Fees? How do you do them?

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kaa27th
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Fees? How do you do them?

Post by kaa27th » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:48 am

Our council has raised membership fees yet again (by $20 which is an almost 20% increase over the last 2 years). Ouch.
Our group has always added $70 to the fees in lieu of dues, but that brings our fee for 2011 to $245. Ouch!
How does your successful group handle fees? Do you add a group portion to cover leadership fees ($40 in our council, down from $90 last year, so an improvement I guess), and/or dues to help with activities? Can you manage to fund all activities with the official fundraisers? (We can't at this point).
Just looking for ideas on how you handle it, so we could potentially reduce our fees?
YIS
Akela (formerly Kaa),
Peterborough, ON

ayates
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by ayates » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:15 am

$245, ouch!

Our council fee (Voyageur) raised their fee from $130 to $165 for kids, but eliminated the fee for leaders for 2011/12. According to my calculations this will be revenue neutral, or at best will result in a small drop in revenue for the council.

For the past number of years, our group has charged the kids a total registration fee of $185:
  • Council fee ($130)
  • Group fee ($40) to cover leader registration costs.
  • Community centre rental fee ($15)
While our group has not yet set the fee for 2011/12, I suspect it will be the council fee of $165 + plus the $15 community centre rental fee. For a total of $180.

Dues is $1-$2/week depending on the section and that covers all the weekly meeting costs. Camps are charged at cost, typically $25 for a weekend, with leaders not paying to attend the camps. The sections set these fees and manage the funds, with the objective of breaking even each year.

We don't really do any fundraising, certainly not popcorn, and not even Scoutrees. We get a grant ($500-$1,000) each from our Legion sponsor and from the village council which cover the miscellaneous costs of running the group.

There is a table on the registration page of our website (http://www.1stmerrickville.ca/registration/) that shows the estimated annual cost of the program for each kid.


Allan.
http://www.1stmerrickville.ca

kaa27th
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by kaa27th » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:42 am

Thanks that was very informative. I think we need to put something like that on our website, too, so parents can see exactly where the money goes.
Unfortunately we do not get any money from our sponsor, but we do get free meeting space from our church. Most of our funds do come from the official fundraisers. We are going to look into if we can lower the group portion due to the lower leader fees. That should make somewhat of a difference.
How come there is such a big fee difference between councils?
YIS
Akela (formerly Kaa),
Peterborough, ON

ayates
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by ayates » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:56 am

kaa27th wrote:... so parents can see exactly where the money goes.
We had a similar problem before we started publishing this information. Potential donors would say to us, "You collect these huge registration fees, why do you want more money?".
kaa27th wrote:How come there is such a big fee difference between councils?
Probably a difference in how many staff are employed. The last figures I have seen show that to be 50% of the council expenses (by far the largest line item).

Nick Pearson
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Nick Pearson » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:25 pm

In PCC, Vancouver, the largest line item for expenses is the National & Insurance Fees (22.7%), then the Salaries & Benefits (19.3%). [All numbers are 08-09 actual. I have 09-10 budgeted & 10-11 budgeted]

Next largest items were Fundraising Cost of Sales (12.7%), Administration Cost Allocation (three councils share 1 office) (11.1%), Camp Expenses (7.8%), Youth Events (7.6%) and Schools & Scouting (5.4%).

Now that's just one Council. One would have to have your own council's numbers to compare. For some context, Adult Training (WB) has been free for years, as has the leader fee for 2 years now. Decisions like that make an impact on the council portion of the fees.
Nick Pearson
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Errol Feldman
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Errol Feldman » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:55 pm

Nobody over here is going to like our system.
Being in Europe we do not paythe Scouts Canada $15.00 insurance part of the fees. We only pay the C$43.50 part of the National Fees. We charge our members (Youth AND Leaders) € 50.00 membership annually. This has not changed in the last 5 years and will not change in 2011-2012 unless the National Fee goes up. All our Leaders, including my wife (trainer) and myself, pay the full € 50.00 fee. Our other income is generated by our Popcorn Sales; end of story. We are allowed to request monies for special situations from the Family Fund on the Base but that is strictly controlled by the military. NO we do NOT get any financial or logistical help from the military.
Our Leaders pay their fair share of any monies charged for camping and Intercamp. NONE of our travel expenses are subsidised (mine alone are about € 1000 per year including 1500km travelling and gas, my accomodation charges, and any other fees that everybody else pays. (As for gasoline, our Leaders get very special prices on the Base at the military pomps.) As a Volunteer my personal expenses
(€ 1000) are tax deductible
We pay for our own uniforms...that's the way it is and nobody expects any other way of doing things. By the way our group has prospered and grown for 0 yeath and leaders in 2004 to 76 youth and Leaders in 2010-2011.
The removal of the Leader registration fees will have no effect on our Group at all. ;)
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Scouts Canada - Europe
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Scouter Richie
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Scouter Richie » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:48 pm

In Saskatchewan our youth fee has been $160 and leader fee $80 for a few years. I have not herd what it will be for the upcommming year.
My current and past groups have both paid for the leaders' fees for registration and camp.

