Whether it’s for a fun adventure, new equipment, or a big event, most packs will inevitably find themselves in need of additional funds from time to time. Have you ever wondered what other Cub Scout packs do for fundraising, beyond the typical member dues and council-sponsored activities?
How Do Cub Scouts Fundraise? Cub Scout packs most commonly fundraise through the sale of popcorn and discount books called camp cards, supplied by their local councils. Some packs also explore other fundraising methods such as selling premade products (like baked goods or wreaths), hosting breakfasts or dinners, and offering community services.
PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Cub Scouting volunteer Jaci H and Cole 🙂
Using an informal Google form, we polled families involved in Scouting and found that about 50 percent of packs use popcorn as their main fundraiser. We love popcorn, but there are so many other options to try! In this article, we’ll review a bunch of creative ideas for fundraising with a Cub Scout pack.
Personally, when my son was a Cub, his pack earned the majority of its budget from popcorn sales and camp cards. Many people complain about the cost of the popcorn — both sellers and buyers — so you have to remember that the purchase is really more like a donation to support the local Scouting program. However, popcorn is only 1 of 2 main council-supported fundraiser types…
For a complete breakdown of where the BSA popcorn sale proceeds go, along with an Eagle Scout’s personal perspective, be sure to check out Cole’s article: The Costs Of Scout Popcorn!
Fundraising Methods For Cub Scout Packs
Council-Supported Cub Scout Fundraisers
Let’s start with the basics! Cub Scout Packs can either fundraise through council-supported or non-council-supported fundraisers. The difference between these is that for council-supported fundraisers, the local council or BSA provides the products to be sold, and in turn, takes a cut of the proceeds.
The two main council-supported fundraisers are popcorn sales and camp cards. For either activity, Cubs and BSA Scouts can sell door to door, or while boothing as a den. Trail’s End is the company that creates Scout popcorn products, while camp cards provide discounts and deals at local businesses.
Cub Scouts can practice a lot of skills while selling popcorn and camp cards — public speaking, confidence, and math, to name a few. They also practice many parts of the Scout Law, including being helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, and cheerful — especially when someone tells them “no thank you!”
You won’t be on your own when it comes to these forms of fundraising. Your local council should guide and assist you with any questions regarding popcorn products and camp cards. Because the sales benefit your local council and your pack, the council has a vested interest in your fundraising success! 🙂
How to Hold a Non-Council-Supported Fundraiser
If you’ve participated in your council fundraisers and still find your Cub Scout pack short of reaching its budget goals, you’ll want to consider other forms of fundraising. I’d highly encourage doing this, as you’ll have better margins and can provide even more helpful goods or services to your community. However, it’s important to get proper approval before moving forward!
To get started, complete this official form and submit it to your BSA council service center at least two weeks prior to committing to your project. In it, you’ll cover your fundraising goals and event details. Keep in mind that your fundraiser cannot include any form of gambling (e.g., raffle tickets), cannot solicit money, and must uphold the “name and goodwill of Scouts BSA”! 😀
10 Fundraising Ideas For A Cub Scout Pack
Let’s dive into some creative ideas for fundraising! In our informal research, we came across a lot of product sales, restaurant nights, breakfast or dinner nights cooked and/or served by Scouts, service offerings, activities, and more. We’ll share some examples across all of these categories!
When you’re deciding on the type of fundraiser you want to use, keep in mind the following points:
- How much parent support do you have?
- How large is your pack?
- How big is your community (i.e., potential customers)?
- How soon do you need the funds?
- What is your fundraising goal?
- Do you have enough older Cubs or Scouts who can take on more responsibility with a fundraiser? (This especially relates to the services category. If your pack has a lot of younger Cubs, you probably can’t offer many services!)
10 Premade Products Scouts Can Fundraise With
Selling products made by others is a popular way for Cub Scouts to make money across the country. Of course, popcorn sales fall into this category! In our research, we found many other food sales, including meat sticks, doughnuts, and chocolates, as well as other products, like wreaths. 😀
We found a bunch of troops using this product for fundraising, so it seems to be a hit! According to the Country Meats website, there are a dozen different flavors of meat sticks, and profits are generally 75 cents per stick. Plus they’re only sold for around $2 per stick, which is a lot more affordable than some popcorn products. 😉 Scouts can choose to pre-buy sticks, take pre-orders, or sell online!
It’s hard for anyone to resist a treat, so take advantage of your customers’ sweet tooth by selling these yummy offerings!
- You’ll find lots of fundraising options at Nothing Bundt Cakes. You can take pre-orders or buy a quantity that you are confident in selling. You can also can organize a “bakery day” and earn a percent from sales of customers that day!
- With See’s Candy, Scouts can earn up to 50 percent profit.
- There are several different ways to participate in a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts fundraiser. You can take pre-orders, offer BOGO fundraising cards, and sell dozens virtually for customers to redeem at a shop near them. Cub Scouts keep 50 percent of sales!
- ABC Fundraising offers cookie dough sales.
- A few parents told us about their success selling World’s Finest Chocolate candy bars. One pack reported making $700 in two months!
Want to give customers their caffeine fix? Giving Bean offers tea and coffee for fundraising, and their testimonials are full of Scouts BSA troops and packs! Stephanie A. says her pack in Georgia conducts the sale after popcorn season (and in time to give as Christmas gifts) and makes about 40 percent.
Many packs reported selling holiday wreaths from Sherwood Forest Farms, Evergreen Industries, or Mickman Brothers. Packs also offer flower or plant sales before Mother’s Day. One group said it marks up plants an extra $10 from a local garden center and sells them — a tidy profit! 🙂
Scouting Experience: My son’s Scouts BSA troop has been selling wreaths from Sherwood Forest Farms for several years. We generally make more than $1,000 profit with 10 to 16 sellers. Customers are pretty happy with the product and tend to buy annually!
