1998-2002 Strategic Plan

Top-quality leaders are essential to the success of the Boy Scouts of America.

The 1998-2002 Strategic Plan identified five issues deemed critical to the success of the Boy Scouts of America. With well-thought-out planning, attentiveness to detail, and prudent allocation of resources, this strategic plan has benefited and continues to benefit the organization in numerous ways.


Top-quality leadership, both volunteer and professional, is critical. Emphasis on this strategic issue has led to the continuance of a solid tradition of strong leadership that began over 90 years ago.

The total number of youth-serving executives at December 31, 2000 was 2,430. At December 31, 2001, there were 2,511 youth-serving executives in our local councils—already exceeding the 2002 target.

Strong volunteer leadership continues. The number of adult volunteer leaders increased to almost 1.3 million at December 31, 2001.

Total Financial Development

Total financial development ensures that local councils have resources available to operate with full staffs and maintain quality facilities. The total operating income for local councils continued to increase in 2001. Emphasis was increased on recognizing Friends of Scouting contributions as the primary source of income for local councils.

Two Web sites continue to be an integral part of allowing Scouting to remain financially strong. To assist with estate planning, potential donors can access www.bsagiftplan.org; to explore the merits of Scouting, they can go to www.give2bsa.org. Donors can contribute to their local council online.

Traditional Unit and Membership Growth

Critical to the future of the BSA is unit and membership growth. Continued emphasis on this strategic issue resulted in the creation of the Venturing program in 1998. The development of new recruiting materials and training has resulted in successful efforts to reach urban and minority youth through Scoutreach.


The BSA uses every available medium to deliver its message of positive values and strong leadership at every opportunity to every audience. Several successes under the 1998-2002 Strategic Plan have already been achieved. The marketing emphasis included increasing the BSA's presence with churches and fraternal organizations by producing videos and support materials. Updating the National Council Web site resulted in 4.5 million hits per month in 2001. Print ads were produced that highlighted volunteers, Scouting values, and Hispanic awareness. These ads appeared in 11 national magazines in 2001.

Endowment Emphasis and Stewardship

To be successful and to ensure long-term stability, endowment emphasis and stewardship is critical. Achievements are many. Endowment fund assets in local councils continue to grow. The number and amount of deferred gifts have increased. Independent third-party investment consultants were beneficial in outlining councils' fiduciary responsibilities and elements of strong stewardship. The National Endowment Tour assisted local councils in recognizing and providing the opportunity for new donors.

Focusing on the five critical issues of the 1998-2002 Strategic Plan produced continued success in 2001. Councils, professionals, and volunteers integrated these issues into their council plans and ensured the traditions and values of Scouting would remain strong. A firm foundation for the future was built, upon which a new strategic plan for 2002-2005 would be introduced.