What Is Endowment?

Many people don’t know that the Blue Grass Council has an endowment fund. However, it’s one of the most important ways that Scouting is supported throughout central and Eastern Kentucky.

Endowment works to provide funds for Scouting in perpetuity. In the simplest terms, it accomplishes this by utilizing interest earned on the principal or amount that has been donated to the fund. The principal cannot be touched. For example, John and Jane Smith donate $10,000 in cash, stock, or securities to the endowment fund. If the current rate of interest is 10% per year, then up to $1,000 per year can be used for operations to provide Scouting for kids. Because the base amount ($10,000) cannot be touched, it can generate income for Scouting year after year after year.

A healthy endowment is critical to the council for providing a steady source of funding for a variety of purposes, including day-to-day operating expenses, hiring additional staff, and financing improvements to camp facilities. Endowment can also help a council weather tough economic times without having to cut back on services to youth.

And serving more youth is the ultimate goal.

How to Help Scouts through Endowment

The fun part about donating to endowment is that it can be done in a variety of ways and there is special recognition which accompanies every donation over $1,000 (unless a donor wishes to remain anonymous). What’s more, a donation can be made in another person’s name.

The James E. West Fellowship is an “entry level” endowment gift which begins at $1,000. This is a great way to make a difference in the lives of future generations of young people. Donors can give in their own name or use it to honor someone else: for example, giving in the name of a Scout for a remarkable achievement such as achieving Eagle, or honoring a parent or Scoutmaster for their dedication and loving care. Being a James E. West Fellow is a lifelong honor that includes a very handsome certificate with presentation folder as well as an award knot that can be worn on the Scout uniform above the left pocket. Payment of an endowment gift can also be made over multiple years. For the James E. West Fellowship, the amount can be split into two or three years. For example, a $2,500 gift could be split into two $1,250 payments over two years; a $6,000 gift could be spread out into three equal payments over three years.

Then there’s the Second Century Society. This level of giving has the greatest impact upon Scouting for generations to come and requires either an outright gift of $25,000 or a deferred gift of $100,000 or more. The gift doesn’t have to be in cash. It can be made in stock, securities, property, business interests, royalties, residuals, and a variety of other ways. Furthermore, gifts can be made over a five-year period. Any gift of $5,000 per year or more for five consecutive years is eligible. If you are considering what to place in your will, your financial adviser or an expert from the BSA National Foundation can give you guidance on how to support the future Scouting. When you decide to make a deferred gift to Scouting, it’s important to notify us. We have professionals who can assist with the process to insure that your intentions are properly noted and honored.

Endowment gifts should not replace regular and consistent giving to the annual Friends of Scouting campaign. Rather, they are to enhance and ensure the quality and delivery of the outdoor-based, character building program we appreciate so much for many years to come. Please consider Scouting in your will and estate planning and, if possible, please participate now as a James E. West Fellow or member of the Second Century Society by downloading the application form here and returning it to the Blue Grass Council service center. Or feel free to call (859) 231-7811.