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How much are SE's paid? What does Williams make?

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I've seen very little in the way of what paid professionals make. DE's don't seem to make much but that doesn't seem to be the case with higher levels.


I've seen reports of SE's making $100,000, $200,000 or more. I seem to recall a report about the SE in AL - one of the 10 largest Councils making $284,000. Is that true? Id there any other compensation for SE's besides salary? Car, housing allowance?


Anyone know what their SE makes? They are employees of Councils but it seems this number is kept pretty quiet.


What does the Chief Scout Executive make? I read a report over a decade old showing over $500,000 - compared to Bpys and Girls' Clubs head's $280,000.


I expect some will treat this as rabble rousing but it shouldn't be viewed that way. We SHOULD have some idea of what paid professionals make - and frankly, it's awful difficult to find out.



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I believe that each Council is required to file a Form 990 with the IRS, which must be made available for public inspection at the council offices upon request. The 990 requires disclosure of compensation and benefits to the highest paid employees.


Here is the IRS' public inspection rule:


"Public inspection and distribution of applications for tax exemption and annual information returns of tax-exempt organizations. Under Regulations sections 301.6104(d)-1 through 301.6104(d)-3, a tax-exempt organization must:

Make its application for recognition of exemption and its annual information returns available for public inspection without charge at its principal, regional and district offices during regular business hours.


Make each annual information return available for a period of 3 years beginning on the date the return is required to be filed (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing) or is actually filed, whichever is later.


Provide a copy without charge, other than a reasonable fee for reproduction and actual postage costs, of all or any part of any application or return required to be made available for public inspection to any individual who makes a request for such copy in person or in writing (except as provided in Regulations sections 301.6104(d)-2 and -3)."


If the Council refuses then they are breaking the law. Nevertheless, you can always get a copy from the IRS:


Here's how:


"Use Form 4506-A to request


A copy of an exempt or political organization's return, report, notice, or exemption application;


An inspection of a return, report, notice, or exemption application at an IRS office.


The IRS can provide copies of exempt organization returns on a compact disk (CD-ROM). Requesters can order the complete set (all Forms 990 and 990-EZ or all Forms 990-PF filed for a year) or a partial set by state or by month. For more information on the cost and how to order CD-ROMs, call the TEGE Customer Account Services toll-free number (1-877-829-5500) or write to the IRS in Cincinnati, OH at the address in General Instruction A."


Have fun.






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I don't think you are rabble rousing, but I do think your tossing around of a lot of unsupported numbers helps to feed the imaginations of an all to active rumor mill in scouting.


Salaries of BSA professional will depend on the size and financial strength of the council, the experience and abilities of the executive, as well as the cost of living of the area served by the council.


The starting salary for a DE is about $32,000, The Chief Scout Executive makes $328,000, The SE will make somewhere in between.


In most cases the administative costs of a council are usually about 7% to 10% of the overall budget. That would include the professional Scouters and all other employees of the council.


So no, you will not find an SE making $500,000 as you suggested.


The high low range I have seen in my experience is $70,000 to 123,000 There could be some higher and some lower but that is what I have seen.


If the program is working in the council, the camps are well run, there are a variety of activities, the office doos its job, then I don't pay attention to what they make, there are others in the council whose job is is to oversee that. I do my job, they do theirs.



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A 2000 article cites Ratcliffe - Chief Scout Executive at the time as receiving a compensation package worth $537,314 in 1998 That was a while back -


Sounds like the salary comes with some nice perks which Bob didn't note.


At the same time, the head of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America , a charity of similar size, had compensation package worth $265,962


THAT comparison is worth noting and should raise some questions.


Does Mr. White do anything for Scouting besides blindly defend all and anything BSA on these boards? You can't fix what's broken if nobody will admit there's problems. And NOBODY can say that there aren't problems in BSA. And in some Councils things are disasters because as one poster put it "There aren't enough desks in the Supply Division at National" Why is it that Paid professionals are held in such low regard? - low enough that a GOOD one makes you stand up and take notice - that you end up saying "except for......".



BTW, I've been a Leader in Cub Scuts and Boy Scouts (A Den Leader and one of the adults that is there every meeting and trip Troop and Pack)- serving two units for a while now. I've gotten awards for my service and been a major donor as well. I have a more than a few years business experience and know what's well run and not.


