Boy Scouts Indicate Funding Remains Alive and Well

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

( - The Supreme Court's decision last week in favor of the Boy Scouts of America has prompted questions concerning future funding of this private organization. But the national spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, Greg Shields, doesn't believe the decision will have an adverse effect on the organization.

He pointed out that "this is not a new case" but has been going on for a number of years. He said that, "In the last several years, we've had significantly increasing membership, the best membership increases we've seen since the baby boom. We take that as a sign of support for our positions."

Not only does Shields not expect a drop in membership, but he also feels there will be no loss of funding. "The people who support (us) have continued to support us, and those who choose not to support us have done so for many years. I don't think it's going to change a whole lot."

The BSA is primarily funded from membership dues. However, it does receive contributions from charitable- and youth-oriented foundations. One of the largest outside donors to the organization is the United Way.

Anthony DeChristofaro, Vice-President of Marketing and Communications for the United Way, has said that there will be no current change in donations to the BSA by his organization.

The United Way contributes over 83 million dollars each year to the BSA. DeChristofaro said, "It (the Supreme Court decision) would've probably had more effect if they (the BSA) had been ruled to be doing something illegal."

Ultimately, though, the decision does not rest with the national headquarters for the United Way but with the 1400 local autonomous United Ways across America.

Mr DeChristofaro said, "The real issue does the United Way set its local funding policies from community to community. There's no national policy...the United Way is a membership organization, so we do not set policies for local United Ways except in the very broadest terms."

He did say the general counsel for The United Way will be meeting with outside legal advisors to discuss the Supreme Court decision and to provide analysis for members "so they can decide what course of action they need to have locally as they move forward."

The national headquarters surveys local United Ways every five years to determine funding patterns. They will be conducting a survey again this year.

There are currently seven local United Ways that refuse to contribute to the Boy Scouts of America because of the organization's ban on openly homosexual troop members or scout leaders.