Last Modified: Friday, July 12, 2013 4:55 PM
Unfortunate may be the best description of the parting of the ways by the United Way of Southwest Louisiana and the Boy Scouts of America-Calcasieu Area Council.
After haggling for several months over the United Way’s funding of the local Boy Scouts council, the Scouts Executive Board voted unanimously to cut its ties with United Way.
It was a messy, public divorce.
At issue for both agencies was determining how much funding the Boy Scouts Council would be allocated by United Way.
The United Way of Southwest Louisiana adopted the national United Way Community Impact Business Model that bases program funding on how a particular agency serves at-risk children and adults.
After give-and-take and several revisions to their fiscal request, the Boy Scouts Council submitted information and a request for $121,000 for 2013. The dilemma for the Boy Scouts was providing an accurate baseline figure that was requested by the United Way for an at-risk population that has traditionally not been served, nor shown any particular interest in the Boys Scouts of America.
Based on the Business Model and information provided by the local BSA Council, the United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s Allocation and Review Committee decided to fund $32,549, a decision that was supported by the United Way’s Board of Directors. However, since United Way donors had designated almost $41,000 to go to the local Boy Scouts Council, United Way honored those requests and agreed to fund the BSA at that level.
Faced with a 200 percent reduction it its request, the BSA Calcasieu Area Council board voted unanimously to strike out on its own. That decision will give the local council the flexibility to raise money on its own during the United Way’s fundraising campaign, when member agencies are forbidden to sponsor any fundraising events.
In parting, spokespersons for both the United Way of Southwest Louisiana and the Boy Scouts of America Calcasieu Area Council took the high road, wishing the other organization well in their future endeavors.
We hope this episode doesn’t besmirch the reputation of either agency, nor close the door on future collaboration between the two. Both the United Way of Southwest Louisiana and the Boy Scouts of America Calcasieu Area Council are valued assets in our area, making huge impacts on thousands of residents.
Our desire is that both agencies put this chapter behind them and that they will continue to provide vital services that improve the quality of life for Southwest Louisiana residents.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
Posted By: Tommy On: 7/24/2013
There are many other "restrictions" which a member agency of UW must comply with. Hopefully, now the Boy Scouts can focus on their mission to menitor youth into leaders in our community without mandates and interference from UW.
Funding is not an appropriate means by which an outside organization can mandate their mission on to Scouting in SWLA.