It IS quite appropriate if paid professionals work FOR us that we know what they make. (And I have a right to know where MY money is going when I make a contribution.) And legally that is how things are structured - the SE works FOR the Exec Board which is supposed to represent the volunteers in a Council - and that goes all the way up to the top.

B.S.A.claims stridently to be a "representative democracy" representing US - the volunteers that do the work. That's something they seem to forget.


Pay should be related to performance and when you're looking at declining enrollments and general problems in an organization, the head is held accountable - be it the local SE or the National one. Ask Ebbers - his "I didn't know" defense didn't work.


Roy Williams made much of using "numbers and statistics" to measure "success" in B.S.A......well at least we know where the focus on "numbers" comes from. (What happened to boys?) But the truth is that enrollments in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts continues to go down - and BSA goes to great lengths to muddy that fact with "Learning for Life" and such. I had an old time Scouter - one with decades in as a professional and volunteer say


"BSA doesn't even care about Boy Scouts anymore - they'd get rid of it if they could - that's where the risk and problems are. They LOVE Cub Scouts - Little kids willing to raise money and parents that don't stay around for long as leaders anddon't pay attention to things. Boy Scout Leaders stay involved for a while - they care and pay attention. BSA doesn't like that."


And from my experience that's true. The focus in BSA is on "numbers and increasing numbers" though I never had A DE help line up Den Leaders. Our Scoutmaster won't even let the DE in the door - with reason. Council's focus is on money and more money - Council pushes popcorn down your throat like you're being fattened for the kill. That topic has ocme up before and is a sore one with volunteers. All the old time Scouters that question things like property sales are treated as an annoyance. The professional staff seems to forget that they are supposed to be helping ans supporting us run units. Instead the ONLY time we see them is when they're asking for money.


We had someone give out some large checks to local units. Our SE was furious because the money went locally - to units where it was spent on the boys - instead of to Council where it would have gone to salaries and overhead. That's happening more because even leaders are fed up and refuse to give to FOS - it's the only leverage we have left to make our unhappiness known.



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Bob is correct when he says that the SE salary is directly linked to the size of the council and its success in fund raising and program, etc.


If the SE is successful and doing a quality job then he should be rewarded, if not he will usually be re assigned to a lesser position, I saw that happen twice when I was a DE years ago.


Semper, I may be mistaken, but any financial report you may receive usually does not break down individual salaries but reports a lump sum for all employees in the council.

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It should be pointed out that the BSA is the largest corporation of its kind. The Big Brothers and Big Sisters is not a similar size program by any means. It has far few employees, less properties to manage, fewere divisions, and if you measure the corporation size by the the annual organization income then the BSA is 5 times the size of the BB/BS program.


"Does Mr. White do anything for Scouting besides blindly defend all and anything BSA on these boards?"


Yes I do. Please do not make your opinion of me the topic of this thread.


"BTW, I've been a Leader in Cub Scuts and Boy Scouts (A Den Leader and one of the adults that is there every meeting and trip Troop and Pack)- serving two units for a while now. I've gotten awards for my service and been a major donor as well. I have a more than a few years business experience and know what's well run and not."


As do most of us on this board I would bet.


"BSA doesn't even care about Boy Scouts anymore - they'd get rid of it if they could - that's where the risk and problems are. They LOVE Cub Scouts -


More accurately they appreciate the fact that 8 out of ten Boy Scouts come from the Cub Program, as do many Boy Scout Leaders. We at the Distict, Council and National service levels understand that as the cub program goes.. so will the Boy Scout program 4 years from now.


While Cub Scouts may raise the majority of Popcorn money remember that those are council and unit fundraiserss and not national. Pop Corn is not a BSA national program. Also consider that much of that cub scout raised money each year goes into paying for camp facilities used primarily by Boy Scouts that year. Cubbing has been better at raising money for many decades. Let's face it cubs are cuter.


"The focus in BSA is on "numbers and increasing numbers"


No actually, only the focus for those whose job it is to raise money and increase membership. There are some people who are given that task, but the vast majority of professionals and volunteers who make up council, regional, and national operations have other responsibilities. The majority of which is unit service such as training, commissioning, program, advancement, camping, resources, fascilities, high adventure, data processing, etc.


