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Endowment and the Heritage Society

Encouraging gifts to the endowment fund is one of Scouting's highest priorities.  It is one of the best ways to insure that the Gulf Coast Council can continue to offer the outstanding programs it now has long into the future and also grow to meet the needs of the youth and communities it serves.

The Heritage Society includes anyone who has made a gift to the Council's endowment fund at the James E. West level ($1,000) or above. Members enjoy exclusive benefits including invitations to Philmont and the Heritage Society Dinner.  Furthermore, it is a way for you to leave a legacy to Scouting.

Planned Giving

Most of us have heard of the term “endowment”, but what does it really mean?  An endowment is a fund held in perpetuity to provide interest and dividend earnings for the benefit of a charitable cause.  That is the textbook definition, but in reality an endowment is the life preserver of a charitable organization.  To be healthy and stable, the Gulf Coast Council needs to meet its current operating budget, without exerting 100% of its energy on fundraising.  Currently 4% of the operating budget is provided from investment income.  After all, our mission is not to raise funds, but rather to continue our strong movement and build a foundation that provides our youth with a quality, values-based program.

In its gratitude for such support, the Boy Scouts of America nationally offers three distinct endowment recognition awards which are all a part of the Heritage Society.  The Gulf Coast Council presents these awards to donors who support Scouting's financial future through gifts to the endowment.  For more information or to make a gift to the endowment fund, please contact Spencer Page at 850-476-6336 or

Endowment Recognition & Societies Applications

The James E. West Fellowship

This award is named after James E. West who was the first Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America.  Dr. West exemplified Ralph Waldo Emerson's observation that "an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man."  Scouting today is the "lengthened shadow" of more than three decades of the farseeing and dedicated leadership of Dr. James E. West.  Those who are recognized by the James E. West Fellowship Award will cast their own "lengthened shadow" as they help ensure the Scouting legacy for future generations of young people and create the financial stability of the program for the Gulf Coast Council.
The James E. West Fellowship Award is a national recognition for individuals who contribute $1,000 or more in cash or marketable securities to the Council's Endowment Trust Fund.  This gift must be in addition to and not replace or diminish the donor's annual Friends of Scouting support.  Many individuals and organizations make these gifts on behalf of someone else such as in honor of an Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver recipient, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, a retirement, a special accomplishment, or anniversary or in memory of a special individual.

The James E. West Fellowship Award is recognized with a personalized certificate.  In addition, a distinctive lapel pin and an exclusive knot for the uniform are presented at a special recognition program.  The recipient will also be included in special Gulf Coast Council events and mailings in the future. 


The 1910 Society

The 1910 Society was named in recognition of the year in which the visionary early leaders founded the Boy Scouts of America, which was patterned after the Scouting program developed in England by Sir Baden-Powell.  Those who make a gift now to further endow Scouting are themselves modern-day visionaries.  It is appropriate, therefore, that these visionaries be recognized as they help ensure the Scouting legacy for future generations of young Americans by securing the financial stability of the Boy Scout programs in the Gulf Coast Council into the future.      

As these individuals helped to ensure the Scouting legacy for future generations there is a call today for new visionary leaders to do the same.  To qualify, an individual, company or an organization must contribute $25,000 or more to the Endowment Fund.  These gifts can be in the form of cash, securities, land, five-year pledges, or other property that is easily converted to cash. 

Members of the 1910 Society will receive a personalized leather bound edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, a distinctive lapel pin, a knot for their uniform, and a personalized certificate.  A device on the lapel pin and knot will distinguish the level of giving.  The recipient will also be included in special Gulf Coast Council events and mailings.  The names selected for the recognition levels of the 1910 Society were drawn from those early founders.
  • Seton Level: $25,000 minimum gift - Ernest Thompson Seton, nationally known artist and naturalist, author of the first official American Scout handbook and many other books important to Scouting;
  • Beard Level: $100,000 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.
  • Roosevelt Level: $500,000 minimum gift - Theodore Roosevelt, first Chief Scout Citizen, first Vice President of the Boy Scouts of America, and U.S. President.
  • Phillips Level: $1,000,000 minimum gift - Waite Phillips, one of the Boy Scouts’ first benefactors, and donor to the Boy Scouts of almost 130,000 acres of land in New Mexico which became Philmont Scout Ranch.

The Founders Circle

The newest level of endowment recognition, the Founders Circle is intended to recognize deferred gifts designated for the Gulf Coast Council Endowment Fund.  The Boy Scouts of America wants to recognize the importance of such major gifts so widely and effectively used by many donors.  

The early founders of the Boy Scouts had the vision and commitment to make Scouting the number one youth organization in the world.  In that spirit, we honor the modern-day visionaries who qualify for the Founders Circle in their commitment to perpetuate the visions and beliefs of those founders.


Donors are recognized for gift commitments with a minimum value of $100,000.  Unlike the other endowment 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
Members of the Founders Circle will receive a personalized leather-bound edition of the Boy Scout Handbook.  In addition, they will receive a distinctive lapel pin, uniform knot, and personalized parchment certificate.  The recipient will also be included in special Gulf Coast Council events and mailings in the future.  As with the 1910 Society, there are four levels of membership within the Founders Circle. They are:
  • 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


Contact Us

Gulf Coast Council
9440 University Pkwy
Pensacola, FL 32514
850-476-6336 phone

©2012-2014 Boy Scouts of America
Gulf Coast Council

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