Raising the wind: Money In

Cambridge District Scout Archives

This article is an attempt to categorise from where historically the money came from to carry out Scouting.   The examples are local and as such do not include significant support by

Scouting costs money.  Much is given to Scouts in goodwill, discounts and free of charge, but not all.  Much is given by Scouts in work and deeds, some transferred as money to distant Charities.  

Scouts do a good turn every day and do not take money for it.  Scouts are also encouraged to earn money and save when they can for camp, charity or rainy days.

Where does it come from?

The sources have changed little over the last hundred years.

  • Family                         The first source of funds for individuals is family. Most sponsored events pull pennies from family members first
  • Friends                                    Friends of the family and friends of Scouting  Goodwill and gifts from friends of Scouting come from past good experiences  
  • Buyers                         Jumble sales or cake stall
  • Employers                   Direct employment, fruit farms and Bob a Job
  • Charities                      Gifts from one charity to another – spontaneous or applied for
  • Local Authorities       To do what we are doing because it is good for all
  • Business Sponsors     Arranged through national sponsorships or local business charities schemes; such as supermarkets or Building Societies
  • National Lottery        From 1994
  • Scouters                      Hidden giving.             Legacies
  • Work                           Collecting waste paper, bag packing, Bob a Job/ days of work

Individual Groups also received money from the Scout District or County. The 12th received two loans from County, one for £50 and followed by a second for £100 at 2.5% per annum in 1962.

At the death of William Mackrow his Will gave the 12th £750/-/-

Individual fund raising

In the early days of Scouting it was expected that scouts would work for money on an individual basis to fund their Scouting and wider charities.   Having money in a savings account was a requirement to be a First Class Scout.  How this is done is rarely recorded.

Group fund raising                           

Such events are generally organized by the Group and tend to be larger scale activities such as entertainments, fetes and stalls. 

District/ County fund raising          

Often Groups were asked to work individually towards a joint venture.  How they did it is often not specified.  Sometimes the organized the ‘how’ or acted as central coordinators District Minutes refers to a Cub Country (below) ‘filling in the boxes’, without specifying how that raised money.

Occasionally they act as central coordinators for activities such as collecting waste paper.

Waste Paper   This was a very large fund raiser for many years.  In 1943/44 it raised ₤687/14/0 when individual subs to the District raised ₤37/1. In 1948 both the cost of collecting and the income were recorded: £512/6/11 income costing £360/5/7 to collect a profit of £152/1/4.

Some District events are organized e.g. Association Display to cover the expenses of Grafton St HQ raised £21.19.10.

Collections at District or County events are regularly recorded in District Minutes and the final recipients noted, e.g. 10/- to a Poor Guide Company in Deptford from a Cubs Own 1934, Scouts Own collection £2.2.3 to the Police Poor and Needy fund in 1933,  £5 to Lord Mayor Air Raid Disaster Fund WW2

Dist Min 4/1940          An evacuee in 12th required Convalescent Home being seriously ill with Mastoids and pneumonia.  It was agreed to send him to Rosemary Home and cover the expense.  The St Georges Day Collection would go to the home (£3/3/4)

1922 District proposed that Scouters pay 5/- a year to the Association (District)

The equipment store (later Scout shop) was a district enterprise that (eventually) raised money for IHQ and the Association District (see below for figures)

Local Authorities                   The local council, through various bodies, distributed funds to support Youth Organizations.  The Juvenile Organizations Committee distributed money to the District who distributed it further on request from a Group.  Some years the Scouts did not apply.

National fund raising                        A number of Scout Charities or Scout sponsored charities have been promoted by HQ.  Rosemary Scout Convalescent Home Herne Bay until 1940

Bob a Job 1944                       A one off eventin 1944 as a target for the Scout War Relief Abroad Fund.

Day of Work                           ₤100 raised by Cambridge for BS Relief Abroad Fund with items such as ‘fetching dogs meat 6d, washing up 2d, cleaning fowl house 1/-, removing tonsils 2/6’

Bob a Job                                Bob a Job was a National initiative to raise funds for Imperial Head Quarters.  It was delegated to Districts who coordinated Groups who in turn organized the individual Wolf Cubs, Boy Scouts, Senior Scouts, Rovers and Scouters.

A bob/ head went to IHQ.  Initially District proposed all extra money went to IHQ.  Later, with County and National debate, this was changed to 25% each to County and District and 50% to the Groups.  Within a year or two it became: a bob and later two bob went to IHQ; in Cambridge a bob to County, a bob to District and the remains back to the Groups.  A bob was one shilling, (5p).     (See Bob a Job page)


  • 7th Cambridge 1922 – 1939 2/6 a term (school Troop)
  • 23rd Cambridge 1928 1d/week
  • 12th Cambridge           1931               2d/ week
  • 1st Harston                   1935                1d  (Formed in conjunction with the 56th just prior to move to South Cambridgeshire
  • 13th Cambridge 1939 1d/ week 10/- a year for Rovers
  • 54th Cambridge           1956                increased to 4d/week ‘The extra penny to buy a copy of The Scout for each patrol.’
  • 4th Cambridge             1959               Scouts 6d/ week, Cubs 3d / week
  • 11th/9th Cambridge 1967 Scouts 6d / week

            (A letter in the Scouter 1977 quoted subs as low as 5p/week and suggested that an increase would enhance the range of Scouting available)

(A questionnaire in 1959 for Sheffield Rover Crew gave a range of Subs from 10/- a year to £1/6/- or 6d a week. Reduced Subs were given by one Crew to students at 6th Form or University; 10/- and £1.)

