I hope everyone is enjoying the first day of spring. I usually use this spot to talk about things coming up or thanking folks for putting on great events, but this week I would like to talk about the council itself and how it is funded. I find that many volunteers and parents don’t understand how the council gets its funds to operate and how critical the success of those efforts are to maintaining facilities and services.
First and foremost, let me make sure you understand one thing…THE COUNCIL DOES NOT KEEP ANY OF THE $24 REGISTRATION FEE YOU PAY TO HAVE YOUR CHILD IN THE PROGRAM. ALL THOSE FUNDS GO DIRECTLY TO THE NATIONAL OFFICE.
Here are the sources of revenue for the Verdugo Hills Council:
Revenue Source 2017 Budgeted Income
Friends of Scouting (Family / Community / Board) $244,150
Special Events (Auction / Hometown Hero’s) Net Revenue $68,150
Foundations / Trusts (Council is beneficiary of trust) $65,000
United Way $1,050
Scout Shop (Net Revenue) $54,950
Product Sales (Camp Cards / Popcorn) Net Revenue $35,950
Investment Income (Earnings from endowment) $144,000
Camping Revenue (Day Camp / Resident Camp / Rocket Academy) $82,250
Activity Revenue (Cub Haunt / Camporee / Training) $58,500
Total Revenue $767,550
That’s it folks. This is the revenue that we operate all the council’s programs and services. I’m sure you can imagine that just like your personal home budgets if anything falls short or if you have unexpected expenses then your budget gets tighter and you must decide what you can and can’t pay or what you can do without. For the council, we don’t want to have to make those tough choices because a lack of funds means programs and facilities suffer and ultimately the youth suffer. If all of our revenue hits target we are projecting a $13,000 budget surplus which is a very slim margin.
I bring all of this to your attention for two reasons. The first reason is that I had a volunteer tell me that they felt the council wasn’t transparent and not providing information. One of the things I have prided myself on since I have been in the council is to make sure we are transparent and that we give ample opportunities for people to hear what is going on and giving them the ability to ask questions. We have held two council Key 3 Fireside chats in the past several months and will offer more in the future where everyone is invited to come and ask questions and get straight answers.
The second reason is to help you understand how critical Friends of Scouting and product sales are to the councils bottom line. Family Friends of Scouting plays a critical role in the overall funding. Each year we ask for you to allow us to come in and make a presentation to your families in hopes that they will support the council in our efforts. This year has honestly been a struggle to get dates set and I’m asking you to please consider allowing us the opportunity to tell the VHC story to your parents. The camp card sale is a brand-new venture that we started along with the more traditional popcorn sale to help your unit raise funds for camp fees or supplies. I know many of your units sell other things like mistletoe, candy bars etc. The reality is that when you sell those other products your unit benefits but not the council. By selling popcorn and camp cards you are not only making money for your units but are also helping the councils bottom line.
I know that for many units and volunteers there is a bad taste in your mouths from things that have happened in the past. As I have been saying now for 16 months I can’t change what happened in the past but I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to provide the best customer service and experience for the youth and volunteers in the VHC.
I hope you found this informative and as always I’m available to answer questions that you might have. Thank you for all that you do in providing a great program for the youth in our communities.