Encouraging major gifts to BSA local councils is one of Scouting’s highest priorities. It is one of the best ways to ensure that your 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. In gratitude for such support, the BSA nationally offers three distinct recognition awards. These awards are presented by the local council to donors who support Scouting’s financial needs with gifts to their local council.
Exclusively for Gifts to Endowment 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 retirement, 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 major contributions to Scouting in such a significant way.
The 1910 Society
For Gifts to Operating, Capital and/or Endowment Funds Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has grown into something larger and more significant than anyone anticipated. We honor that special year by presenting the 1910 Society award to donors who make gifts of $25,000 or more to their council. 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. Recognition in the 1910 Society honors 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: $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: $100,000 minimum gift
Theodore Roosevelt, first Chief Scout Citizen, first vice president of the BSA, and U.S. president; Roosevelt Level: $500,000 minimum gift 4. 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: $1,000,000 minimum gift Phillips Silver Level: $5,000,000 minimum gift Phillips Gold Level: $10,000,000 minimum gift.
The Founders Circle
For Gifts to Operating, Capital, and/or Endowment Funds The Founders Circle is intended to recognize deferred gifts designated for council operating, capital, or endowment funds or unrestricted gifts to the council operating fund. 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 of $100,000 or more. Unlike the other major gift 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
There are four levels of membership within the Founders Circle:
• 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 No. 1 youth organization in the world. In that spirit, we honor the modern-day visionaries who qualify for the Founders Circle by their commitment to perpetuate the visions and beliefs of those founders.