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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

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Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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Boy Scouts of America Chief Executive Makes $249,000 Year

July 25, 2005

Charity Navigator is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that evaluates charitable organizations on a financial basis using information found in IRS Form 990. All charities must file this detailed financial disclosure
form each year in order to retain their "charity" status with the IRS. Once filed, the information is available to the public. Charity Navigator ( gives the BSA a "two star" rating, indicating that it "needs improvement." (For reference "one star" indicates "poor," and "four stars" indicates "exceptional.") In comparison, the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. gets "four stars" from the Navigator. In the judgment of the Navigator, the Girl Scouts would be a much better choice for "charitable giving" than the BSA would be unless the BSA shows substantial improvement.

The Navigator considers organizational performance in two categories. The first is organizational efficiency. This criterion reflects how well an organization utilizes its income. The BSA does well in this category,
getting a score of 31.68 (35 is perfect). This is primarily because the BSA does a good job of using its income to support its program. 91.4% of its income in 2003 (last year for which data is available) supported the program. 7.5% of the income supported "administrative costs." The remaining 1.5% went for "fund raising."

The second performance category is organizational capacity. This criterion reflects how well an organization is projected to be able to sustain its efforts. The BSA does miserably in this category, getting a score of 16.17 (35 is perfect). The Navigator evaluates three factors in assessing organizational capacity. The first is 'revenue growth.' The net revenue for the BSA has been declining steadily over the 2001-2003 time period. Consequently, the BSA gets a low score for 'revenue growth.' The second factor is 'expense growth.' Expenses have increased relative to income over the 2001-2003 time period. As a result, the 'expense
growth' factor is actually negative. The third factor is 'working capital ratio.' This is a measure of how many years an organization could sustain its activities if it were forced to 'live off' its liquid assets and working capital. The Navigator judges that the BSA could "live" no longer than 2.95 years by "eating itself."

The Navigator analysis output gives a summary of income and expense for each year in the period of 200 - 2003. The BSA have consistently run "in the red" every year, with deficits ranging from $19.4M in 2000 to $50.7M in 2003. The Navigator also notes that our Chief Scouting Executive lives pretty well, receiving a total compensation of more than $444,000/year.

Navigator analyses are available for 18 local Councils as well. Few did any better than receiving a "two star" rating.

The Navigator analysis of the Girl Scouts gives them a "four star" rating. They rate slightly higher than the BSA in organizational efficiency but substantially higher in organizational capacity. By the way, their Chief Executive makes do on $249,000/year.

Larry Sherman
Scouting for All Member




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