Powered by Popcorn- 86th Woodcliff: Engaging Parents and the Community for a successful campaign

86th Woodcliff has been involved in the Scout Popcorn campaign since Day One. In 2017, the Group sold an amazing $25,755 worth of Scout Popcorn. But what is even more impressive is that in 2018 the Group raised that figure to $34,875! Group Commissioner Jamie McIlroy says that “I don’t know if we’ve ever not sold Scout Popcorn. As long as the Scout Popcorn campaign has been offered, we’ve been involved.”

McIlroy says 86th Woodcliff’s  Scout Popcorn campaign is a collective effort—not an individual task. “I think the key factor is we don’t focus on selling Scout Popcorn as an individual activity, with individual incentives. We set participation goals per Section.”

86th Woodcliff’s incentive program involves 100% participation from all Sections, the Group Commissioner explains. “If those levels get hit, then the Sections themselves will take part in some type of experience. So to give you an example, at the Scout level it is 100% participation. That is defined by you having made at least one sale to someone who is not a relative or neighbour, and each Scout is expected to sell $200 worth of Scout Popcorn.”

McIlroy understands that each Section’s goal and incentives will look a bit different, but he has come to the realization that the youth are not motivated by monetary incentives like gift cards. “They vote on different opportunities as a Troop. This year’s options were laser tag, wave pool or dinner at Swiss Chalet. It is very meaningful to them because it is a chance to celebrate their accomplishments, which is why the incentive should be something that helps bring them together and something they can experience together.”

Another major aspect of 86th Woodcliff’s Scout Popcorn campaign is changing the mindset of the parents, letting them know that participating in this fundraiser is a part of their program. “I think that our program is a pretty comprehensive adventure program for these kids. We pride ourselves on offering significantly more than they can get in any other sort of programming out there for kids, for almost no money at all.”

McIlroy strongly believes that “the only way [a great program]  works is if everyone pulls together and works towards [a] common goal.”

McIlroy is certain that when the youth participate in the fundraiser they gain valuable life experience. “It is one of the areas I advocate for. It is important for them to build up the confidence to walk up and knock on a door. 90% of that benefit is putting on that uniform, getting their materials, being organized, getting afloat, organizing a time with their parents and going out and knocking on doors. If a kid goes out, does that, does their route and comes home and made no sales (which has never happened), I would certainly find a way to not count that against them in terms of our incentive program.”

86th Woodcliff has executed a great Scout Popcorn campaign through its incentive programs and striving to achieve a
quality program. McIlroy states, “The core of our success when it comes to consistent Scout Popcorn sales is that it’s all
driven out of having a great program because A) parents are willing to do the work, and B) the community recognizes what we’re doing.”

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