12th Cambridge in 1950’s and 60’s listed Scouts and Senior Scouts as Subs but Cubs as ‘Income over Expenditure’. It is not clear if this was the idiosyncratic finances of the Cubmaster (I have spent the Subs and this is what remains) or a deliberate Group system.

13th Cambridge record different Subs for Cubs and Scouts. Cubs appear to have been paying 1d. to Scouts 3d in 1964. This may have increased to 1.5d a week

  • 1955 – 61 3d / week
  • 1964 – 70 6d / week
  • 1971 6d. became 2.5p (new pence) in February which became 15p a month in March
  • 1972 15p / month
  • gap in records
  • 1981 – 85 35p / month (some paid at 10p / week)
  • April 1985 15p / week (variable paying regimes – ‘paid for year’, paid for month (60p) paid weekly)

If you are just too young and this jump between Imperial and Metric is beyond you – between 1961 and 1971 Subs doubled, then between 1971 and 1985 they quadrupled. This was a period of high inflation.

Cambridge Archives  Money In

The following examples are of how money was raised and, when it was a central initiative, where the money went.

1926 Group 7th Cambridge (Troop and Crew) made and sold rugs making a profit of £5/2/0

1932    National          Roland House  £15/7/6  (4th best in Country)

1933    Group              32nd sold pencils at 2d each, enough for two bricks for their HQ

1935    District                        Outstanding rates paid from Shop Account

1940    National          Roland House

            National          Rosemary Convalescent Home

National          Refugee Scout Fund                            ₤20/-/-

District                        Victims of Local Air Raid Fund                        ₤5/-/-   Cambridge bombed 1940

District                        YMCA Sunday Concert for the Forces                        ₤1/1/-

Group/ District/National         Waste paper   4/6 or for bulk 5/9 per cwt for a minimum of 4 tons in all three categories (that is £4/10 or £5/15 per ton).  Cambridge District was an avid collector of waste paper during the war, possibly lacking the opportunities of more industrial regions.  The 28th Cambridge finally stopped collecting waste paper in 1982 when prices dropped. 

Group              £2/15               Scout War Distress Fund

National          £170                BP Memorial Fund

1943    National          £368/7/10       BP Memorial Fund final total

1945    National          Scout Team for Relief Work abroad (first planned February 1943)

1946    National          Wych Warren Convalescent Home (replaced Rosemary Home)      

1950    District                        Collection at St Georges Day to Mrs. Weeden widow of the Scouter in the 1st Mortlake Whaler Disaster

1951                            Education Committee Grant   £35/10/0  Camp grants to Groups

1962    National          Freedom from Hunger Campaign

1963    District                        £22/14/0         Roland House from St Georges Day collection

1970’s Group              The 4th Cambridge was raising money to build a hut.   They were very active with Fetes, Jumble Sales, Beetle Drives, Carol singing, Barbeques, Dances and Gang shows.  They ran a market stall, as did the 28th, selling good quality jumble.  A Whist Drive, maybe a little dated at this time, was rejected, following the poor attendance at the Beetle Drive, also possibly past its peak.  The money raised was matched by external funds: a Council grant and a grant from National Scouting.

1970’s  CSG      On being asked to participate in a Flag Day the District was advised that collectors had to be over 16 and that they could help if not in Uniform

1970’s  Collected Green shield stamps

            Collecting cigarette coupons (4000 by 54th Cambridge)

1974    District                        Scouts asked to raise funds for new sports hall.  Pointed out that already involved in trying to raise money for Operation life boat                        District Minutes

1970 – 1980s District held a 200 later a 100 Lottery. Half the funds raised went to District and were credited with keeping District capitation low, the other half was paid back in a lottery draw several times a year. 200 ‘shares’ were sold at £5 each for regular draws which paid out between £10 and £100 pounds. The District received £570 of the £1000.

1974    County             Abington appeal had already brought in £3000         District Minutes

1980    National          ‘Cub Country’ raising money for Nepal            East Cambridge raised £1923 of a £159,000 national total

Legacy Mackrow left £750 to the 12th Cambridge. £500 fort eh Exec Committee (placed in investment fund) and £250 for Section leaders to spend.

1981    District                        Guide Dogs      £400

            District                        Cub collection £144 to our three charities

Legacy             Harry Thompson left £4000 (an eighth of his estate) to District

2018    Individual        Selling Ice lollies for Water Aid

            National          Cambridge based Raspberry Pi sponsorship of the digital maker badge.

Scout Shop  donations and Capitation fee             (per head like the Poll Tax)

This, as yet incomplete, table very clearly shows the immense benefit the Equipment Store/ Scout Shop has been to the District.

1967 as 1966

1987 £5.25, £0.45, £0.20

For Raising The Wind The Scouter’s Handbook No. 24   See http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com

JWR Archivist May 2019