1998-2002 Strategic Plan

Scouts are taught the importance of planning ahead. They know that careful planning can mean the difference between a great camping trip and a miserable one. Much of the recent success of the Boy Scouts of America can be attributed to our attention to planning and implementing the critical elements of the 1998-2002 Strategic Plan.

Success is rarely an accident. Rather, it is the result of meticulous planning, attention to detail, and careful allocation of resources. We owe much of our success during the past year to the countless volunteers and professionals who participated in the strategic planning process.

The 1998-2002 Strategic Plan identified five issues considered critical to the future of our movement.

Leadership. Scouting has a long tradition of quality leadership. To continue the proud heritage, we must continue to select effective volunteer leaders who share our values; have influence, vision, and commitment; and focus on their role in Scouting. In addition, the Boy Scouts of America will add unit-serving executives who will increase volunteerism in units and districts.

Total Financial Development. Adequate financing allows local councils to employ additional unit-serving executives, who, in turn, add more units, volunteers, and youth. To ensure that local councils have the financial assets they need to serve their communities, the National Council provides support that allows councils to recruit new donors, serve existing donors, and make decisions on how best to maximize their resources.

Traditional Unit and Membership Growth. The key to the future of the Boy Scouts of America is increased traditional unit and membership growth. Growth comes both from the addition of new members and retention of current members. Our aggressive efforts to reach out to additional youth increased the number of participants.

Marketing. An increasingly competitive marketplace requires that we communicate our message of values and leadership as effectively as possible. To do this, the BSA uses every available medium, including television, radio, newspapers, and the World Wide Web, to deliver its message to its many audiences.

Endowment Emphasis and Stewardship. The success of the Nationally Coordinated Campaign for Local Council Endowment is considered one of the BSA's greatest accomplishments. In 2000, the National Council continued to support local councils with training, materials, events, and recognition and award programs designed to focus attention on endowment giving and educate potential donors about the benefits of endowment giving.

Our focus on these five critical issues is the reason for our continued success in 2000. In 315 local councils across the nation, volunteers and professionals worked to integrate these issues into their council plans, thereby ensuring the future of Scouting. The achievements under this plan form a firm foundation on which to build as we prepare to introduce a new strategic plan for 2002-2005.

A Framework for the Future: The 2002-2005 Strategic Plan

At its National Annual Meeting in May 2001, the Boy Scouts of America will introduce a new strategic plan. With the introduction of this plan, the BSA is not starting anew but is continuing to build on more than 90 years of successful service to youth.

The 2002-2005 Strategic Plan is a framework for the future of Scouting. Like the plan before, it focuses on five critical issues.

Traditional Membership and Unit Growth. The bond between local communities and the Boy Scouts of America is built on the traditional Scouting program, which includes Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing. The growth of the traditional program furthers our values and faith-based mission to serve young people and their families.

Scoutreach. The BSA has always been committed to providing a program for all economic and racial groups. As America's population becomes increasingly diverse, we are even more concerned about our continued service to minority communities because it is the right thing to do. Serving our minority communities is the best way of ensuring a move toward a representative membership—a membership that encompasses all ethnic groups.

Leadership. Leadership is key to the continued success of the Boy Scouts of America. Leaders create a specific and unique vision for the future of the organization and develop the strategies needed to achieve that vision. Leaders have to understand the mission and vision and communicate it throughout the organization and beyond. To succeed, we must have enough of the right kind of volunteer and professional leaders who are well-trained and motivated to achieve the vision and mission of Scouting.

Marketing and Strategic Positioning. Future growth of the Boy Scouts of America is dependent on how we are perceived by our customer groups. It is vital to ensure an understanding among parents, youth, chartered organizations, donors, and the general public that Scouting offers a unique value to youth and their families. The goal of our marketing message is to build awareness and solidify the fact that the Scouting program supports the physical, mental, and spiritual development needs of young people and their families. By offering such comprehensive benefits, BSA membership is an investment that will pay dividends in the future.

Financial Development. The future of the Boy Scouts of America depends on strong councils with adequate financial resources. Well-financed councils will have the ability to employ a full, well-trained staff; provide exceptional program facilities; conduct a first-class program; and attract first-class program and administrative volunteers.

Particular attention will need to be paid to identifying, cultivating, and soliciting donors at all levels (operating, capital, and endowment), who are supportive of the mission and values of Scouting. The emphasis must be placed on individual donors rather than corporate or community resources.

The environment in which our organization exists is becoming increasingly competitive. The fierce competition local councils face everyday for resources reinforces the need for a bold vision and strong leadership. By taking action on these critical issues, the Boy Scouts of America will continue to have the strength and flexibility needed to provide young people and their families a values-driven program of character development and leadership.