Last Modified: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:16 AM
The Boy Scouts of America Calcasieu Area Council was allocated $32,549 from United Way of Southwest Louisiana — a funding reduction of $88,451 for 2013. Last year, the group received $121,000, or 19.8 percent, of its $611,000 annual operating budget.
But the Boy Scouts will receive almost $41,000 because United Way allows for designations by donors. The group will get the higher of the two numbers, said Denise Durel, local United Way president and CEO.
In 2000, the national initiative of the United Way was to modify its procedures for fund distribution. The model, called the Community Impact Business Model, is based on funding programs that achieve “measurable results,” concentrating on assisting programs that provide opportunities for at-risk children and adults. And this year, the United Way adopted this model.
When defining “at-risk,” United Way “looks at indicators of potential barriers relating to education, income and health,” the local United Way documented.
The Calcasieu Area Council board is “deeply disappointed by the decision” of the local United Way “to radically reduce funding for Scouting in Southwest Louisiana,” said Council President Tom Price.
The council requested $121,000 again this year.
Price said the Boy Scouts showed United Way that more than 25 percent of the youth in Scouting meet United Way’s new definition of “at-risk,” while the reduced funding amount represents only 5 percent of the council’s budget.
But Durel said it’s required that the program be one of United Way’s focus areas, and the Boy Scouts indicated that they were only able to present those for a specific Boy Scout group of children ages 11-18. The group’s focus with the money would be on boys transitioning out of middle school successfully — one of the education goals of United Way.
Therefore, based on their request the only Boy Scouts considered were that age range, she said.
“We were only able to review what was in his proposal,” she said. “The Boy Scouts’ calculations were not matching what was written.”
Five proposals were submitted January-May.
“You have got to be able to tie (the funding) to a core problem,” Durel said. “We are trying to be in line in making sure our donors are getting their return on investment.”
“Despite what United Way claims publicly, the facts are simple,” Price said.
Three years ago, under new management, United Way cut $67,000 in funding to Scouting, he said. “Now, United Way is cutting an additional $88,000,” he said. “The council board believes these actions clearly demonstrate United Way’s perception of the value of Scouting to Southwest Louisiana.”
Durel said the United Way supports the Boy Scouts in its mission and the “wonderful things they bring to the community.”
“Our desire is that every child has the opportunity to be a Scout, especially when their family cannot afford to do so,” Durel said.
All 35 agencies asking for funding must complete an application that details how the funds will be spent as well as program goals. A total of 75 volunteers throughout the region were involved in the decision.
Price said the total loss of income of more than $155,000 from United Way to the council’s budget will “present an enormous challenge to providing the Scouting program, but Scouting will continue in Southwest Louisiana.”
“The council board must now decide what actions are appropriate given this loss of support from United Way,” Price said. “I can only hope that the public of Southwest Louisiana will respond to this defunding with their direct support. The youth of our area need Scouting, and I ask everyone to keep the council in their prayers as we try to overcome this unfortunate turn in events.”
The reduction in funding will begin in July.
Posted By: Lynn On: 6/20/2013
Title: Stay strong United Way
Both of my boys are scouts. Boy scouts have never once offered any type of financial assistance and they never had paid for anything related to my kids in scouting. I am a single mother on a fixed income and have paid for member fees, scouting uniforms, books, outings, camping trips, etc. I have never asked for a handout no matter what struggles I may have.
It is obvious that Boy Scouts are using United Way funding to fluff their budget. The Boy Scouts Organization should have been able to tie their funding to meet the at risk youth but did not meet that requirement after 5 proposals. Questions were asked by the A&R panel which were not clearly answered by the Boy Scout Organization. So the blame should lie with the Boy Scouts organization.
I think that the individuals who believe all the negative comments by the Boy Scouts should volunteer to sit on the Allocations and Review Panel with United Way. Maybe then they would understand why such a cut was necessary.
Stay strong United Way!!! I understand your decision and stand behind it. I rather my money go to the at risk youth!!!!
Posted By: Tom On: 6/20/2013
Title: Defunded by Mandate
Shame on you UW.