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Thread: "hardship funding"

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    "hardship funding"

    OK - I hate the title, but could immediately think of a better term.

    In short here's the issue :

    I have a few of my Explorers struggling to meet the cost of our Summer Camp.
    A couple I have managed to arrange external funding for, but that's not all of them.

    I want us to be inclusive and for the unit to help them in some way - but how?

    This cannot I would have thought be a unique issue, but I was surprised to find that there appears to be no 'policy' - I did fire off a question to Gilwell which I need to follow up and clarify as it appears to have been misinterpreted.

    One suggestion I got from within District was - "just add 10% to the price for everyone else".

    I'm not at all comfortable with this - first off the figure would have been nearer 30% had I not arranged external funding for some, but secondly and more importantly it strikes me as being inherently dishonest to those paying the extra (and to be honest I do not necessarily know how hard they will have to struggle to meet the basic amount).

    Two options on this are I suppose are :
    (just to make things simple lets assume the cost is £300)

    (1) To say the cost is £300 with an optional contribution of £30 (And we would have to be upfront that this is a contribution to those who will find it harder to pay).
    or

    (2) To say the cost is £330 with an optional discount of £30 for those that don't want to pay the extra (less clear there whether we then need to say what the 'extra' goes towards although I'm sure someone would ask).


    We have been lucky enough to get some funding from BT that will cover part of this (but most of what they gave is "committed".

    I'm sure others must have had this problem and resolved it - hence my asking (as I think it is more difficult for ESUs as we have a narrower source of funding than 'Groups').

    Anyway here are my thoughts that others may wish to comment on :

    (1) I'm wary of using any funds that have been paid directly by other explorers (eg subs or camp fees). - I think these represent a direct subsidy and at the very least I feel I would need to let everyone know that they have the opportunity to 'bid' for the same and ...
    (2) I do not want my leadership team to have to judge who is a deserving case and who is not - IMHO we are far to close to our Explorers for that to be 'comfortable'.
    (3) I do not want the Explorers to know who is the 'charity case' - to put it into the terms that I'm sure would arise. (Not that I actually think any of mine are insensitive, but ...)
    (4) If we doing any specific camp fundraising I would feel very uncomfortable if we didn't share the proceeds evenly or at least according to the effort put in. (Sure I would love for us to be able to raise the full sum for everyone - but it aint that easy is it?)

    Anyway as I said I can't believe that we are the first to come upon this problem so I'd be very interested to hear ideas or experiences of those that have overcome it.

    It feels as though I'm missing something here so if someone can give me a light-bulb moment I will be over the moon.

    Regards,

    Ged

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    There are many things that contribute to the cost of a camp. Activities, leader costs, equipment, food, etc. are all elements of the cost.

    Also to be included are any subsidies for those that can't pay.

    when you add all of these together you get the total cost which must be paid for somehow. Either it comes from the participants or from a source such as the group or external. If you don't want to charge participants extra you either tell others they can't attend or you do fundraising.

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    Does the District have a fundraising committee that may be able to help / offer poiinters?

    Quote Originally Posted by GED View Post
    OK - I hate the title, but could immediately think of a better term.

    In short here's the issue :

    I have a few of my Explorers struggling to meet the cost of our Summer Camp.
    A couple I have managed to arrange external funding for, but that's not all of them.

    I want us to be inclusive and for the unit to help them in some way - but how?

    This cannot I would have thought be a unique issue, but I was surprised to find that there appears to be no 'policy' - I did fire off a question to Gilwell which I need to follow up and clarify as it appears to have been misinterpreted.

    One suggestion I got from within District was - "just add 10% to the price for everyone else".

    I'm not at all comfortable with this - first off the figure would have been nearer 30% had I not arranged external funding for some, but secondly and more importantly it strikes me as being inherently dishonest to those paying the extra (and to be honest I do not necessarily know how hard they will have to struggle to meet the basic amount).

    Two options on this are I suppose are :
    (just to make things simple lets assume the cost is £300)

    (1) To say the cost is £300 with an optional contribution of £30 (And we would have to be upfront that this is a contribution to those who will find it harder to pay).
    or

    (2) To say the cost is £330 with an optional discount of £30 for those that don't want to pay the extra (less clear there whether we then need to say what the 'extra' goes towards although I'm sure someone would ask).


    We have been lucky enough to get some funding from BT that will cover part of this (but most of what they gave is "committed".

    I'm sure others must have had this problem and resolved it - hence my asking (as I think it is more difficult for ESUs as we have a narrower source of funding than 'Groups').

