Penistone Scouts will onlyuse GoCardless to take all payments via our online provision from April 2023. This change has been largely driven by you parents and guardians querying why we use one provision for events and a different one for subscription. This has made us stop, sit down and rethink our accounting methods and ultimately led us in streamlining how we have previous managed our budgets and finances. So going forward from the 1st April we will use only GoCardless for both our events and membership fees

Monies will be collected via our well established Online Scout Manager provision. This is the tool we use to track badge achievement, to email you regarding events and weekly meetings. For most parents/guardians, your first experience of the payment system will be for membership fees (aka Subs).

What do I need to do now?

Firstly: Ensure that all outstanding payments including March has been made. You can then cancel the current subscription, I will be doing this too at our end but it is best that you do it too.

Secondly: An email from Online Scout Manager will land in the coming weeks asking you to set up your payment method. There’ll be a link to click per young person so if you’ve more than one person in the group, you’ll need to kick off this initial set-up once per child. An email will land per child – if you are missing one, please check your junk or spam folders.

This is an example view you’ll see when you first log-in to the payment area. Click “Create Subscription” in the top right-hand corner to automatically pay subs fees. Alternatively, you can opt to manually pay each month by clicking the respective “Pay Now” button by each due date.

What else will I need to do in the near future

Gift Aid: We are enabling the “Gift Aid” function on payments. This allows the group to collect 25p in every £1 from the Government. If you are eligible, please make sure you tick to enable Gift Aid on your payments and provide any requested info to support it. (Normally just your full name and address and the formality of saying “Yes” to Gift Aid)

When will the group start to collect monies?

Once you have made your March payment the original payment method (Stripe) will be disabled. The first membership fees payment from the new method will therefore be due on the 11th April 2023. Given it will be managed as a “subscription”, monies will *automatically be collected on or around the 11th of each subsequent month. (*provided you have an up-to-date payment method)

For most, other than renewing card details as they expire or are replaced, this part of payments will be set and forget. We recognise that some wish to have additional control over what goes out of their accounts and when, therefore it is possible to perform payments via Online Scout Manager at a time that suits you, albeit prior to or on the 11th of each month to prevent an overdue balance.

What else should I know?

Emails will come from Online Scout Manager and/or our own email provision. If you are uncertain about any messages, please reach out to us at [email protected]

GoCardless is the payment merchant/processor and nearly all bank cards are accepted.

Demystifying some terms

Online Scout Manager (OSM) – The online tool we use to keep young people’s records securely. Includes badge work attainment, events, weekly meetings, personal records, and now payment processing

Membership fees (Subs) – An annual payment of £150 (per young person) that we split into twelve equal installments i.e. monthly (£12.50). This is not a payment for service – they are a membership fee. They are used for, but not limited to: insurance, capitation fees payable to UK headquarters, utilities and building upkeep, etc.

Gift Aid – Tax payers are eligible to grant charities (at no cost to themselves) additional monies from UK Government. It is an opt-in scheme and we track those who have said yes to participation within Online Scout Manager.

And finally…

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your on-going support. We love having your young people as part of Scouting; seeing what they get from it each and every week is immensely rewarding. We recognise there’s lots of change in the world – we hope this change will be both practical and beneficial to you too. From easily being able to see what’s due, when it’s required, and if you’ve remembered to make the necessary payments, we trust it’ll make a real difference.

We also recognise that hardship is an ongoing challenge faced by increasing numbers of people. As a charity, we would never wish to place anyone in a hardship situation. Scouting is for all, and we have a well-established hardship provision in place. If you’d like to know more, please refer to the hardship policy found here.