Sub-committees can be set-up for a wide range of purposes. They can be formed and dissolved as and when they are deemed necessary by the group executive committee. Sub-committee members do not need to be on the executive committee but they could be.
Typical sub-committees might be:
- Fundraising sub-committee
- Communications sub-committee
- Group headquarters sub-committee
- Social sub-committee
Other sub-committees may be established to do specific short or long term tasks.
All scout groups need funds to provide their wide variety of activities and events, purchase equipment, provide badges and so on. Some establish a sub-committee or small working group to help them do this, usually under the direction and guidance of the group treasurer.
Some of the sub-committee’s main tasks could include:
- To raise funds for the group,
- To co-ordinate all required fundraising activities for the group,
- To be the main point of contact for the group regarding any group fundraising requirements, internally,
- And externally
- To communicate effectively: as a sub-committee; and with the group executive committee.
Any fundraising committee must include at least two members of the group executive committee, in addition to the ex-officio members. No section leader or assistant leader may serve on such a fundraising sub-committee.
There are a number of ways that a fundraising sub-committee can help raise funds for the group. For example they can ensure that the group is using the gift aid scheme for membership subscription payments, organise a fundraising campaign, plan a specific fundraising event, encourage online donations or develop links with local businesses/individuals. For any fundraising scheme you will have to think very carefully about:
- What you want to do,
- Why you want to do it,
- What you need the money for,
- What the benefits will be.
A successful or repeatable fundraising scheme can be extremely valuable for a group. It brings all kinds of direct and indirect benefits. However, for every successful scheme that attracts new supporters, another could fall flat, get rained off or have the sponsor pull out at the last moment.
You must always evaluate the fundraising potential against the risk of losing money. A well-run event can make money, take your message out to a wider public, involve existing supporters and bring in new supporters. But many absorb a great deal of energy for very small returns.
Members of your fundraising sub-committee may find these resources helpful:
- Fundraising for local scouting (fs190018)
- Fundraising FAQ’s (fs190026)
- Legacy information guide
- Rule 3.55 to rule 3.61 (POR)
All of these resources are available for download from www.scouts.org.uk or can be ordered through the scout information centre.
The group executive committee may feel that a communications sub-committee is worthwhile for your group. Such a sub-committee can help provide an achievable plan to enable the group to communicate effectively at all levels with parents, young people, scouting, the media, the general public and members of the local community.
Some of the sub-committee’s main tasks might be to:
- Provide and maintain a useful and informative website
- Provide a newsletter of group activities available to all
- Maintain and improve the image and profile of the group
- Develop and enhance communication throughout the group
- Be the main point of contact for the group regarding communication and media issues.
Local media and press publicity can be very influential for members of the public. The best way to generate positive coverage for your scout group is to contact your district or county media development manager who will be happy to help you. This relationship could be managed by one designated person, who could be a member of the sub-committee.
There are a number of other roles that could be delegated to individuals with the required skills and commitment. For example a public relations officer could maintain contact with local newspapers and other media, your group may have a group magazine editor to work with the group secretary to promote the activities in the group, or you may need a website manager to be responsible for all the group’s online presence.
There are thousands of charities in the UK. It’s therefore vital for scouting to stand out from the crowd. To help achieve this, we need to make sure any materials a group produces promote the fun, challenge and adventure of scouting. They need to follow the scout association’s brand guidelines and visual identity including colour pallet, fonts and design
To help, the scout association has a brand centre which can be used to help create on-brand materials without expense or expertise. See www.scouts.org.uk/brand the days of wonky, photocopied, typewritten pages are over.
Let’s show how professional we are so that we attract more volunteers and increase our funding. When we speak with one voice and present a consistent image of scouting, we can build recognition and support locally and nationally.
Most groups need to look after the premises which they use, whether it is their own property or a room or building that they share. Group supporters are a valuable source of help for building maintenance, painting, cleaning and general duties to make sure that premises remain fit for purpose.
The group executive committee could ask a group supporter to act as a headquarters / maintenance manager or they may decide a headquarters / maintenance subcommittee is necessary.
The sub-committee or manager will help co-ordinate this role in order to improve and maintain the condition of the premises the scout group uses and ensure compliance with health and safety requirements and any other regulation appertaining to the use of the premises.
Further advice can be found in the factsheet managing safe scout premises (fs320010) available for download from www.scouts.org.uk or can be ordered through the scout information centre.
Scout groups need equipment to run an exciting programme of activities for their young people. Equipment costs money, and each item will represent a good deal of hard work in fundraising. It follows, therefore, that everybody in the group needs to look after the equipment.
The care and control of the equipment could be the responsibility of a group supporter who has taken on the responsibility of quartermaster. The quartermaster should work closely with the adults in the group and also with the group treasurer, who is responsible for the inventory and insurance of the equipment. Having someone to deal with the day-to-day upkeep, repair and booking in and out of equipment will really help to ensure equipment is looked after and available for use when needed.
The key elements of the role could be to:
- Operate the booking arrangements for equipment
- Control the issue and return of equipment
- Check the condition of equipment
- Maintain the equipment
- Give advice about the need for refurbishment or replacement of equipment
- Advise the group treasurer of the need to modify the inventory.
It is a role that requires a good deal of patience and flexibility. Remember that the equipment is there to be used; working with the leader team will help make sure this happens.
Some groups have their own minibus, trailers or other items that need looking after, and often groups arrange transport to take members to activities. A group supporter can help support and advise the group treasurer in order to keep on top of the maintenance and care of any motor vehicles belonging to the group. This will ensure that all vehicles are properly registered, licensed and insured as necessary, and that all requirements as to their condition, testing and the licence requirements for drivers, as well as any other matters are fulfilled. Finding a supporter to take on this role could be a good way of taking the load off the group scout leader or section leaders.