Making Your Own Product to Fundraise
Instead of buying someone else’s product, some Cub Scout packs opt for making their own products to sell. We are sharing some examples of those items here for inspiration. By creating a product to sell, Cub Scouts really get involved, learn new skills, and become more invested in the fundraiser!
Cole here – My BSA troop in Hawaii did something really unique for New Year fundraising: Kadomatsu! We’d cut the bamboo, pick the pine, lash the whole thing together, and sell 100’s to the community. Not only would these have huge profit margins, but people loved purchasing such a neat, cultural item made by Scouts each year.
Kirsten P. from New York said her pack’s Cub Scouts made birdhouses with materials donated by a local lumberyard. Their sales booth was a real hit! “The birdhouses were sold out within the first ½ hour,” she said. “We advertised the day before and had a line of people waiting for them.”
Bake Sales and Event Concessions
Many packs reported bake sales for fundraisers. Having the Scouts make (or at least help with) the baked items is the best way to involve them in the whole process from start to finish. One pack asked bakeries to donate some items, while another added jams and jellies to its selling list!
Stephanie A. from a pack in Georgia said that they do not put prices on the items for their bake sale but ask for a donation. “When we let the customer set their own price, we do a lot better than putting a dollar amount on the baked goods,” she said. What a great tip! 😀
Yard Sales and Silent Auctions
Yard sales and garage sales can be a great hit — it just depends on what you have to sell! Tools, jewelry, vinyl records, antiques, and even furniture can be popular. If pack families are willing to donate their unwanted items to one large sale, you could make a few hundred dollars!
An excellent way to hold this fundraiser could be to request donations from your pack family, friends, and the local community. Then, host a community night with food and sell tickets. Afterward, your main event can be people bidding on the donated items. Finally, all proceeds can go to the pack or be divided among the Cubs’ individual accounts!
Cub Scout Fundraising With Activities
Hike-a-thons, walk-a-thons, and dance-a-thons are classic fundraising activities. These also get the Scouts to engage in physical fitness while making money for the pack, which is an added bonus. Leader Allison B. from Texas said the winners in her pack walked nine miles! 😯
Scout Fundraising With Breakfasts or Dinners
Especially if your charter organization has a kitchen and dining area, a culinary quest might be the fundraiser for you! Many packs host pancake breakfasts or spaghetti dinners to make money. Scouts can help cook and/or serve the meals, which promotes important life skills!
Scout Fundraising Through Restaurants
Fortunately for those of us who would rather not cook, several restaurants have fundraising options! Little Caesars offers two ways to fundraise. With an online program, customers order pizza kits that are shipped to their homes. Scouts can also take orders and deliver pizza kits to folks in their community.
Panda Express also offers two ways to raise money in your community. One way is to set up a restaurant night at a specific location — Scouts then earn a percentage of the night’s profits. With the virtual fundraiser option, anyone inputting a special code at online checkout can join in the fundraiser!
Scout Service Offerings For Fundraising
Cub Scouts have a variety of ways they can offer their services to the community. Some packs offer flag subscriptions: folks pay an annual fee and the Scouts post a flag for them on major holidays! Other packs operate Christmas tree disposal services. Some even conduct drives to collect recycling materials, e-waste, or steel.
Scouting Experience: My son’s Scouts BSA troop collects recycling from a local Elks Lodge. We sort the materials (left behind their establishment) and turn in the items. Each month, we spend about an hour on this task, and make around $80!
Unique Cub Scout Fundraisers
In our research, we found a few Cub Scout packs that add fundraising aspects to annual events. At Pinewood Derby races, some packs invite local businesses to make a car and pay an entry fee. Others offer an outlaw race where anyone can participate for a fee!
For another fun option, some packs host cake auctions. The parents and Cub Scouts decorate and donate cakes, which are then auctioned off. A pack in California held an auction as part of the annual Blue and Gold ceremony, getting lots of community members involved! 🙂
Last but certainly not least, be sure to check out this terrific Spring Fundraising ideas video (36:50) from Cub Chat! It brings up some super helpful tips and important considerations to keep in mind while planning your fundraising initiatives. I’m sure it’ll be useful in your pack’s fundraising efforts!
As you can certainly see, there are so many ways you can raise funds to support your Cub Scout pack! First though, it’s important to participate in any council-sponsored fundraisers, as those tend to be the easiest and most effective. However, if you find that they are falling short, you now have many other fundraising ideas to fill the gap!
We hope the ideas within this article will inspire your future pack fundraising activities. There are definitely quite a few that sound fun! What works the best for your Cub Scout pack will depend on your members — and may even change over the course of time. It’s always a good idea in your annual planning stages to review potential fundraisers and make sure you are on track.
Thanks so much for dropping by, and for being an awesome part of Cub Scouting! If you enjoyed learning about Cub Scout pack fundraising, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles:
- Cub Scouting Costs: Uniforms, Fees, Gear, And More
- The 3 Biggest Benefits Of Cub Scouting (Also Written by Jaci H)
- Cub Scout Annual Calendars: Monthly Ideas For Pack Activities
- Everything To Know About Cub Scout Ranks And Advancement
- Transitioning From Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA: Tips For Parents And Webelos
I hope your future fundraisers are incredibly successful! The next time you’re looking for inspiration, resources, or helpful pack ideas, be sure to come back to ScoutSmarts. Until next time, I’m wishing you some amazing adventures in Scouting ahead! 😀