Encouraging gifts to BSA council endowment funds is one of Scouting’s highest priorities. It is one of the best ways to ensure that our council can continue to offer the outstanding programs it now has and also grow to meet the needs of the youth and communities it serves. As we approach our 100th anniversary we must plan for how we will support Scouting to keep it strong for the next 100 years. Please consider creating a legacy and making a gift or bequest to the Simon Kenton Council Endowment Fund.
In its gratitude for such support, the BSA offers three distinct endowment recognition awards. These awards are presented by the local council to donors who support Scouting’s financial future with council endowment gifts. Each Endowment opportunity is described below.
James E. West was the first Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, and he served in that position for more than three decades. The West Fellowship award is available for gifts of $1,000 and up in cash or marketable securities to a council endowment fund. The gift must be in addition to – and not replace or diminish – the donor’s annual Friends of Scouting support. Many individuals and corporations make these gifts either on behalf of someone else – such as in honor of an Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver recipient, a special accomplishment, or anniversary – or in memory of a special individual. If an institution is truly “the lengthened shadow of one man,” it is more than fitting that the BSA honor James E, West’s significant contributions to Scouting in such a significant way.
Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has grown into something larger and more significant than anyone anticipated. We honor that special date by presenting the 1910 Society award to donors who make gifts of $25,000 or more to their council endowments. These gifts can be in the form of cash, securities, land, five year pledges, or other property suitable for a council endowment fund or easily converted to cash. There are four levels of recognition in the 1910 Society that honor four very special individuals who shaped modern-day Scouting:
Ernest Thompson Seton, nationally known artist and naturalist, author of the first official American Scout handbook and many other books important to Scouting.
Seton Level membership: $25,000 minimum gift
Daniel Carter Beard, first chairman of the National Court of Honor, national Scout commissioner, and author of many well-known books and stories for youth.
Beard Level membership: $100,000 minimum gift
Theodore Roosevelt, first Chief Scout Citizen, first vice president of the BSA and President of the United States
Roosevelt Level membership: $500,000 minimum gift
Waite Phillips, one of the BSA’s first benefactors, and donor to the BSA of almost 130,000 acres of land in New Mexico which became Philmont Scout Ranch
Phillips Level membership: $1,000,000 and up
The newest level of endowment recognition, the Founders Circle, is intended to recognize deferred gifts designated for council endowment funds. With deferred giving (also called planned giving) so widely and effectively used by so many donors, the BSA wants to recognize the importance of such major gifts. Donors are recognized for gift commitments with a minimum value of $100,000. Unlike the other endowment recognition awards, a donor may qualify for membership with gifts made through:
- Charitable bequests in a will or codicil
- Charitable trusts, such as unitrusts, annuity trusts, and lead trusts
- BSA Gift Annuities or BSA Pooled Income Fund gifts
- Life Insurance/retirement plan designations
- Other deferred gifts approved by the local council
As with the 1910 Society, there are four levels of membership within the Founders Circle. They are:
- Bronze: $100,000 minimum gift commitment
- Silver: $250,000 minimum gift commitment
- Gold: $500,000 minimum gift commitment
- Platinum: $1,000,000 minimum gift commitment
The early founders of the BSA had the vision and commitment to make Scouting the number one youth organization in the world. In that spirit, we honor the modern-day visionaries who qualify for the Founders Circle in their commitment to perpetuate the visions and beliefs of those founders.