Fundraising in the post-COVID reality might look a little different.
Ken and Colin discuss some changes to its fundraising program that Scouts Canada recently announced. The yearly Scout Popcorn sales, which would normally take place in October and November, have been delayed to the spring, and in their place will be an online-only Scout Coffee fundraiser, in partnership with Equator Coffee Roasters. Functionally, it will be more or less the same as the Popcorn sales, but entirely contactless and online.
Which, by the way, is something that Scouts BSA are able to do with their popcorn sales; Trail’s End, who supply popcorn to both Scouts Canada and Scouts BSA, allow their American clients to set up online sales portals. Sadly, no such capability is extended to Canadian clients...although we can hope that in the wake of the pandemic, we here in the north might gain that capability at last.
Also coming in the spring is Scout Seeds, another fundraising initiative that will have an online component. This program — done in partnership with Make It Sow — was piloted in March and April of 2020; Scouts from about ninety groups sold seed packets — flowers, garden vegetables, etc. — online and raised about $50,000 over the course of a month.
For those Scout groups who have relied on bottle drives, there will have to be some significant changes to how those are carried out in order to be in alignment with the precautionary measures Scouts Canada has implemented as a result of the pandemic. This may take the form of “drive up” bottle drives, where people can drive their bottle donations to a central collection point, whereat their vehicles can be unloaded in a way that minimizes person-to-person interactions. For groups in Alberta, the Skip the Depot service is being put forward by (at least) Northern Lights Council as an alternative.
There are also some other suggestions and observations. It would have been too much to look into how groups in different countries could go about fundraising as well, since the available options will shift wildly from nation to nation. Still, the episode isn’t entirely Canada-centric, so hopefully there will be some helpful ideas herein regardless of where your group is based in the world.
A shout-out goes out to Scouter Carl, who sent us a bit of a note in mid-July:
We're part way through our virtual district camp now.
We had an online wide game last night adapted from the Harry Potter escape room that's available online and today we're doing some expedition cooking and then this evening a campfire over Zoom. Should be interesting
We had 80+ people last night including about 16 leaders, which is slightly better than I thought
Carl has taken on something akin to Group Commissioner duties with his (relatively new) Scout group. We wish him luck!
And, as always, a big thank you to the folks at Scouting Radio for rebroadcasting Scouting Stuff episodes to their worldwide Scouting audience. If you're listening to us on Scouting Radio right now, let us know; reach out and get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.
Slow Burn, by Kevin MacLeod