How Scouting is Funded & How is it Spent

Packs, Troops, Teams, Crews, and Ships

Unit Money Earning Application

Units can use a variety of fund-raising methods as long as they meet the guidelines set by the National Council and their local council and are approved by their unit committee and chartered organization. Most commonly, units are funded through:

  • Weekly or monthly dues paid by the member
  • Unit product sales such as popcorn
  • Chartered organization contributions
  • Other money-earning projects approved by the chartered organization

Units can use the funds they raise for any activities that are within the national and local council guidelines and that their unit committee and chartered organization approve. Most commonly, units use their funds for:

  • Unit activities such as camping and other activities
  • Program supplies for unit activities
  • Equipment such as tents, camp stoves, and Pinewood Derby® tracks
  • Advancements and awards such as rank emblems and merit badges
  • Scout's Life magazine subscriptions (formerly Boys’ Life)

Local Councils

Local councils are funded through:

  • Friends of Scouting donations
  • Special events
  • Product sales such as popcorn
  • Legacies and bequests
  • Foundation grants
  • Local United Ways
  • Activity fees from summer camp, camporees, etc.
  • Investment income and endowments

Local councils provide support for units in their service area; therefore, funds are typically used to:

  • Maintain camp properties and the council service center
  • Provide insurance
  • Maintain membership records
  • Pay salaries and benefits to employees
  • Purchase program supplies for youth activities sponsored by the council
  • Provide volunteer training

National Council

The National Council is funded by:

  • Scout supply sales
  • Membership fees
  • Grants from foundations
  • Legacies and bequests
  • Corporate sponsorships

The National Council provides program materials and support for local councils. The National Council uses its funds for:

  • Development of program materials and resources
  • Infrastructure support for local councils such as maintaining membership database and reporting functions
  • Development of professional and volunteer training materials
  • Salaries and benefits for employees

Read about The True Cost of Scouting to learn more.