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 from 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 in America began in 1910. In fact, we are about to celebrate our 100th anniversary of service to America and its youth. Local councils continue to be primarily responsible for raising financial support for their programs, facilities, and community initiatives. But the BSA Foundation has been established to attract additional funds for both long and short range support of operating, capital, and endowment needs.
SPECIFIC DESIGNATION OPPORTUNITIES
Gifts to the Foundation may be specifically designated or given for general Scouting purposes, as the donor chooses. Some donors make gifts to the Foundation in support of specific local councils.
Other donors, however, make gifts to the Foundation because it is a convenient way to make one gift to be distributed among several Scouting entities, whether in one geographic area, throughout a state, across the country, or around 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 for which the councils have not received adequate funding.
TRUST SERVICES FOR DONORS
Before the Foundation was created, 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 was prohibitively expensive.
The 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 State Street Bank in Boston.
The BSA Foundation currently provides administraative services for charitable gifts benefitting Scouting such as:
Donor Advised Funds
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 the donor share these materials with their own tax advisor, who must review these estimated benefits in light of the donor's particular circumstances, and the donor's own attorney must prepare the necessary documents.
Many donors may want to make a large gift supporting 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 BSA Foundation actively seeks financial support from corporations and other foundations that will not - or cannot - support Scouting at the local council level, but may give to organizations like the 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, of course, no minimum gift for those who want to support Scouting through the 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. Smaller gifts to the Foundation will be considered general gifts and applied as discretionary funds.
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)
A minimum gift of $100,000 is required to fund a charitable trust that is managed by the Foundation (this minimum is higher for trusts funded with real estate). Trusts may be funded with any of the above assets, depending on the circumstances.
TAX DEDUCTIBILITY OF GIFTS
The 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). Donors should, of course, check with their own tax advisor regarding the extent and use of any charitable tax deductions to which they may be entitled for gifts to the Foundation, as well as other charities.
Appropriate recognition unique to the Foundation will be given to those who support it. Foundation donors are also listed in the Foundation's Annual Report, unless otherwise requested.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Donors interested in receiving information about a specific gift they are considering to the Foundation, or with questions about the Foundation, can call 800-BSA-INFO, or fax us at 972-580-7823, or e-mail Colin V. French, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 BSA Foundation similarly serves as the foundation for Scouting's financial future - coast to coast and nation and nation. Find out more about it today.