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Boy Scouts of America (National Office)

CharityWatch report issued
February 2021

CharityWatch Grade

Contact Information

Boy Scouts of America (National Office)
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
Irving , TX 75038

Other Names

Learning for Life
National Boy Scouts of America Foundation

Tax Status


Stated Mission

To promote through community organizations, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are now in common use by Boy Scouts.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2019

*Why a Question Mark Rating?

CharityWatch currently has concerns about this organization and/or is unable to provide complete rating information due to the organization's nondisclosure of financial information. Please see the Analysts' Notes section for a more detailed explanation.

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
Boy Scouts of America (National Office)
meets governance benchmarks.
Boy Scouts of America (National Office)
does not meet transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 MIchael B. Surbaugh President $1,118,903
2 Michael A. Ashline Treasurer $720,966
3 Al Lambert Assistant Chief Scout Executive, Outdoor Adventures $655,311
Name: MIchael B. Surbaugh
Title: President
Compensation: $1,118,903
Name: Michael A. Ashline
Title: Treasurer
Compensation: $720,966
Name: Al Lambert
Title: Assistant Chief Scout Executive, Outdoor Adventures
Compensation: $655,311

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

CharityWatch is providing a "?" rating for Boy Scouts of America (National Office) at this time due to concerns related to its 2/18/2020 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Under Chapter 11, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will be able to continue operating as it reorganizes its finances. Reportedly, the organization is facing hundreds of millions of dollars in child sexual abuse allegation claims. As part of the bankruptcy process, a Victims Compensation Trust will be created to "provide equitable compensation to victims," per BSA. 

As of 2/19/2021, CharityWatch has been unable to obtain a copy of the Boy Scouts of America fiscal 2018 or 2019 audited consolidated financial statements. An "Extension Request of 2019 Audited Financial Statement" that was included with BSA's New York State filing for fiscal 2019 (posted on 11/16/2020) states:

"Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is currently not in compliance with Charitable Registration requirements in at least one other State due to the inability to complete the consolidated audited financials for 2018 and 2019. BSA commenced a Chapter 11 reorganization in February of 2020. As a result of the bankruptcy filing and the highly sensitive ongoing negotiations between the BSA and its creditors, BSA has been unable to finalize one particular figure included in the financials to complete the audit. The COVID-19 pandemic has further slowed the Bankruptcy filing progress..."

If BSA is able to complete and publish its fiscal 2019 audited consolidated financial statements in the future, CharityWatch will reassess our rating of the organization at that time. 

For more information related to the BSA bankruptcy filing, please see the news links under Related External Articles in the Articles & Alerts section, below.

According to the Boy Scouts of America (the National Council) consolidated audit of December 31, 2017 (Note 9, Commitments and Contingencies):

"The National Council has been named as a defendant in several lawsuits alleging inappropriate conduct by local council employees or Scouting unit volunteers, including allegations of conduct that did not occur within Scouting and allegations of incidents dating back as far as the early 1960s. The National Council is also aware of threatened and expanding litigation of a similar nature. Most of the cases claim specific amounts of compensatory damages and, in a few cases, unspecified amounts of punitive damages.

"There continues to be additional lawsuits filed alleging sexual abuse, including claims for punitive damages. The National Council could be required to pay damages out of its own funds to the extent the claims are not covered by insurance or if the insurance carriers are unable or unwilling to honor the claims. Based upon the nature of and management's understanding of the facts and circumstances that give rise to such actions and claims, management believes the reserves established by the General Liability Insurance Program of the National Council are sufficient to provide for the resolution of these lawsuits. However, in the event the General Liability Insurance Program or its reserves are insufficient to resolve such claims, it is the opinion of the National Council that the total amount of payments to resolve current and future claims could have a significant impact on the financial position or results of operations of the National Council in the future."

Related External Articles

Boy Scouts victims committee says claims worth $103 billion
Frustrated judge tells BSA bankruptcy lawyers to work harder
Boy Scouts given more time to respond to lawsuit over assets
Boy Scouts propose more than $300 million, Norman Rockwell paintings to settle sex abuse claims
Boy Scouts releases sex-abuse bankruptcy plan, with $300 million coming from local councils
Boy Scouts of America plan to exit bankruptcy would pay abuse survivors an average of $6,000 each; survivors object
Boy Scouts seek to extend halt to lawsuits vs. local groups
Official Tort Claimants' Committee of Boy Scouts of America and Delaware BSA, LLC v. Boy Scouts of America, et al., Complaint for Declaratory Judgment in re: Boy Scouts of America and Delaware BSA, LLC, Debtors
Boy Scouts celebrate the first group of female Eagle Scouts
Boy Scouts sex abuse survivors group accuses insurers of 'ugly games'
Former Boy Scouts Chaplain Is Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse
Insurers question claims process in Boy Scouts bankruptcy
The Girl Scouts Accuse the Boy Scouts of Unfair Competition in Trademark Dispute
Boy Scouts must settle 95,000 abuse claims by next summer — or risk running out of cash
Sex-Abuse Claims Against Boy Scouts Now Surpass 82,000
Boy Scout victims' choice: Sue rashly, or wait and risk loss
Panel chosen to represent victims in Boy Scouts bankruptcy
Did the Boy Scouts violate their own honor code by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy?
At Stake in Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy: $1 Billion in Assets, or Much More
Boy Scouts Of America Files For Bankruptcy As It Faces Hundreds Of Sex-Abuse Claims
Unique sexual abuse lawsuit filed against Boy Scouts in the nation's capital
Boy Scouts Get New Chief Executive
Mormons pulling 400,000 youths out of struggling Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts to boost annual youth fees by more than 80%
Nearly 800 accuse Boy Scouts of failing to protect them from sex abuse, searing new lawsuit claims
Mormon Church to pull thousands of teens from Boy Scouts of America
As girls arrive, Boy Scouts change name of flagship program
Boy Scouts are dropping the word 'Boy' from flagship program; Girl Scouts shrug
Mormon Church Will Sever Ties With Boy Scouts, Create Own Youth Program
Girl Scouts Sue Boy Scouts for Trademark Infringement as It Begins to Accept Girls
Scouts' recruitment war raises questions about what it means to be a girl or a boy
Boy Scouts of America considering bankruptcy