Americans today have more ways than ever to spend their time and money. To succeed in a complex environment requires flexibility and creativity, traits three of our initiatives from 2012 share.
A Place to Give
Retailing is moving online, and so is charitable giving. To make online giving easier, we launched A Place to Give in late 2011. The site, located at aplacetogive.scouting.org, lets donors give to both their local councils and the National Council in a single, seamless transaction.
This year, its first full year of operation, the site generated 3,765 donations totaling more than $572,000. Seventy percent of that money went directly to local councils.
A Place to Give lets donors choose how their money is spent. Local councils can customize their pages to list such needs as camperships for at-risk Scouts or capital gifts for a new dining hall; some also let donors pay Friends of Scouting pledges through the site. On the national side, donors can make unrestricted gifts or help build the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve by placing a bench, tree, or brick on the site.
On October 19, Cub Scout Sean McCarty showed up in style at his Kansas City school, riding shotgun in NASCAR driver Scott Lagasse Jr.’s No. 8 Hybrid Light/BSA car. “It was really, really awesome,” Sean said.
The event helped kick off our new multiyear relationship with Team SLR (Scott Lagasse Racing), which competes in the NASCAR Nationwide series. This generous, royalty-free relationship builds on the success we continue to enjoy on the Izod IndyCar circuit with Dale Coyne Racing and the No. 19 BSA car.
Partnering with Team SLR raises awareness of the BSA brand and highlights our efforts to educate, inspire, and invest in young people, particularly in the areas of science and technology. At the same time, local councils can use NASCAR events as the platform for fundraising and recruiting events by offering exclusive access to the car, its driver, and local racing venues.
The new BSA car competed in three races this year. Team SLR plans to race at least a dozen times in 2013, putting the BSA brand in front of tens of millions of viewers.
This year, we introduced two financial products designed to benefit Scouts, Scouters, and the BSA. The first, the BSA Discover® Prepaid Card1, is a reloadable, debit-style card for parents to give their Scouts. By using the card, Scouts can learn financial management and get instant access to live emergency assistance, while their parents can review transactions, set daily spending limits, and add money remotely. The second card, the BSA Discover credit card2, is a rewards credit card aimed at adult leaders and other Scouting supporters. Users can redeem their reward points at Scout Shops or donate them to a local council.
The BSA benefits each time either card is issued. This year, we received more than $500,000 from this program, a total we expect to grow exponentially in the years to come.