How Boy Scout Fundraising Leaders Can Maximize on Incentive-Based Fundraising

Tim Ahern | September 5, 2017

There are several tactics you as a leader or parent can use to help maximize your Boy Scout troop’s or individual Scout’s fundraising efforts. But since they’re just kids—meaning it’s unlikely they fully understand the value of finances and fundraising—you will need to rely on something beyond just money to motivate them. That’s where the strategy nonprofits call “incentive-based fundraising” comes into play.

Nonprofit Hub answers your first question below,

“What is incentive-based fundraising?

Incentives are motivators that influence your donors to give and influence your fundraising teams to raise more.”

Nonprofit Hub has an extensive post on this topic as a whole, but for the purposes of our efforts at Evergreen, we’ll focus on how to use this tactic for your fundraising teams more so than your donors. Here are some incentives with which you can help motivate your Boy Scouts to get out and fundraise.

The Social Influence Factor

Especially as a child, social influence is one of the biggest motivators of behavior. There are a few ways to help excite your Scouts with this tendency:

  • At each Boy Scout meeting, have your Scouts share their stories about how fundraising went that week. Encourage them to avoid bragging but instead to tell each other what went right versus wrong. Once they see that their fellow troop members are engaged and putting in effort, each Scout will want to match the one trying the hardest.
  • Share success stories of years past. Maybe this could include talking through who did the best last year or telling stories about troops from years past. It’s likely your Scouts look up to the Scouts before them and will model their own behavior after theirs.


It goes without saying, kids love games—especially when there is a reward for the winner. If you’re struggling to motivate your scouts, take time to come up with creative games that will excite them.

  • One idea for starters: at the kick-off of the fundraiser, give the kids a boardgame, like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders, and switch out the cards. These cards can instead include scenarios of what could go right and wrong during their fundraiser. The troop will then have to talk through the scenarios to conclude how they can move forward through the game. This will then make the real-life scenarios feel more approachable and maybe even fun!
  • With younger Scouts, have them choose a character they will act out through the course of the fundraiser. That way when they face challenges, they are inspired by the persona they’ve taken on, rather than taking each obstacle personally.


Most kids love to be recognized for their efforts and they take that sort of recognition to heart. Think of unique ways to highlight the successes of each troop member at your meetings or on your Facebook page.

  • Leaderboards: If you can have some sort of visual representation of each Scouts’ status, they will better understand where they are at versus where they could be. Just be sure to be mindful of how you present this comparison so that it’s not all about the competition. You could even just show the top three performers, rather than including the people at the bottom.
  • Fundraising Badges: Set up different levels of fundraising success. Many companies and games these days reward people with badges and they’ve seen success. For example, say for five products purchased a Scout can win their first small badge, for 15 they get the next badge and at 25, they get the top badge. These can be in the form of printed out badges or small tokens with a symbol on them. Check out Amerian Diabetes Associations badges »

Mission-Based Reward

Kids often want to know the “why” behind the reason they must complete a task. The more specific you can get, the better they will understand why they need to work hard. The mission-based reward tactic is simply pointing out towards which cause the money will go.

If you are raising money for new uniforms, show the troop how much each piece costs. If they’ve gotten five donations, they have purchased a shirt, but with ten, they’ll also have the shorts, etc. etc.

We hope these ideas help you inspire your troops to put out their best effort! If you need help getting your fundraiser with Evergreen set up, be sure to contact our team or reference our Fundraising 101 page.

For more ideas on fundraising incentives read: