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 Financial Development š 2004 Trail's End Popcorn Sale

Start Planning for Popcorn Fundraising Success This Fall

For most of you the Trail’s End Fall Popcorn Sale is probably not on the forefront of your mind right now; but this is the time of year that crucial initial planning steps need to be completed to help your unit maximize its success in this important annual fundraiser.  Without sufficient funds, your Pack, Crew or Troop cannot deliver the top quality program that attracts new members to Scouting, and keeps your current members involved and excited about Scouting.

In order to achieve success here are the things you should be doing now and in the near future, as well as some items you should be considering.

Select your unit’s Popcorn Chairperson – This person should be well organized, be able to generate enthusiasm, possess good presentation and public speaking skills and ideally have some business-sense or sales experience. In other words, you want the best person for the job, not just a “warm body.”

Sign up to Sell Popcorn – You can register by filling out the registration slip in this issue of The YAAC and mailing or faxing your form into the council office. 

Contact Large-Box Retailers – If your unit will participate in Show-N-Sale; you should be contacting large retailers (i.e. WalMart, Kmart, Target, Home Depot, etc.) to establish your selling dates.  These retailers often let groups select dates beginning January 1st and weekends go fast, so you need to act quickly.  Do this even if your unit has not established a Popcorn Chairperson.  (FYI – Show-N-Sale distribution is set for Saturday, September 11th)

Include your Popcorn Chairperson (Kernel)  in Unit Program Planning & Budgeting – Your kernel needs to be involved with your unit’s annual program planning, and budget planning.  Why?  Because the program plan drives the budget that drives the fundraising goal for the Popcorn Sale.

Take part in Popcorn Kernel Training – This June your unit’s Popcorn Kernel should attend Popcorn Kernel training.  There are three opportunities for your unit’s kernel to attend training.  The council will provide training for new and experience kernels, provide you with the necessary sales tools, and provide you with new insight on how to increase your unit’s sale this year.

Establishing your unit’s per Scout sales goal – Once the income and fundraising goal has been established for entire unit.  You need to break down this goal to the Scout level. You need to calculate how much popcorn is required to be sold by each scout to meet the unit’s income goal.  The most successful units in councils across the nation do this effective task and then communicate that goal to each scout and their parents.

Commit your unit to make 100% effort during the sale – This is an attitude and commitment that your unit will put a full effort by everyone into the sale.  If your unit concentrates its efforts on the Popcorn Sale, you can fund your entire year with this fundraiser.  Nationally each sale averages $4.75 profit per item sold.  So your unit can make money quickly with Trails-End Popcorn and then spend the rest of the year concentrating on delivery the quality program that your unit committee/scouts planned.

Show-N-Sale and Show-N-Deliver – Show-N-Sale is the method to take actual popcorn product and sell it in front of a retail store/restaurant/bank location.   In today’s busy world, parents often find this a convenient way for their son to sell popcorn. Nationally this method yield an average sale of $7.45 and in a 2-hour period 3 boys will average $43/boy/hour in sales.   If you unit has been successful in Show-N-Sale, by all means continue to do so.  But another method that has been convenient for parents and can yield significantly higher results is Show-N-Deliver.  Show-N-Deliver is a method where a boy with his parents or a den of boys goes to homes with take-order forms and a van/car load of product.  They boy takes the order and gives the customer the option of getting their popcorn right on the spot and you collect the money.  Show-N-Deliver method averages $14.00 per sale and $225/hour/boy in sales.

Planning your unit’s Program & Popcorn Launch – In August, your unit should conduct an event to announce your unit’s program to the boys and parents and to explain how the Trails End Popcorn Sale is going to be used to fund this Ideal Year of Scouting in order to keep the family’s expenses in Scouting to a minimum.   You achieve parental and Scout buy-in to the sale by effectively communicating the quality program that will be done if the Popcorn sale is a success.  Make the launch exciting, fun, and encourage the boys to set a sales goal higher than the unit’s minimum.  Go over the prizes and incentives your unit will offer and generate enthusiasm in both the boys and parents.

Take the time now, sign-up to participate in this year’s Popcorn Sale and start doing the things to make your efforts a success so you can deliver the Ideal Year of Scouting to your Scouts.



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