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Boy Scouts Of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Boy Scouts of America, Children & Youth

Mission: As stated in the boy scouts of america charter - the exempt purpose of the boy scouts of america is to promote through community organizations, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are now in common use by boy scouts.

Programs: Field operations - support for 280 local councils, including but not limited to, administration of the journey to excellence program, business process assessments, assistance with long range planning, member care services for professionals and volunteers and local council and regional support.

human resources and training - administration of human resources policies, including recruiting, placement, and training of professional employees, managing compensation and benefits programs; and monitoring employee relations.

program development and delivery - development of the program for over 2. 3 million registered youth and over 950,000 adult leaders; providing camping and outdoor literature, materials, and techniques, as well as engineering service, to local councils; managing the volunteer training programs of the boy scouts of america and handling all national program support in the areas of health and safety, activities, program evaluation, and low-income program; developing uniforms and insignia and other program elements; operating the national scouting museum; operating four high-adventure bases and the national jamboree.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 4

Scouting, and BSA in particular, holds a unique, honored place in the US. Scouting is essential to developing youth character, reliable adults, and our future leaders. By far, BSA runs on local volunteers... there are ~hundreds of unpaid adult leaders for every paid adult. By contributing to BSA at the national level, donors keep the freight-train rolling along providing continuity as volunteers come and go every year and enable adventures only a nation-wide organization can provide. Over the decades I've donated thousands of hours and dollars to this fine group - mostly locally but also at higher levels. Like all groups in the USA trying to serve millions of diverse persons, BSA has had it lumps over the last hundreds of years... but also many great achievements. Other than other nation-level Scouting organizations, I know of no other non-school groups that benefit our youth more.
- K Sweere, Eagle '89, Cubmaster '10-15, Plast parent, Troop Committee Member '14-??

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I've heard plenty of people complain about the money that professionals in the BSA make and state they are way overpaid. I would like to shed some light on this topic and how this is an incorrect view! First of all, I left the organization a little over 7 years ago as a professional. Why? HORRIBLE PAY!! If I was still there today, I might be making between 60-80k. Contrast this to what I really make now. 400K PLUS. That's right, you heard me. I'm making almost half a million dollars a year 7 years later. Why do I say this? The skills, the hard work, and the nature of the very profession is extremely demanding. The dedication, hours, and pure hard work it takes to be a scouting professional is so vastly underpaid compared to the corporate world of starting one's own business. The problem is the general public and more specifically the volunteers (many who lack promotability in their own careers) hate to hear that fundraising dollars go to paying salaries. All organizations, including non-profits must strive to operate at net not a loss in revenue. There are no share holders making money here. Just professionals that are grossly underpaid. A CEO of a 3000 person company would be making over a million dollars a year. When you add the volunteers, the professionals and all the obligations and responsibilities of leading a council or the national organization the pay is actually pathetic! It should be way more. I'm amazed many professionals stay as long as they could. Their skills are in demand in the world and they are so equipped to start making a 100k a year within a short time simply by leaving the profession! Anyone arguing with the pay they make simply has no clue as to the reality of what these dedicated professionals can truly make out there in business!

How do I know? I left, and I'm glad I did as now i'm so much better off financially! The constant demands for membership, growth and fundraising were inconsistent with the 36-40k pay they were giving. Did you know that a kid with no college education, a few years out of high school and similar drive can make 150k selling Trucks at a truck dealership? I bet not! Think about it before you bash the professionals for being overpaid!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 1

The Boy Scouts of America is a wonderful organization that inspires thousands of young men and women to "do their best" and contribute to society by upholding a standard of public service and personal integrity. However, BSA policy discrimination against gay Scouts and employees is hurting the organization through loss of corporate sponsorships, reduced ability to recruit new members, disaffection of many current and former Scouts and volunteers, and loss of access to various public facilities. Most Americans, and in particular most young men and women, find it repugnant to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. The BSA is teaching our next generation of leaders that stigmatizing their peers on the basis of sexual orientation is acceptable. Before donating to the BSA, funders might want to ask themselves if they want to support an organization that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and what kind of message that sends to their stakeholders.

On a personal note, I have been a volunteer with Boy Scouts of America for over 10 years. I also have to agree with other reviewers that their Executives are extraordinarily well paid, particularly for an organization that is a non-profit. I'm not sure how they justify that.

Client Served

Rating: 5

An amazing organization that functions predominately through dedicated volunteers at the local level. The Boy Scouts of America, for more than 100 years, has, and continues to show a strong track record of living and teaching their core values, as well as enriching lives and communities throughout the country.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have the claim "Alas, the Boy Scouts violate American values and model bigotry, hate and hypocrisy. They do not honor their own Scout Oath: "To do my duty to .... my country" and "To help other people at all times". They do not honor American ideals of freedom and equality regardless of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, age, or sexual orientation.” Blah, blah, blah. This is an outright lie by a selfish self-absorbed person who thinks his personal tastes should dictate Boy Scout policy. First he starts off by misrepresenting the Boy Scout oath, “To do my duty to God and my country.” Remember God, the one with absolute - instead of (corrupted society adapted) relative moral standards? Tim didn’t. But then, misrepresentation is the key of liberalism.

Forgetting that the libelous review above is actually completely focused on the Scouts taking a moral position against gay sex, supposedly another group discrimination category is “sex”. What part of “Boy” in “Boy Scouts” is Tim unable to understand? “Race, color, national origin, ancestry” - exactly how redundant do you one need to get with false accusations, Tim? “Marital Status”??? How many children do you know that are married, Tim? “Age”? You can become a scout master when you get too old for the scouts. Apparently Tim doesn’t feel there’s been enough molestation cases without open homosexuality being allowed that he feels more should be allowed to occur through a policy change.
For the homosexual movement to try to hijack the civil rights movement is reprehensible. Being a "color" was never a moral issue. Homosexuality and promiscuity and murder and *** are all "moral issues". The homosexual "agenda" to minimize the natural order of human relationships are deceptive at worst and diabolical at best.
Even homosexual researcher Simon LeVay, (who studied the hypothalamic differences between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men) noted: "It's important to stress what I didn't find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn't show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain."
Equally telling is the fact that Dr. Robert Spitzer led the politically motivated fight in 1973 to remove homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual of mental disorders, because he was under the impression that sexual orientation could not be changed. In May, 2001, Spitzer, a professor of psychiatry at Colombia University, presented his study of 200 former homosexuals at the annual meeting of the APA. He is now convinced that he was wrong: some people can and do change their homosexual orientation.

His feelings are supported by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a clinical psychologist in practice for 15 years, who states homosexuality is "a treatable developmental disorder."
Celebrated disorders do not deserve pandering.

Panama S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a very dedicated member for over 24 years. I was given/earned the District Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver Award. In the O/A the awarded me the Vigil Honor. I loved the scouting program but a certain CFC Council Executive and a certain school board member, their spouse, and their friend ended my career with their lies. My membership was ended and I didn't have a chance to confront the lies. I sent a rebuttal to Regional, from whence the CFC Executive came, and National but they didn't even look at the almost 40 letters of commendation that I sent. The BSA is no place for adults to play politics. I also agree that the CFC Exce being paid $232,000 annually and the top man being paid $3 million a year is out of line. That money should be spent on assisting the youth to develope into young men of character. The politics, lies, and over the top salaries do not have a place in scouting. I was honored to work with so many young people, 15 of which gave me their Eagle Mentor pin for assisting them along their Trail to Eagle. I did everything that was asked of me even taking the National Youth Leadership Training annual training on with only 5 months to plan it and put it together with no assistance from CFC. One day the lies of these people will be found out.

Review from CharityNavigator

2 Tom J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Understand that the BSA reflects American Society; and one needs to recognize that time will gradually change the BSA. I have been a member for over 47 years; and while it;s not perfect, what organization is?BSA donated millions of dollars in service work to your community;in spite of the criticism of a few. The raised over a $1 Billion dollars in WW Bonds, taught "environmentalism" way back in the 1930's & 40's with recycling, and gave over 50 million boys outdoor opportunities to become successful men. Today they do the same. The program and values are delivered by your troop or cub pack level. Believe me, the local professional staff is NOT over paid, by any stretch. They put in 60-80 hour weeks,and are supportive. The BSA does not discriminate against sexual identity in its youth members; their standards are set about avowed public proclamation of ADULTS WHO are set on telling the world their sexual preference. Sexual preference is simply not a part of Scouting; and has been all along.

Tim Oey

Client Served

Rating: 1

Alas, the Boy Scouts violate American values and model bigotry, hate and hypocrisy. They do not honor their own Scout Oath: "To do my duty to .... my country" and "To help other people at all times". They do not honor American ideals of freedom and equality regardless of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, age, or sexual orientation. The rest of the US has grown up but the Boy Scouts have not and now would be more aptly named the Bigot Scouts.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I would really like them to explain their million dollar salaries for thier top exec and board members. This has to be one of Americas biggest scams, and it doesn't matter how much good the do. 1.6 million in 2009, for the top exec., how much is he earning today. He have to stop all these organizations the are makeing themself rich with our kids.

