BSA Finance

The Greater Alabama Council is a 501c3 Non-profit organization and contributions are tax deductable to the full extent of the law.

Scouting makes a direct and positive impact on your community by teaching positive values and leadership skills to youth. Your individual investment in your community through your gift to Scouting will be multiplied to benefit thousands of youth who are members or participate in Scouting throughout the twenty-two counties served by the Greater Alabama Council, Boy Scouts of America. Join the individuals, corporations, and foundations who support Scouting's mission.

Council Finances

The Greater Alabama Council adheres to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) guidelines as the assets and liabilities of the Council are reported in the following self-balancing fund groups.
The Operating Fund holds day-to-day program operations resources. This fund includes restricted and unrestricted resources, representing expendable funds available for support of the Council’s programs and general operations.
The fund that holds all assets and liabilities with a life expectancy of over one year is the Capital Fund. This fund consists of net investments in fixed assets plus resources if restricted by the donor to be used for fixed asset purchases or additions.
The Endowment Fund represents resources that are subject to restrictions of gift instruments which require in perpetuity that the principle be invested and only the income from the investments be used. It is the Board of Director’s intention that these resources provide long-term stability and growth of the fund. To meet future program needs our Endowment Fund needs $20,000,000.
Local Scouting units and volunteers are supported by the Greater Alabama Council.
 
Annual charter and organization
Annually the local Scouting program charters all active Scout units working with the chartered partner on the leader selection process and program evaluation – Scouting units cannot be active and carry out the complete Scouting program without an annual charter from the local council. All Scouting units originally were organized with the support and help of the local council. Commissioner staffs (volunteers) are organized by council staff and volunteers to assist in the membership and service opportunities
 
Membership / Youth Impact
The local district and council organizes membership roundup meetings (School Night for Scouting) inviting all Scouting units to participate and register new members. The local council maintains relationships with the local school system during the year for the benefit of the local Scouting units – there are more than 300 schools in the council. All costs of the membership campaigns are absorbed by the local council through its operating budget. Special marketing campaigns are developed for membership recruitment (Hooked on Scouting, etc.) and special membership chairs are secured to give Scouting a high profile position in the community.
 
Training and daily support
Year round training is available to all Scout volunteers and Scout units from the council at no charge to volunteers. Monthly roundtables are organized by the local commissioners and district committees serving units and training volunteers. Both council service centers have 1-800 phone lines to provide free service to the large rural area in the council. Executive staff serving all areas of the council are available on a day-to-day basis for all Scout units. Specific assistance (scholarships) is available to Scouts in need, this includes support for registration, uniforms, etc.
 
Activities, Properties and Camp Operations
Scout units have a wide variety of activities for all ages throughout the year organized by the local council. Five camp properties are maintained by the local council for all units to utilize at no charge for basic camp usage (these properties have campsites, hot water showers, shelters and other buildings for program support). Rangers/Caretakers are provided at camp properties to serve the Scout units. Two summers camp operation are organized by the local council for Scout troops as well as operations for Cub Scouts and Webelos. Many Cub Scout Day Camps are organized around the entire council for youth members to enjoy. Costs of the local Scouting activities are much lower than other like youth programs in the community and the local summer camp costs are kept low compared to like Boy Scout camps. National BSA activities and outdoor programs are also made available to local Scouts through the local council. Camperships and money-earning opportunities are available for all youth who cannot pay the camping fee – no youth member has been denied a campership for a lack of personal financing. All long-term camping operations meet the strict Boy Scout Camping Standards and have a certified medic to provide medical support to the campers.
 
Scout Shops are located in each of the two council service centers – a large inventory of items are available in the Scout Shops –special sale campaigns are organized helping Scouters save money on Scout items – Scout Shops are also available at summer camps
 
Insurance, Risk Management, Youth Protection Support and Dealing with the Media
The local council provides liability insurance for all Scout units and registered leaders. A Council wide accident and sickness policy covers all Scouts and registered leaders in the case of accidents or sickness. Youth Protection Training is available at no charge and a committee of staff and volunteers assists Scouting units in this area. Risk Management training and support is also available to all Scout units and volunteers – the Guide to Safe Scouting is available on the council’s webpage for all to utilize.
 