Much of your anger comes from lack of knowledge of the scouting structure beyond the unit level.


Thinking you teach "them" a lesson by not supporting FOS is misguided to say the least. FOS is what keeps your camps operating, your scout office staffed, your records maintained, your communications, your training resources. You might as well shoot yourself in the foot to protest the shoe industry.


You don't think you are represented at the district and council level? Thats unfortunate and fixable. Every unit has a voting member of the district and council committee. Do you know who that person is? What are you doing to get that person at the meetings to represent your needs?










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To find out how much your SE makes, go to guidestar.org (requires free registration) and do a search on "Boy Scouts" and narrow the search by selecting your state.


Look for a From 990 icon next to the search results -- that's what you're looking for. I found my SE reported +$150K in 2003. I don't think that's excessive.


By the way, I heard about this site from Jay Thal on the Scouts-L list; he and I don't always agree on matters related to BSA, but he did point me to a great resource.


(This message has been edited by fgoodwin)(This message has been edited by fgoodwin)

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Thanks for the guidestar reference.


EVERY Scouter should look up their Council's 990 and see what it says.


Our Council is claiming far more boys served than is the case though frankly it is a large "improvement" over the past SE who was listing twice as many on the 990 as we had.


Our current SE was less open in his last Council - membership numbers were not reported (except for one year) - but amounts are reported for "Membership Dues"


That amount rose dramatically after two years of his "leadership" - even as postings here were decrying what had happened to a great Council. THe year after he left that sum dropped 22%. The new SE was honest and reported "actual" numbers.....


However the whole year end charter renewal and leaving boys on for months after the school year starts, months after they are clearly no longer in Scouting but still adding in the new enrolees is "misrepresentation"


Our District number is down 30% for ALL youth served in the February report - compared to the number claimed on 12/31/05 on our DE's "Quality District" reporting form.


And our SE is paid about $135,000 - which is nothing to sneeze at. Given the cost of living here I'd consider to be a bit low but he's still making far more than most people around here. I'll check census figures later. But he's still living up north where it's alot cheaper and he's still making one big increase over what he was being paid in GA. If he were doing a good job I'd have no problems with paying him more and would write a check myself. But he's not.



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for initially claiming not to be a rabble rouser you certainly are doing a good job. The innitial question is valid, but the subsequent ravings are out of place.


While I am certainly not one of Bob White's biggest fans, your attack on him for his first post of this thread was totally unwarranted. He gave accurate information, not a blind defence of all things BSA as you alleg.


I'm sorry you aren't happy with your SE, maybe he's doesn't do his job well, but don't make generalizations about all SE's and all professionals. My SE is quite good as are most of the professionals currently working for may council, especially my DE and our program director/camp director, both of whom I work with closely. I've also seen my share of bad professionals, we all have. But I'm still here and they've moved on to other councils.


The SE of any council has alot on his plate, program, finance, membership, properties, legal and things I don't even know about. What drove this home to me in a profound way was when our SE spoke at a youth protection training I took. All reports of child abuse in association with the Scouts in his council go to him. To me that was a very sobering revelation that his job isn't fun and games all the time, he has to deal with some very, very serious issues. A good SE is worth what he's paid.

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You have been posting in the forum for just over a year. While many of us, me included do at times use the forum to vent or let off steam. So far you have not managed to say anything nice about the BSA or the Council that you serve.

I really think that if I was as unhappy with things as you seem to be I would pack my bags and move on to a organization where I would be happy. Of course that's just me. Maybe you are happy casting doom and gloom, if that is the case I really do feel sorry for you.


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"While I am certainly not one of Bob White's biggest fans,


What's that you say? You're not a certified member of the Official Bob White Fan Club?


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MMEE! MMEEE! MMEEE! I want to be the first on my block to have the official memebrship card and decoder spell check ring and the "BSAlove it or leave it" simulated metal lapel pin (can mine be in gold?)

oh no...

problem here...can't get my wife to let go of the darned credit card...uuhh....eeerrrrrr, let go dang it, just let go...Bob said to mail the credit card....he'll send it back....really he will....

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