Review from CharityNavigator

2 Jennifer2345678910111213141516

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

They discriminate against children, and are a Mormon run organization, but receive federal funding. I have two children and would never let them join this evil organization. They should have to abide by federal discrimination laws if they are receiving federal funding.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After reading some comments I feel like people don't have as much awareness of Scouting as they seem to think. Being someone who's been through the Scouting program all they way through my Eagle, serving on Camp Staff for a number of years including presently where I'm the Program Director, serving as an Adult Leader, serving as Lodge Chief and a standing member of the Executive Committee and Council Committee, I see some people as simply naive.

First off is the popcorn. Yes, this is a bit pricey but only 1/3 of the money goes back to the vendor. 1/3 goes to the sellers home Council directly to be used for Scouting in that area. The other 1/3 goes to the sellers unit (Troop, Pack, Crew, etc) and most of those give that money back to the Boy to help him pay for Camping or in lieu of dues which otherwise would be expensive.

Secondly, as someone who works on Camp Staff, the money isn't all that great. This past summer I made less than $250 A WEEK. Consider the fact that I am on clock 24 hours a day while doing that job from noon Sunday to noon Saturday. With minimum wage at $7.25 and all the overtime, my weekly pay should be more like $1418.40. Again that is at minimum wage, and I was the second highest paid staff member with less than $250 a week.

This translates to the Executives. While they do get paid a high salary, take into account the amount of work they do. Yes, they are on the clock 8-5 like almost every other working person but their job isn't done at 5. They spend countless nights and weekends doing their job on volunteer time, so much of their pay is really covering those extra hours that most people wouldn't put in for their job without getting some extra compensation.

Additionally, the amount an Executive makes will depend on their Council. A smaller council will not pay their Executive the same as a large one, nor will the large ones pay the same as the National Executive. With this in mind, I'm not saying that the pay some Executives get is reasonable, just saying that some people need to look a bit more into the details in order to see clearly.

My last point is all the bad rep stories about the Boy Scouts. We are an organization of MANY leaders in order to work. While background checks are conducted, it is entirely possible that people slip through that shouldn't. When one person makes a mistake it makes national headlines but rarely do all the good works of the Boy Scouts get major attention. In fact, the last major story about Boy Scouts doing good came after a tornado struck a camp and the Boys used what they were taught to save numerous lives. Like any organization, people make mistakes, focus on the good not the bad for once, especially with an organization like this where the amount of good that is done well outweighs the few bads that are done.

Volunteer

Rating: 2

Great organization, but expensive to be in, and now I see why. The popcorn sales are ridiculously overpriced and the executives grossly overpaid.

But the program is great. It gives young men what they need to stay focused on what's important in life. It all comes down to the quality of the local leaders and if they can follow the program and care about the boys. You're dealing with youth, and there are some mistakes.

Review from CharityNavigator

motleytwins

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I have been a Volunteer Scout Leader for the past eleven (11) years and believe strongly in the principles and values that Scouting teaches our young men. Over the past 11 years, I have donated thousands of hours of my time and tens of thousands of dollars to our Troop, District, and Council, which brings me to my primary concern. The Scouting Executives at the National Level and Council Level are highly overpaid and every dollar that is going to them is a dollar that could benefit a young boy. With the number of retired executives in this country that have the expertise to run an organization of this magnitude, I find it hard to believe the we can't find an all-volunteer group of executives to run BSA in a manner that exemplifies "A Scout is Thrifty". There are many executives in our great nation who have the personal resources to run their organizations without a salary, simply for their love of the organization. I would suggest a nationwide search for a wealthy retired executive who could run the BSA and keep the funding focused on the Scouts.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 1

overpaid executive. I think that if people actually took the time to review the tax return they would think twice about donating to the Boy Scouts of America. I personally will never give another penny to these scam artists. They should take a page from " A SCOUT IS THRIFTY ".

Review from Guidestar

3

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Page 252 of Form 990 Roy Williams. Makes you think twice about donating to Friends of Scouting Fund. more like friends of Roy!

12

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Compensation is outrageously high for the 5 top executives of this nonprofit organization. I have three sons who have gone through the scouting program and have always been a strong supporter of the boy scouts and their mission statement. I am disappointed to find out the board approved of these high salaries and compensation packages. The board members who approved these compensation packages should resign.

24

Volunteer

Rating: 1

The US Government ought to investigate the boy scouts as they are wall st. employees. The 2007 Form 990 lists the Chief Scout Executive, Roy Williams, with a $1,531,248 annual salary PLUS $2,396,513 in deferred compensation. Over $3.9 Million for the head of this organization and we have to sell popcorn to support our scouts. This seems like a crime.