Official policy is that all money raised in fund raisers is to be treated as troop funds, and you are not allowed to discriminate
i found it odd too. this is my 1st yr as a leader. i figured even if each girl sold the minimum to earn thier patches then it would be fine. but i have 13 girls and only 7 sold. ONE earned EVERY prize! some parents took packets and just never sold others flat out said they are not selling. I dont intend on spending for any CRAZY event but just use it to maintain the troop. we only earned $150.
we have $5.00/month dues to cover supplies and patches. and i intend to still collect. we have 2 big meetings per month and earn 1-2 patches /month. some parents have never paid ANY dues. (they have not even said they could not and i dont live in a "poor" area or economic hardship location)
I've started collecting the dues for the year in September, and whatever is not in I keep sending group "reminder" emails.
Here at least, we can get financial aid for up to $15/girl for troop dues. All parents have to do is fill out a very basic form.
Speaking of which, I need to email that form and dues info to one parent. (But it's not her fault she's late with paying it -- I told her husband, not her about it.)
I know that weekly or monthly dues is supposed to make girls more responsible in hopefully earning the money at home, but in my experience, that's just about never the case (in homes where they can afford it anyway). It's still the mom saying, oh, ya, you owe this to your leader- go give it to her. Or them just never remembering. I'm having this problem (remembering) myself to pay my son's cub scout dues and I'm co-leader. So, personally, I'm all for a lump sum up front or twice a year and don't hand out patches to ANYONE unless EVERYONE is paid up or made arrangements with you. Then EVERY GIRL receives her patches. That way it puts peer pressure on the girls and families to be responsible for being part of the organization. You could also suggest that if they choose not to sell, that's fine, but to donate another lump sum to the troop instead- therefore the girls that sell won't be entirely funding the things the troop does. With our cub scout popcorn sale this past year, we sent out a letter to all families explaining how much the pack spends per boy each year and the equivilant in popcorn sales that would be per child... as a goal. And if a family chose not to participate in the sale, to consider a donation in whatever amount they could afford to help keep the pack going. But that dollar amount on there really opened up some eyes... they started asking what it was all for. they started to pay up or go to that extra house so they wouldn't feel the need to add some money to the pot. Of course not every family did that, but we faired much better with that than if we hadn't done it at all.
Make it work for you... whatever you do. I find that being blunt and direct works well with families because if you are subtle, they just miss it because they are busy with music lessons and dance lessons and soccer and everything else.