service-Based Fundraising Ideas for Scouts
Service-based fundraisers are the perfect way for scouts to give back to the community while raising money for their troops.
- Holiday Gift Wrapping – Offering gift-wrapping services outside a large department or big box store during the holiday season is a great way to raise funds for Scouts.
- Collecting Recyclables – Many recyclable items (aluminum cans, plastic bottles, cell phones, shoes, batteries) can be sent to recycling organizations for cash. This unique fundraising idea also teaches scouts about protecting the environment.
- Literacy Programs – Read-a-thon and reading challenges can be hosted by Scouts. Through groups like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and the local library, scouts can help other children learn to read and find sponsors for their time.
- Serve-a-thons – These are highly effective fundraisers that give the scouts a chance to have a significant impact on the community. Scouts are sponsored to spend time doing hands-on service projects that help the less fortunate. While fundraising, scouts learn valuable lessons about selflessness, gratitude, generosity, and serving.
Now that you have some excellent scout fundraising ideas, it’s time to fundraise. Just remember to make sure your fundraiser fits your troop’s age and skill set.
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