Whenever possible we try to cover the cost of any regestered youth. Family and guests that come pay on a cost recovery basis for most activities.
Some years we charge a small fee just to discurage no-shows.

In terms of camps we typicaly budget $5/person/meal which usualy covers food, crafts and site rental costs.

Here is how we have handled fundraising
We do 2-3 group bottle drives per year.
My current group requires that each family sells at least $75 worth of popcorn.
My previous group let them sell as much popcorn as they wanted. They would get 50% of the profit back upto their total regestration cost. (We started this when the regestration cost when up)
Dues are 5 nickels for beavers, $1 for cubs, $2 for scouts. The dues are suppost to be earn by the youth and not just given to them.

We don't have to pay for the use of the school.

If a section is holding a camp over 3 days they are responcible for holding additional fundraisers of their own or asking the parents for the money.
YIS
Richie
Deputy Council Youth Commissioner - Youth Training & Special Events
Saskatchewan Council

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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by bgilchrist » Sat May 28, 2011 9:29 pm

Our group fees last year were $200.00.

The breakdown being as follows:

$160 - Council youth fee ( which includes national fees)
$40 - group fee

Now, that $40 has to cover the following:

Council leader registrations $75
Leader Uniforms
Leader Training
Equipment maintenance & purchases

And portions of subsidy requests ( and that's another bone of contention all together!)

Sections do not get any $$ from this. Sections charge weekly dues ( $1 or $2), and receive a portion of fundraising money.

The group fees vary across the council from $0 upwards. Some groups charge a fee instead of the weekly dues.

I understand our council will be waiving leader fees this year. We'll keep registrations the same in order to help rebuild ever shrinking group funds.

The reaction from parents in the past was 'wow, fees keep going up,why". Then we tell them how split is done, and without fail, the reaction is shock, both at how we are able to run a group program on $40 per person, and why council fees are 4x group fees ( parents without exception feel that the largest share of revenue from fees should go to the group)

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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by ayates » Sun May 29, 2011 9:54 pm

bgilchrist wrote:I understand our council will be waiving leader fees this year. We'll keep registrations the same in order to help rebuild ever shrinking group funds.
Did your council's youth fee not go up to make up the revenue loss from no leader fees? Ours did, and the total amount collected remained about the same.

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Mark_Ruddick
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Mark_Ruddick » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:07 pm

This year, our pack is trying something different.

We are charging the youth $300 for the year. (Split into 6 $50 payments.)

$175 Council / National Fees
$35 dues
2 camps @ $30
The rest covers sleepovers, swimming, archery, activity shirts, handbooks, badges, parties, various meeting and weekend outings. A lot of the time it will include used uniforms as well.

All told if a youth participates in all of the events it is about $1.50 per hour.

Mark

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RakelaK
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by RakelaK » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:05 pm

After SC hiked by $12.50 the Council reciprocated and our total fee is supposed to be $180. Our fundraising combined with no volunteer fees meant we are supplementing every youth who joins by $30. So our reg fee is actually $5 cheaper than it was last year. Weekly dues is $0.50 (for my Cubs)... $1 for Scouts. Some parents like to pay the whole year in one shot. I kind of like it when the youth pass the 50p over to their Second because they look like they have a little sense of pride that they're doing it... + it gives the Second a responsibility while his Sixer is getting his Six ready for inspection. Cubs do 6 camps per year (not including Jamborees) and the Scouts do 1 per mo. Regardless of section a 1 night camp is $10.. 2 nights is $15. The GC pays for all lodge/campsite rentals from our fundraising vault. So our fee is just to cover some of the groceries. Food wise, all camps finish in the negative by a few dollars.. the GC makes up the difference using the fundraising coffers. We're not trying to make money... we like to break even on groceries... but don't cry if we don't. The recycle box that we run can generate $150-$200 in a good week. We set some aside for camping gear and also keep a "just-in-case" float. Oh... and 20% of it goes to the Church Warden who empties the box twice a day... God bless him!! :D Last year we lost $3K to bottle thieves. This year we are losing $0 because when the thieves go to snatch the box contents... they're too late.. the CW has already got it cleaned out. :lol: The rest of the revenue rolls right back in to supplement the parents as much as possible. It also reimburses all volunteers 100% for any expenses so that the only thing given from them is their time and energy and commitment.

