My son’s boy scout troop did their annual door to door candy bar sales last evening, a beautiful night for walking neighborhoods as boy scouts, talking to people, picking up folks newspapers for them, and asking them if they would purchase a candy bar for one dollar to support the troop and their programs for the next year.
After hours of walking the neighborhoods, the sales were bleak. In the past we would sell out of bars within a few streets. It was not uncommon to find folks who were once themselves boy scouts or girl scouts, and remembered when they were out selling for their troops. Some houses would even buy multiple bars.
Definitely not the case any more. Most of the folks were home, their doors open, their tvs on, and some even talking in plain view on their phones. They don’t answer their doors, they try to talk through closed doors (very personal that way), they simply ignore the door, or they come to the door and turn the scouts away without even hearing why they are there in the first place. One house said no last night, and when the scout handed them their newspaper he had brought up with him, they changed their mind and bought bars – not because they wanted to support scouts, but because he had brought them up their newspaper.
I heard the same from many of the other patrols out selling last night – lots of houses and few sales.
Now the troop has upcoming popcorn and catalog sales for additional fundraisers. My take is that if folks won’t bother to answer their doors and buy candy bars for one dollar, how likely are they to respond and buy other products at higher prices.
Perhaps the economy has had a larger impact on individual households than has been reported. Perhaps door-to-door fundraising has become a thing of the past, and has outlived its’ life expectancy? Hard to say, but one thing is certain, if folks won’t support programs like the boy scouts and girl scouts through buying candy bars costing one dollar, how likely is it they will support these or any other programs at higher levels.
Care to weigh in on the subject?