The “Thing” with Donations

This comes up every so often about whether or the Pack can accept direct donations.  The short answer is No; it’s not lined up with the philosophy of “Paying your own way.”  See page 2 of 2 and the “Some Important Points” section of the linked BSA document for the official guidance.  More in-depth answering is listed below.

If no, what can I do?


Pack 735 & any unit for that matter will always welcome Adult Help that’s offered.  We take the view that “Many hands make light work.” Furthermore, helping does not need to be tan shirt leading.   We will need enough “day of” & event planning help to carry out our unit programming.   Refer to Volunteering Sign Ups for current areas that we could use help with.

2) Indirectly Help 735: Council Donation

It is possible to make a donor-directed gift to the local council and specify what your donation should be directed to.  The typical categories that Council uses would be funds for Camperships or Capital Projects (such as the Base Camp Express which will be close by in Woburn).   Pack 735 will indirectly benefit from such gifts, mainly the new Base Camp Express site.

Links to Council’s donation page is below along with the latest audited financial statements filed with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and Council’s Charity Navigator Profile.

Donate to Council and then contact the Council’s Director of Development to ensure that your directed donation has been appropriately communicated.

Council’s Donations Page (This page also has a Double the Donation search which will help you see if your Company has a corporate donation match available for  Council.)

Council’s Audited Financials

Council’s Charity Navigator Profile

3) There’s also the ScoutReach Program

There is also a charity program focused on service to urban communities.A donation to this program would help scouts in other communities and you may direct your donation to the following:

  • Send a Scout to Camp
  • Support Scouting in their neighborhood
  • Buy a Scout’s uniform and supplies

You may donate by going to Council’s Scoutreach page.

The nitty-gritty Q&A

What about our Unit?

Units are not permitted to solicit any gifts. Both the Charter and Bylaws and the Rules and Regulations of the BSA make this very clear — only local councils may seek individuals, corporations, United Ways, or foundations for gifts in support of Scouting. Units, unit leaders, and youth members may not solicit donations in the name of Scouting or support of unit needs and activities. Units are also prohibited from soliciting gifts on their websites.

What about Corporate matching or Grants?

Corporate donations often can only go to charities that are 501(c) (3) charities, and tax-exempt charities do not charter many units. Also, many companies won’t make gifts to religious organizations.  If a unit is “tax-exempt,” it’s often because it’s chartered to a place of worship, so they can’t receive corporate funds either, and the pastoral management of Saint Agnes & Saint Athanasius parishes is 735’s chartering organization.