    Anyway here are my thoughts that others may wish to comment on :

    (1) I'm wary of using any funds that have been paid directly by other explorers (eg subs or camp fees). - I think these represent a direct subsidy and at the very least I feel I would need to let everyone know that they have the opportunity to 'bid' for the same and ...
    (2) I do not want my leadership team to have to judge who is a deserving case and who is not - IMHO we are far to close to our Explorers for that to be 'comfortable'.
    (3) I do not want the Explorers to know who is the 'charity case' - to put it into the terms that I'm sure would arise. (Not that I actually think any of mine are insensitive, but ...)
    (4) If we doing any specific camp fundraising I would feel very uncomfortable if we didn't share the proceeds evenly or at least according to the effort put in. (Sure I would love for us to be able to raise the full sum for everyone - but it aint that easy is it?)

    Anyway as I said I can't believe that we are the first to come upon this problem so I'd be very interested to hear ideas or experiences of those that have overcome it.

    It feels as though I'm missing something here so if someone can give me a light-bulb moment I will be over the moon.

    Regards,

    Ged
    All of the above opinions are mine and mine alone, they do not reflect the thinking or opinions of any Unit, Group, District, County, Region or National Organisation that I am a part of.

  4. #4
    Yes, I've got the T-shirt Sparkgap's Avatar
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    May I ask is your summer camp in this country or abroad and what will you be doing on it?
    (department of stating the obvious)Have you approached other bodies for grants? (there are various trusts and foundations which may provide funding for equipment or training or transport depending on what you are doing)
    Andy
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    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    We put aside any funds left over from previous camps (in most cases the contingency fund) to help fund those that can't afford to pay. As the Scout Leader I make the decision in confidence as to what we can afford to help with. I also make it widely known that this is what the camp surpluses will be used for along with equipment replacement and repair.

    You could also try your District for funds and also County, I believe both have funds available to help genuine hardship cases.

    Nick

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    Folks thanks for the responses so far & here additional clarification :

    Chris L - I'm guessing you are just saying that the subsidies for those that can't pay should just be included in the price for everyone else? As I wrote its not something I feel generally comfortable with but if that's the consensus that comes back I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and get over it.

    Boomer - I enquired of my district about a similar instance about a year ago (which ceased to be an issue when the person involved could not do the dates anyway) but the response I got at the time was the "just add 10% for everyone else".
    Hence I feel a bit 'left to my own devices' on this - going back to district and asking for more support (advice or financial) is certainly one option. In a sense that's why I am here - if the view is that most other districts would give more support then I'll be much more confident in going back!

    Sparkgap It is a UK organised 'jamboree' and the costs split out very roughly - event fees 45% , travel 20% , food equipment etc 35%. Maybe we have chosen a relatively expensive option by going for a 'Jamboree' - but in truth it looks pretty good value compared against what we could do otherwise & the truth is we don't have anywhere near the manpower to organise something anywhere close ourselves.


    Yes I've tried external funding (some we have got from a very local grant specific to two of our explorers some others I am chasing through our County Council - although austerity Britain will no doubt put paid to some of this). If there are other things available though that we are missing I would be delighted to hear.



    Rgds,

    Ged

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Got to ask. Where are you?
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





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    Nick,

    Thanks - in one way that's what I'm moving towards (applying past gains) but we are still quite new so haven't built up a lot yet.
    Because ESUs manage distinct accounts (I know some sections do tooo) I'd be interested to understand whether you maintain these balances separately?)


    In a sense though this still says (perhaps correctly) that we are on our own in covering this.

    I know you then go on to say ask district or county & this is where a bit of consensus opinion would really help (my initial request of district - for a similar but unrelated case - was very dismissive - so any views on whether ESUs would ordinarily expect district support in such cases would be very helpful)

    rgds,

    ged

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I wouldn't expect District support except maybe for jamboree's or similar. I might however get money out of our partnered Group who are very supportive and do have money for this kid of thing.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
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    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  10. #10
    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    Why not do some fundraising specifically towards the camp?
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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    Senior Member DonTregartha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    We put aside any funds left over from previous camps (in most cases the contingency fund) to help fund those that can't afford to pay. As the Scout Leader I make the decision in confidence as to what we can afford to help with. I also make it widely known that this is what the camp surpluses will be used for along with equipment replacement and repair.
    That's why you should budget to produce a surplus on EVERY camp .


    Don't run camps for £42.37p - make it £45


    Don Tregartha
    Old Scouter
    1st Wing Scouts

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    Quote Originally Posted by GED View Post
    OK - I hate the title, but could immediately think of a better term.

