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James West Fellowship

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Trail Pounder, you just asked a question that begs a technical answer . . . so here it is.


Money that is given for the James E. West fellowship goes into the local council endowment fund. The principal can never be spent (the original $1,000 or more) but the interest can be spent on local annual operating needs.


Councils have at least 3 funds -- think of these funds as separate businesses because they are in many respects.


Fund 1 is operating fund. The operating fund pays salaries, day-to-day bills, camp operating expenses like summer camp food, etc. It's income comes from sources like the popcorn sale, United Way, FOS, etc.


Fund 2 is the Capital fund. While it's open to some local definition, this fund usually pays for larger price item things -- like the new roof for the camp showerhouse, computer upgrades, the new photocopier, etc. that are capitalized (depreciate over a period of time.) Income for this fund comes from specific capital drives, or sometimes, like in the council I serve a $1.00 per item assessment added on to the price of popcorn products. This is where money from wills and so forth, dedicated to camp whatever, go.


The third fund is the endowment fund. I'm probably over-generalizing, but think of an endowment fund as a place people dump money to give the interest forever to the local council and keep the principal intact. That's where James E. West money goes.


And I call tell you that it's a whole lot easier to get your investment firm to move money from the endowment fund into operating on an annual basis than it is to get an increase in United Way allocations.



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DS. Thanks for the great answer. I just put my first $100 bucks into an envelope. 9 more times and I'll give it to the council. If I wanted to send money to Philly, that certainly wouldn't be a problem for my local council would it? Did you get my PM's?

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