Input on Scouting Operations
Annual Fireside Chats are available for volunteers to give input on the council operations. Other Input Committees or “Think Tanks” are organized asking volunteers for ideas on their needs. Surveys are given to Scout volunteers at camp and other activities for their input. All comments and letters are shared with committees to review and take action.
 
Records and documentation
Rank advancement and attendance records for activities are kept by the council. A full library of training materials and Boy Scout videos is kept in council service centers and a limited amount of resource material at the camps.
 
Other services
A Council webpage and Digital Eagle provide weekly council e-update available by registering one’s e-mail address. E-mail service to the staff for better opportunities to communicate. Eagle Scout Award kits are provided to all Eagle Scouts at no charge (value of $24.95 per kit). The local council tour permit policy was developed to be easy on the local Scout units and volunteers. The local council was realigned in 1999 saving money by being more efficient, yet providing service to all areas of the 22-county council.
 
Popcorn Sale
The Greater Alabama Council organizes an annual fund raiser for all units (Popcorn) in which the council absorbs all liability and costs of the fund raising effort.
 
Budget Building
The Council operating budget is derived from recommendations by the Council’s strategic and long-range plan. Volunteers from different committees and the Executive Board work with the staff team to build a budget that meets the community needs outlined in the strategic plan. Each year a preliminary budget is finalized and presented at the annual business meeting for approval.
Although our Council achieves its mission through a variety of programs; all camps, offices, computer systems and facilities support all our programs. Our employees work with multiple programs and provide support for Scouting services in the following twenty-two counties served by 14 United Ways and two United Giver Funds: Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Limestone, Lawrence, Morgan, Madison, Jackson, Marshall, Cullman, Blount, DeKalb, Cherokee, Etowah, Jefferson, St. Clair, Calhoun, Cleborne, Shelby, Talladega, Clay and Randolph.   
Friends of Scouting & Other Funding Sources
To sustain a healthy Boy Scout Council and deliver quality Scouting programs to youth, three fundamental pillars of Scouting must be sustained and increased: operating income, capital income, and endowment income. Historically, contributions have been an integral part of Scouting. Today, the Boy Scouts of America maintains the principle of adult contributions to help provide the support of units by the local council. This plan encourages the opportunity for Scout parents, Scouters, Corporations and “Friends of Scouting” to share in the financial needs of the Council. Other funding sources that contribute to the operating income of the Greater Alabama Council include camp fees, activity fees, and the sale of products…each is generated through youth participation and based on unit and activity budgets. Friends of Scouting is an annual fund drive to secure support for our annual operating expenses.

Friends of Scouting
Giving Levels
 
  American Eagle                 $7,500 & up
       Eagles Nest                        $2,500-$7,499
       Gold Eagle                          $1,000-$2,499
Silver Eagle                        $500-$999
Leadership                         $250-$499
 

 
 
 
 
 

Endowment Giving Options

The Greater Alabama Council maintains a Trust fund where income from the Trust is used to support Scouting’s mission. The following are a few ways to invest in the future of our youth through Scouting.
                                A Gift of Cash                                    A Charitable Gift Trust
                                A Gift of Stock                                   A Bequest in my Will
                                A Gift of Life Insurance                 A Pooled Income Gift
                                A Gift of Real Estate                       A Retirement Plan Designation
                                A BSA Gift Annuity                          Donor Advised Fund
To make an online contribution go to the Donations gadget on our web-site and follow the prompts.
 
For more information
If you would like to find out more about the BSA giving programs contact:
Kenneth Cunningham, Finance Director at (205) 969-4258 or kcunningham@1bsa.org.