    In short here's the issue :

    I have a few of my Explorers struggling to meet the cost of our Summer Camp.
    A couple I have managed to arrange external funding for, but that's not all of them.
    Difficult issue.

    Not knowing your exact circumstances but assuming that the camp cost is £300 (or whatever for that case), presumably the date was planned some time ago?

    How well do you know the members to possibly of seen this coming?

    Has any thought been given to offering ALL of them the opportunity to help raise funds towards the event (like Jamboree participants have been doing for some time)?

    You cannot really build the cost into the others who you think can afford to pay, as that way you are not being fair (there is a difference between working as a team to raise funds against charging some with perceived higher earnings).

    They should be wanting to help themselves rather than just holding out a begging bowl, (obviously use some of what you can get that way but do not depend on it as it will not be available forwver).

    Have you tried HQ funds too that are available for some activites of this nature.

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    ACC(ES) Kiff76's Avatar
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    Hey GED

    First Point - Fundraising, arrange a bag pack, beetle drive, sponsored sleeping lions anything to raise money explain at the start this will be going into the overall central pot to lower the cost of the event. you can then balance the book from there if you raise £1100 pound and you have 10 yp then you take £100 and you keep the remaining £100 to support as a "Hardship Fund"

    Second Point - Talk to the parent(s) can they just not afford it or can they not afford it in one lump sum, could they maybe be pay it off in 4/5 instalments.

    Third Point - Contact you District/County/National all may have hardship funds or legacies which can be tapped into to some of these have specific requirements like "they must be to support camping experiences".
    I know in my last District there was a "Activities Fund" to support the provision of Activities for young people ok this might not help the individual but you could apply as the leader to cover the cost of the activities on camp thus removing it from the cost of the event.

    Final Point - Ask you District/County for support with fundraising there may be information about National Funds (outside of Scouting) which they are aware of that are too small to support a District/County Event but would be perfect for a Unit Camp.

    at the end of the day if you don't Ask you don't get

    YiS
    Chris Meadows
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I have a few of my Explorers struggling to meet the cost of our Summer Camp.
    A couple I have managed to arrange external funding for, but that's not all of them.
    How do you know these ES are struggling to meet the cost of the camp? (See below)

    One suggestion I got from within District was - "just add 10% to the price for everyone else".

    I'm not at all comfortable with this - first off the figure would have been nearer 30% had I not arranged external funding for some, but secondly and more importantly it strikes me as being inherently dishonest to those paying the extra (and to be honest I do not necessarily know how hard they will have to struggle to meet the basic amount).
    It is not dishonest. It is how much of scouting is funded. At its widest, Scouts from the UK, France, USA etc, will pay over £2,000 to go to the Jamboree in Sweden. Scouts from Peru or Bolivia may only pay about £250. Their experience is subsidised by the richer nations because we can afford it and they can't.

    Two options on this are I suppose are :
    (just to make things simple lets assume the cost is £300)

    (1) To say the cost is £300 with an optional contribution of £30 (And we would have to be upfront that this is a contribution to those who will find it harder to pay).
    or

    (2) To say the cost is £330 with an optional discount of £30 for those that don't want to pay the extra (less clear there whether we then need to say what the 'extra' goes towards although I'm sure someone would ask).
    Do you think the idea of optional additional funding will work? If you do, then fine, try it.

    Anyway here are my thoughts that others may wish to comment on :

    (1) I'm wary of using any funds that have been paid directly by other explorers (eg subs or camp fees). - I think these represent a direct subsidy and at the very least I feel I would need to let everyone know that they have the opportunity to 'bid' for the same and ...
    I'm not clear on what you mean by this. Cubs pay subs, they also pay for camps. Some Cubs may not be able to afford all the fees, so they get help from the Group, that is what the funds are for - Developing Scouting. Your ESU is no different. So why should the funds not be used to help those in need?

    To follow the principle of only benefiting those who pay in, then taken to its extreme you would run accounts for every individual, crediting and debiting for their payments and use of funds, and when they leave, they either get a bill for the shortfall or a rebate for what they have not spent. Ridiculous scenario, isn't it? In reality we don't think about the general subsidising that happens on a weekly basis, it is only when it comes to someone not being able to pay up front that it becomes an issue. If the funds are there, make use of them.


    (2) I do not want my leadership team to have to judge who is a deserving case and who is not - IMHO we are far to close to our Explorers for that to be 'comfortable'.
    But, (see above), you are already making that judgement. You are judging that some of the ES are struggling to make payments. I'm afraid that if you are going to go down this route, then you have to make judgements.

