Donor Opportunities

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 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.


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 one particular local council.

Other 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, 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 where the councils have not received adequate funding for them.


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 made it prohibitively expensive to do so.

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
  • Testamentary gift

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.


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.


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. 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:

  • Cash
  • Stock/Bonds/Marketable Securities
  • Mutual Fund/Retirement Plan designations
  • Real Estate (without mortgages or liens)
  • Tangible Personal Property
  • Life Insurance
  • 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). Your trust may be funded with any of the above assets, depending on the circumstances.


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). 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.  Foundation donors are also listed in the Foundation's Annual Report, unless otherwise requested.


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 call 800-BSA-INFO, fax us at 972-580-7823, or e-mail Colin V. French, Executive Director, at

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.