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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by awallwork » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:20 pm

Interesting suggestion (I haven't tried it yet)

If we include all the fees (the camps etc) in one registration fee, the parents can take 15% off of $500 for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit, and depending on if the CRA would allow us to double dip, an additional amount up to $500 would qualify for the arts tax credit as we technically qualify under the criteria for both tax credits. It would effectively lower the out of pocket fee amount by the 15% tax credit.

The other big expense is capital, camp gear, kayaks, climbing gear, snowshoes, GPSr's etc. A community organization donation program may help there (allow them to stick a little sticker on the gear saying donated by ...) - it seems to be the biggest expense for a lot of groups, just purchase and upkeep of the gear.
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ayates
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by ayates » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:00 am

awallwork wrote:The other big expense is capital
An idea would be for national to run courses on how to apply for government, and private, grants for equipment. Perhaps even offering a service to help write the applications.

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Karl Wagner
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Karl Wagner » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:08 am

Many grants that would be applicable to Scouting come from provincial rather than federal programs. Grant application writing might best be handled at the Council level, with assistance from National.
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Angus Bickerton » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:04 am

Karl Wagner wrote:Many grants that would be applicable to Scouting come from provincial rather than federal programs. Grant application writing might best be handled at the Council level, with assistance from National.
Although the course is already full of stuff, it might be worthwhile to add a segment to the Wood Badge I Group Committee course, or something as simple as a web page on a Council's website. Necessarily, it will have to be specific to the province, so Karl is right, it would best be handled at the Council level, with resource assistance (i.e. contacts) from National. Our group is considering applying for a Trillium (Ontario) grant, so that we can buy new tents and other equipment for our group. Knowing the ins and outs of that process in advance would be a huge benefit.

I guess we should all send our respective Council Commissioners an e-mail or three??? ;) ;)
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ayates
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by ayates » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:48 pm

Karl Wagner wrote:Grant application writing might best be handled at the Council level, with assistance from National.
I sort of disagree. While council should be providing information about local and provincial grant programs, the overall writing process of how to sell your plan and telling the grant agencies what they want to hear is generic, and thus a national led course would work.

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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Sam Wallis » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:04 pm

there are also corporate grants you could look for. those would be the same nationaly. I worked with a cub leader who had the idea that he could get his employer (a large oil company during the last oil boom) to sponsor our pack and leaders to go to the kenedy space centerfor a weekend. now I think he was dreaming, but knowing what sort of things you could put into an application would be a great help.
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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Nora Bugeaud » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:37 am

On the topic of grant writting:

If your Area has a major festival of any kind I guarantee there is someone local who has written numerous grant applications! Have you heard of any community group locally that has actually received a Trilium grant? Once again someone somewhere has written a Grant Application. When all else fails if you find a granting authority that you think might have money available for your endeavors, search out people in the community who have received grants recently and just ask for help, bet most would be more than willing or can connect you up with someone who can.

With all that being said there are people out there that are in fact Professional Grant writers, yes they charge a fee for writting a grant application but believe me a well written grant application has more to do with actually receiving the requested funds than even a great cause sometimes! Remember you are not the only one with a great cause and your application needs to stand out! As well most Profeesionals can likely tell you of at least a few more granting authorities who may be out there that you have never even heard or thought of, a good grant writer can be worth their weight in Gold, literally.

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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by Cecil Mills » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:36 pm

We (1st Wainwright Scout Group) charge each youth $200 for registration.

$180 goes to Northern Lights Council
$ 20 goes to the respective section for dues
$ 00 is charged to leaders.

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Re: Fees? How do you do them?

Post by mrsmagoo2001 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:50 pm

I have a two parents who have employers that offer donations once a year, all the Parent has to do is apply. One parent works for a major bank and can apply for $500 each year and another parent works for an insurance company, again a $500 yearly grant and the employer will match donations the parent makes and will give a donation for volunteer hours. So this one parent was able to have their employer donate $1500 last year with the parent making a $500 herself plus her hours helping. That was $2500 we had not counted on, we were able to roll those funds into our jamboree account.
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