    I have twice visited parents to discuss how we can help them meet the cost of Scouting. In both cases they looked at me in complete bemusement at my tip toeing around the subject of finances. Then they were embarrassed, as was I, and then they were intensely irate - not with me, but with their offspring who had been pocketing the subs instead of paying them in. The kids had told me that they were having a hard time at home.

    I had a Scout with us on a trip to Belgium last year. He had never been abroad and most years a holiday was a visit to a relative. His family do not have money. He found every penny to pay last year and turned down offers of help. He has signed up for this year's trip and his mum has told us that no matter what she will find a way of paying (he has already raised more towards the trip than anyone else).

    I would be very careful of judging.


    (3) I do not want the Explorers to know who is the 'charity case' - to put it into the terms that I'm sure would arise. (Not that I actually think any of mine are insensitive, but ...)
    If you make an announcement about the extra 10% optional or otherwise, then they will work it out very quickly.


    (4) If we doing any specific camp fundraising I would feel very uncomfortable if we didn't share the proceeds evenly or at least according to the effort put in. (Sure I would love for us to be able to raise the full sum for everyone - but it aint that easy is it?)
    Indeed funds raised should be allocated in proportion to effort but, you should make fundraising a compulsory part of the trip. The Fundraising is about teamwork and working to one end.

    I have set a fee of £600 for our International this year. They must also fundraise. When the trip is over and the account is settled, there may be rebates based on the level of effort they put into fundraising. So there is another way of dealing with it. I have had Scouts who have raised 100% of the trip fees in the past by getting a paper round, doing bag packing, going round and doing chores for their neighbours (I don't get involved in that, nor do I promote it).

    It feels as though I'm missing something here so if someone can give me a light-bulb moment I will be over the moon.

    I have subsidised many kids over the years and often no-one knew about it save me and their parents. And they only knew because they knew that they hadn't paid the full amount.

    I had one kid whose parents paid by cheque. Never missed, and then twice in a row the cheques were returned to us. My Treasurer said, what do you want to do? I discovered that dad had been made redundant. I just said write them off an don't tell the section leader - as far as she knows they have paid their subs. Dad got a job and future payments were back to normal. It would have been nice if he had offered to make good the shortfall, but to be honest, I wasn't worried because I'd been there and I know how difficult it can be to make up the losses incurred by a period of unemployment. Better nothing said and the kid carries on in Scouting.

    There is an old tradition amongst Jews in particular, and a very good one at that. You never give charity directly. if you want to give £1,000 to Joseph, you first give it to Paul, who might give it to Peter who somehow gives it to Joseph without Joseph knowing where it came from. The idea being that if they don't know where it came from they are grateful to their society, but are not beholden to a single donor.

    So, to resolve your dilemma. If you judge, and you must whether you like it or not, that X and Y are struggling to pay, then you simply seek as much payment as they can manage and then let it lie. You run your camp, and when you do the camp accounts you have an income entry that says, Fees Paid £3000. You may make a note at the end that there was an income shortfall of £x due to economic difficulties (or whatever). YOU are the Leader, so you carry that burden ( You might explain to your Treasurer that you have hidden subsidy to a couple of less well off Explorers - this is what Scouting is often about, helping each other, discretely).

    Avoiding the issue in future is best done by ensuring that you operate camps and events at a small surplus. That surplus can be used to help fund future camps/ events (and you have the general agreement of the members of course). I would never ever make it known in any section that any individual, however anonymous, was being assisted.

    I understand your wrestling with your conscience over the detail, but the hard fact is that it has to be on your conscience as to how you help, if help is needed. (and the thing is, if you judge incorrectly, you learn from the mistake, and the ill gained subsidy lies on the conscience of the beneficiary - it is not your problem if you help someone who doesn't need it, it is theirs).

    Sorry if that is a longwinded reply, but you raised a number of interesting questions. You have obviously given this some thought, so I thought it deserved a decent (I think) response.
    Last edited by Bushfella; 07-02-2011 at 09:41 AM.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

  15. #15
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    Our summer camp this year happens to be around the £300 mark. We're doing bag packing sessions in Sainsburys so that those finiding it difficult to pay can come down and do a few hours to raise their own cash. It pays approx £10 per hour per Scout, so those who do a full day can earn £80 towards their trip (It's usually more).

    We usually find that others come down and help too, even if they're not going as they want to help their mates out. I keep a record of how much is owed by each Scout and deduct the amount they raised from their own fundraising.

    I think that this is a fair way to do it.

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