Most people are familiar with the popcorn sales held by Boy Scout troops each year. However, when it comes to providing learning opportunities for these young boys, unit leaders must look to additional fundraisers to support troop activities. Boy Scout Troop 437 held its first FUNDrive® fundraiser in October of 2019 and found it to be an excellent solution for those in search of practical Boy Scout fundraising ideas.
Our troop had grand fundraising goals, so we enlisted each Scout committee member to play an important role. This helped build comradery, and with everyone on board, it really made our fundraiser a success. We chose to organize a big community-wide drop off event on a Sunday afternoon in addition to members collecting on their own. To get the word out, our PR volunteer worked with two local newspapers to post our event details at least one week before the big day. The FUNDrive website was very helpful for developing everything we needed to promote our event. We used the templates to customize our own flyers and created our event pledge page, which was shared via social media. Other leaders and I also posted updates with alerts and additional info on various local Facebook pages to promote the event.
On collection day, we assigned our Scout Master to wrangle the Scouts who helped haul the bags from community members' cars. We had another volunteer—clearly a Tetris whiz in his day—pack all the bags in the truck nice and tight. After the event, we continued to collect donations. We stored everything in the huge two-story garage of one of our Scout families. This was helpful because it allowed us to get as much as possible, and we easily transferred items from the garage to the box truck for delivery.
Everything fell into place on the final delivery day. When renting our box truck from a local Home Depot, they were very enthusiastic about our fundraiser. They allowed us to keep the truck for additional time without penalty. We loaded the truck via eight Scouts and drove the fully packed box truck to the drop off location. The drop off was super easy, and the staff was there to give us instructions and encouragement. We had packed four full carts and, after a ton of suspense, were excited to see we exceeded our goal by 1,000 pounds!
It's amazing how people in a community will pull together, work, and rally for a pragmatic and authentic solution to local and worldwide issues. This fundraiser was unique in that we raised $856 without anyone spending a dime. Our community worked with our troop to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We helped clear some clutter, which turned in to gold. The clothes dropped off will have a purpose for multiple communities and keep over a ton of clothing from decomposing for the next 40 years in a landfill.
Troop 437 of Philipstown is part of the Westchester-Putnam Council, Boy Scouts of America. Read more about the benefits and inclusiveness of scouting here: www.scouting.org.