End of the Year Gift and Tax Planning Tip Article #5: The James E. West Society

You can ensure that OCBSA continues to provide many unique opportunities for our youth to develop important and useful life skills far into the future by investing in the Council’s James E. West Fellowship. In so doing, you create an endowed legacy of stewardship that develops leadership, outdoor, and emergency skills, and provides personal growth opportunities for Boy Scouts today and tomorrow.

Members of the James E. West Fellowship believe that it is important to think about the future of Scouting. You can support that effort now through the endowment fund. The endowment was built up over time by gifts from previous generations of Scouts, parents, and friends who felt a deep commitment to Scouting. Donations to the council’s endowment ensure that our camps capture the imagination of today’s Scouts just as it did when prior Scouts first arrived at camp.

Donating $1,000.00 to the James E. West Fellowship is a wonderful way to honor an Eagle Scout’s achievement, a Silver Beaver Awardee, a beloved Scoutmaster, a new Vigil Order of the Arrow member, or a Wood Badge Director. You can realize a significant benefit and it’s easy to do. All donations received prior to December 31, 2017 are entitled to an income tax deduction for this year. Consider the following:

  • Make your gift using an appreciated asset such as stock
    • This lowers the actual cost of the gift and you can benefit from additional capital gain tax savings
  • If you are over the age of 70 ½ years you can make a direct transfer from an IRA
    •  IRA Rollovers to OCBSA are not subject to income tax, further lowering the cost of making a gift
  • Charge the contribution to a credit card
    • You might earn mileage points!
  • Write a check to OCBSA

For more information about how you can personally benefit from making a contribution to OCBSA and become a James E. West Fellow, contact Devon Dougherty, CFRE, Chief Development Officer at devond@ocbsa.org, or call 714.546.8558 ext. 145.

OCBSA’s Wildly Important Goal

At the beginning of 2016, the Orange County Council embarked on a daring course – they turned over the setting of the yearly goals to the full-time staff. Over the course of the yearly planning conference, the staff selects the three Wildly Important Goals (WIG) they commit to meeting by the end of the year. The staff then forms three committees consisting of those people who are passionate about one or another of the goals.

One of the goals selected for 2017 was to improve the experiences of volunteers and parents in 15 distinct areas, based on the most common questions and complaints received by Council personnel.

As the year draws to a close, here are the changes the “No Tears With Happy Volunteers” WIG team has accomplished and expects to complete by the end of 2017:

  1. All Council and Property websites have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.
  2. All classes and camps send “Welcome Emails” to participants prior to each activity to prepare them for the event.
  3. District events now have online registration to provide an easier user experience and access to multiple camps from the same website.
  4. We have compiled a list of job descriptions for both Unit and District level positions that will be accessible to everyone to help recruit leadership.
  5. Current calendars for the Council and each district are accessible from the OCBSA website and are updated weekly. Also reviewing ways to improve the Council Calendar to become more user friendly.
  6. Face-to-Face volunteer training opportunities appear on the Council Calendar at least a year in advance.
  7. The Parent Engagement Workshop is easily available to Unit leaders in each service area.
  8. Camping equipment is available at the Council office for parents and Unit leaders to check out.
  9. Volunteers have access to a District Activity Guide that explains how to put on a District event, including PO/Budget/Site Rentals, etc.
  10. A Program Resource Guide is being produced for use in 2018. This guide will have fliers, calendars, important leader information.
  11. Online Health form system is available for our Units to make it easier to use/find forms.
  12. All Council employees respond to phone messages and emails within 48 business hours.
  13. Parents and volunteers can view a short video to learn how to sign up for our camps and District events on Campmaster.
  14. The Merit Badge counselor enrollment and training process will have FAQs so that everyone can be more familiar with the process.
  15. The recharter process has been simplified to ease make the turn in process easier and more time efficient.

We hope that these changes have already – and will continue to – enhance the experience of all Orange County Scouts, Scouters and parents.

What do you do when the Dow is at 23,000?

Give the gift of appreciated stock as part of year-end tax and philanthropic planning.

In recent weeks, the stock market has been climbing and reaching new levels never seen before. You might ask, “Why is the stock market so high?” and, “Is there a way in which this can help Scouting in Orange County?” Our response is “Yes!”. Thanks to a growing consumer confidence we hope the strong market will inspire extra generosity among our supporters this holiday season.

Many of our donors have realized growth in their stock investments in a very short time. For example, Apple sold not long ago for $92.00 a share. Currently it is worth $172.00 per share. This example provides an excellent opportunity for making a contribution to OCBSA. With a low investment cost, a contribution of appreciated securities earns an income tax deduction based upon the current value of the stock.

Right now, you can leverage your earnings to make a larger donation than you may have thought possible at a low cost to you and help provide young boys and girls with the training they need to learn, grow, and lead.

Gifts are especially important as we rebuild the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center after the recent fires. You may also make your gift as part of “Giving Tuesday” on November 28th.

As you consider your end of the year gifts, think about the benefits from making a gift of stock. Our Scouts are waiting to hear from you!

For more information and transfer instructions contact: Devon Dougherty, CFRE, Chief Development Officer, 714-546-8558 ext 145 or devond@ocbsa.org