Month: November 2013
- Unit Kernels – The Unit Kernel likely the hardest job in the Popcorn Sale. They must attend all of the ‘mandatory training’, make sure all the product is entered and ordered properly, make sure all of the popcorn is received, and all the prizes are ordered. These people often need to learn a computer system that is not very user-friendly. Finally, this is the person that has to find all of the answers to every question a Scout or parent may have.
- Council/District Leadership – Like most positions in Scouting, Units are unaware of the amount of time and energy devoted by the Council and District Popcorn Leadership throughout the Popcorn Sale. In most cases this group receives little or no compensation to create a program Units find exciting and rewarding. They often decide which product is sold, the prize program used and finding a commission structure that benefits both the Unit and the Council.
- Parents – If the parents do not see the value in selling popcorn and making the decision to allow their sons to sell, there would not be a popcorn sale. Parents must stand in front of the store and go door-to-door with their sons. In addition, parents must make sure all of the orders are correct and money is properly collected.
For all those that participated in the Popcorn Sale this year, I want to say thank you and I look forward to hearing more from you throughout the next year.
1. Have ‘Check Out’ forms for the product given to Scouts
There are a couple of ways to do this. Depending on the popcorn company your Council uses, you may have access to this in their online popcorn system. Oftentimes there is a Scout Invoice or Packing Slip which can be downloaded for each Scout. Whether you are able to use a pre-made report or one of your own, the form should show the exact product each Scout receives and how much money the product is worth. In addition, there should be lines for the parent and Unit Popcorn Kernel to sign showing they received the product are responsible for returning the proper amount of money for the product received.
2. Create a Field Receipt
Field Receipts are a form that shows how much money is received from the Scout family. You can have as many receipts as are necessary to turn in all of the funds to the Unit. Have different sections on the receipt to show collections for cash, checks and credit cards payments received. As a matter of fact, I recommend Scouts turn in any checks they receive to the Unit as soon as possible. Most people will write a check when they know they have funds in their bank account. If a Unit waits to deposit the checks, there is a higher probability the check will be returned for insufficient funds. This could delay having all of the funds collected.
3. Understand the guidelines for your Council
It is vitally important that your Unit understand the specific guidelines for your Council. As an example, some Councils require the gross amount of all popcorn sales are turned into the Council. Other Councils only require the net amount of popcorn sales turned in. Please make sure you understand the proper dates and method of payment. The vast majority of Councils across the country require that payment be made to the Council in one check for the total sum owed. These Councils expect Units to deposit all of the funds collected into their own Unit Account and then write one check. If you do not have a Unit checking account, then speak to your local Council to make other arrangements.
Tips to help with your deposit:
- Get a ‘For Deposit Only’ Stamp – This will make it much easier to endorse all of the checks received
- Get the proper items to bundle your money – Check with your bank to see how they want bills to be bundled. Most banks will provide bill straps and coin wraps for free if you ask for them.
- Face your bills – Put all your bills facing the same direction. Your bank will love you for this.
- Make two adding machine tapes of your checks – Many banks have readers to digitize the checks for faster processing. If you have a large amount of checks (typically 20 or more), they will be batch processed which is different than the normal method. To do batch processing requires an adding tape to verify the total of the checks in the batch. In addition, it will help make sure you are correct with your totals. Running two tapes is a double-check of this process.
I hope this will help you finalize your Popcorn Sale and ensure all of the funds are accounted correctly.