In many ways, Scouting is unique among the charities and other youth organizations of the world. In at least one way, however, Scouting is no different than others -- if it is to grow and serve more youth and more communities each year, it must find a way to financially support its long-term mission.
Scouting's mission was set in the early part of this century. It is now the role of the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation to support Scouting in ways not always available to local councils and other Scouting organizations.
Local councils always have been -- and likely always will be -- primarily responsible for raising and applying financial support for their programs, facilities, and community initiatives. The National BSA Foundation, however, has been established to attract additional funds for both long and short range support of operating, capital, and endowment needs.
Here are ways that the National BSA Foundation currently supports the needs of Scouting and the individuals, corporations and foundations who want to support the needs and mission of Scouting around the world.
SPECIFIC DESIGNATION OPPORTUNITIES
Gifts to the Foundation may be specifically designated or given for general Scouting purposes, as the donor chooses. Many donors make gifts to the Foundation in support of one particular local council or Scouting program in a certain country either for their general support or to help with a specific project or program.
Many donors, however, make gifts to the Foundation because it is a convenient way to make one gift but have it distributed among several Scouting entities. These councils may all be in one city or area and state across the country, or extended throughout the world.
These gifts are often made by donors who have been active in more than one council, or want to support a specific part of Scouting such as, endowment, camperships, and world jamboree needs, or whatever a donor wants to support. Again, these gifts may be used to support Scouting internationally as well as locally.
It is also possible for a donor to make an undesignated gift to the Foundation and allow the Foundation to distribute it to councils and programs of its choice. Undesignated or discretionary funds within the Foundation may then be distributed directly to councils with specific needs or innovative programs where the councils have not received adequate funding for them.
TRUST SERVICES FOR DONORS
Until the Foundation, donors who wanted to establish a charitable trust or make a major gift involving a trustee or custodianship often had to use a bank or trust company. Sometimes, the cost of setting up and administering the gift made it prohibitively expensive to do so.
The National BSA Foundation, however, can serve as trustee for a wide variety of charitable gifts benefitting Scouting at what we believe are competitive rates. All gifts given to the Foundation to fund charitable trusts are currently handled by Bankers Trust in New York City.
The National BSA Foundation will, at this time, serve as trustee for charitable gifts benefitting Scouting such as:
Charitable unitrusts and annuity trusts
Charitable lead trusts
The Foundation also accommodates donors who are interested in making gifts of:
Bargain sales/gift-sales of property
Gifts of tangible personal property
Life insurance/retirement fund remainders
Life estates in homes, farms/ranches
Gifts of undivided interests
If appropriate for the donor's circumstances the Foundation will provide -- free of charge and confidentially -- sample documents and standard available tax benefits for certain types of gifts. It is recommended that these materials be shared with your own tax advisor, who must review these estimated benefits in light of your particular circumstances, and your own attorney must prepare the necessary documents.
Many donors may want to make a large gift that would support worthwhile charities other than Scouting. The Foundation will permit donors to name other qualified charities in addition to the Foundation as beneficiaries of a gift or trust. This can greatly reduce the time and expense of making separate gifts to each charity.
ACTIVE SOLICITATION OF SCOUTING SUPPORT
The National BSA Foundation actively seeks financial support from corporations and other foundations that will not -- or cannot -- support Scouting at the local council level. However, they can give to organizations like the National BSA Foundation that can receive, apply, and distribute funds across the country.
The opportunity to expand our funding options to corporations and foundations that could not otherwise support Scouting is a promising and exciting part of what the Foundation can do for councils. It is also a major source of discretionary funds for the Foundation to apply to the areas of Scouting -- and the needs of the youth we serve -- that the Foundation Board feels would benefit the most from these funds.
ACCEPTABLE TYPES OF GIFTS TO THE FOUNDATION
There is no minimum gift required of those who wish to support Scouting through the National BSA Foundation. To specifically designate a local council or specific program of Scouting, however, the gift must have a value of at least $10,000. Gifts of less than $10,000 will be considered general gifts to the Foundation and applied as discretionary funds by the Foundation.
Gifts to the Foundation may take many forms and are detailed in the Foundation's Gift Acceptance and Policy Guidelines. Acceptable gifts include:
Mutual Fund/Retirement Plan designations
Real Estate (without mortgages or liens)
Tangible Personal Property
Oil and Gas Royalties
Other Assets (upon approval of Foundation Board)
There is a minimum gift of $100,000 required to fund a charitable trust that is managed by the Foundation (this minimum is higher for trusts funded with real estate). However, in certain situations, your trust may be funded with any of the above assets.
TAX DEDUCTIBILITY OF GIFTS
The National BSA Foundation is tax exempt as a charitable organization described in IRC Section 501(c)(3), and is classified as a public foundation (not a private foundation) under IRC Section 509 (a)(3).
As such, all gifts to the Foundation are charitable contributions and deductible from income, estate and gift taxes (as applicable). You should, of course, check with your own tax advisor as to the extent and use of any charitable tax deductions to which you may be entitled for your gifts to the Foundation as well as other charities.
Appropriate recognition unique to the Foundation will be given to those who support it. All Foundation donors will also be listed in the Foundation's Annual Report.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you are interested in receiving information about a specific gift you may be considering to the Foundation, or if you have questions about the Foundation, please send us the attached card. Call 800-BSA-INFO, contact us through the Internet at www.fsd.org., or by fax at 972-580-7886, or ask your BSA Regional Endowment Counsel about the Foundation.
Just as Scouting has served as the foundation for so many people who seek traditional family values, training in ethical decision-making and moral responsibility, the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation similarly serves as the foundation for Scouting's financial future, coast to coast and nation and nation. Find out more about it today.
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA FOUNDATION
To financially support the mission, values and programs of local councils of the Boy Scouts of America and Scouting organizations throughout the world by promoting and soliciting gifts, grants, and matching funds from individuals, corporations, and foundations interested in supporting Scouting both nationally and internationally.