06/08/08 — Friends of Scouting close to 2008 fundraising drive goal

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Friends of Scouting close to 2008 fundraising drive goal

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 8, 2008 2:06 AM

The Friends of Scouting have reached its $230,000 goal for financial support for the Tuscarora Boy Scouts Council.

Council Executive Harold Keller said the goal is based on pledges, and the community has pledged every bit that is going to be needed for this year's local programs.

"We've got a truly wonderful base of local donors who support our boys in Scout programs," he said.

The Friends of Scouting campaign is the council's primary source of direct public support and accounts for more than 25 percent of the total budgeted revenue.

Some councils have to raise money year round for local programs, he said, but it looks like Tuscarora can finish up its campaign by the end of 30 days.

That is how long he expects it to take for a 2 percent contingency to make up for any failures to meet the pledges.

"Any non-profit is going to have contributors who due to unexpected circumstances will not be able to honor their commitment. Somebody may lose their job. A long-time supporter may die. We anticipate about 2 percent to be in this category," Keller said. "That means we're not completely finished. We're at 100 percent in pledges, but that doesn't mean we'll stop."

He said Friends of Scouting, headed up by Danny Jackson of Jackson & Sons Heating and Air, is still contacting the donors from previous years hoping to be able to go over the goal enough to make an allowance for that 2 percent.

"We have targeted the inactive donors from previous years, because at some point in time, these people felt Scouting to be worthy of their support. We wanted to try to rekindle that flame. And we have been able to get a number active again," Keller said.

He said the Friends of Scouting began the process in January by giving presentations to parents in the pack and troop meetings giving them an opportunity to participate in the program.

The campaign officially kicked off on March 11 with a dinner at Mount Olive College.

By the end of the dinner, the Friends of Scouting had raised $173,000, which was 75 percent of the goal.

Then, on April 14, the Friends of Scouting held the annual Distinguished Citizen Award banquet at Walnut Creek honoring retiring State Sen. John Kerr for his many years of service to the community.

The event was a resounding success, Keller said, and the Friends of Scouting raised another $30,000.

But the short rows were the rough rows. Keller said anybody in a not-for-profit organization will say the last 10 percent of a goal is the hardest to raise.

"It's like crossing the finish line at the end of a race," he said. "Energy gets expended, and that last little bit is tough."

That doesn't mean the organization is giving up -- its members have history in Scouting themselves.

Jackson and the organization's president, Bill Bryan of Mt. Olive Pickle Co., are both Eagle Scouts. And Keller said it's amazing how many Eagle Scouts become successful business leaders.

"(Being an Eagle Scout) sets a goal-oriented pattern in lives at an early age. It influences character," Keller said. "After education -- and education is primary to getting a job -- employers most want trustworthiness, somebody who is loyal, which happen to be the first two points in the Scout law. These are character traits that help people obtain jobs and be successful."