As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Missing Popcorn Sale Money

A Question about Missing Popcorn Sale Money

Rebecca sent in this question:

I’m looking for information on how units have handled when popcorn money doesn’t reconcile. We had a new popcorn chair this year and money is way off. Sadly our local Council pretty much said it was our problem not theirs. We’re meeting with our chartered organization tonight. I would like to give the volunteer the benefit of doubt, however our cubmaster disagrees. Any input would be much appreciated.

Some Thoughts

Thanks for the question Rebecca.

I certainly wouldn’t assume that the popcorn chair deliberately did something wrong, but if the popcorn sale numbers don’t add up, then they don’t add up. So somebody needs to look at the numbers and figure out why you are short.  Maybe some of the Cub Scouts didn’t get all of their money turned in and they just need to be reminded. A lot of it depends on how the popcorn sale was conducted. Was it individual Scouts taking orders or was it some sort of unit show and sell event? Perhaps your popcorn chair is just not the sort of person who keeps detailed records.

In the end, I’d be careful about putting too much blame on the volunteer, especially if it was some sort of honest mistake. It will make it that much more difficult to find a volunteer next time.

Without knowing the specifics of the popcorn sale it is difficult to say what to do. Each unit and the people involved are unique and have their own dynamic.

Add Your Comments

Readers, what do you think? Feel free to comment below.

More Resources

Fundraising Conflicts

Fundraising Conflicts

A reader asks about what to do when neighboring units seem to be constantly competing in their fundraising efforts. The best way to handle possible conflicts between unit fundraisers is to talk it out.

What Can Be Done to Ensure That Unit Finances Are Handled Correctly?

A reader asks about unit finances: “My boys just joined or local pack in our area last August. This pack has like 60 kids. The 1st thing I noticed was that everything was very very unorganized, but I didn’t want to be one of those parents that gripes and does nothing. So I took a seat on the committee as the Fundraiser chair. Since doing that I have witnessed some things that are disturbing to me and I know cant be right…”

Video Resources

BSA Fundraising: Learn about the do’s and don’t of unit fundraising.


6 responses to “Missing Popcorn Sale Money”

  1. April Eldridge Avatar
    April Eldridge

    Has anyone taken a look at the scouts online accounts? Maybe some sales were written on the take order form and they were actually conducted online. It would account for the money discrepancy.

  2. Brian Avatar

    I agree, don’t necessarily blame the popcorn chair. Approach the unit kernel and see what they say. Work together to find the error and find a solution so it doesn’t happen again in the future. Your attitude to the entire situation will set the tone for future assistance with the parents in your unit.

    Everyone has their own way of tracking sales, but our council provides a tracking spreadsheet (a basic version and an extended version) which I think helps tremendously.

  3. Julinda Avatar

    It could easily be an honest mistake, but as others said, it has to be figured out. If scouts turned their money in, the correct amount of money should be there, and if not, the chair should (voluntarily) make it up!

    As far as the Council goes, they are correct in saying it’s not their problem. All they know is how much popcorn was charged to your pack. They don’t know what happened after it was picked up.

    And yes, good record-keeping is important! To often in volunteer roles we take whoever is willing, but especially where money is involved, it needs to be a detail-oriented person and of course a trustworthy one.

  4. Popcorn Allergy Avatar
    Popcorn Allergy

    Our pack had a multi-thousand dollar order put in at the END of the sale beyond the orders turned in by the scouts. The chair points fingers, claiming they were told to, and their Scouts sell WAY after the cutoff. The multi-thousand dollar still sits, expired. But hey, their kid was the top seller, and the maths are fuzzy from there…

    “it needs to be a detail-oriented person and of course a trustworthy one. ” Or, the cubmaster’s headaches will be never-ending.

  5. Pack Popcorn Kernel Avatar
    Pack Popcorn Kernel

    This is tricky as the popcorn kernel position is a hard one and of course all volunteer. I did it last year for a very small pack. If no one volunteers the pack/troop can’t do the fundraiser, but if they lose money not worth it. It takes being detail oriented, collecting money, managing inventory, picking it up, it’s really a lot of work and a lot of skills for one person, bigger packs can have a committee So I’d definitely give the volunteer the benefit of the doubt and be grateful for their help and take the attitude of solving the problem together. I’d also take into account what way off means. Did you make money or lose money? Are we talking thousands off or like $100? Without details it’s hard to say, just know it’s a lot of work and the bigger the pack/troop the more work and more to keep track of.

  6. Brenda J Avatar
    Brenda J

    We ran into the same issue because tracking the show and sell, orders and on-line becomes very difficult as volume of sales go up. Our new chair had a hard time tracking all the pickups, returns, orders, and change orders. The key is to keep them organized.

    To address that, we set up a simple ‘Wufoo’ form for everyone to enter their product order totals into (via computer or mobile device). It sends the family an email verifying what they requested (so no arguments later). We set up a second form to track the show and sell product as people picked it up. We also had families signing off on detailed ‘receipt’ slips to verify when picking up product. (pre-print the product list and simply add quantities and signatures.

    The Wufoo forms allow you to export to excel so you can quickly consolidate the full pack or troop’s orders for submitting to council. A little more work and you have total dollars sold, individual scout receipts, etc. The form shuts off as scheduled so no ‘late orders’ that get missed. It’s a great tool, we have been using for other signups and events. There are probably similar products that do the same, this one worked for us. We have a smaller pack but sold over $14,000 of product in one sale and everything tied to the penny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.