As I was driving home from work I was listening to a local Classical Music station.. it sooths me. What I like about the Classical station and most talk radio stations is that they do not play a lot of advertisements. This often goes without notice as you listen and enjoy the station but it is always noticed during those one or two times a year that the stations have their “listener-athon” or whatever they call it. The annual or bi annual plea for funding to keep the station on the air and free of advertising. Now there are many reasons I am sure that these stations try to stay away from endless ads, but it would also seem that the ads could remove some of the stress of “begging” for money every year. Sure these stations receive funds from corporate donors and “friends of” donations, but by and large they rely on the listener, the end user, the person that enjoys what they produce. It is a worthy cause to be sure… for the station and the listener. It is free to produce what they want without being tied to this or that company paying for ad space or promoting their interest. It is one thing to be “brought to you by…” than Company X paying holding stake in your product.. I suppose. But a worthy cause none the less.
I, like many of you have many causes that are near and dear to you and what you do. We get their pleas in the mail, most to only end up in the trash can. They are all worthy causes and are in need of funding, after all it does take money to make most things happen. I get mail from the Pacific Crest Trail Association, The Non Commissioned Officers Association, the Red Cross, the National Infantry Association, various Alumni groups etc. They are all worthy causes and at some point I donated, joined, answered their plea, or took interest in them. I believe in giving to worthy causes. I can not be an active part in all of them, so sometimes my contribution, big or small, is my way of fulfilling a need to support a cause.
Ok, by now you are noticing that I have not mentioned the Boy Scouts of America. Well we will get to that here real soon.
First however I need to rant a bit on what seems to be an overwhelming theme with the “Worthy Cause appeal”. The theme is that someone else will do it.
Someone else will donate. Some “Big Business” will take care of it.. after all.. they can afford it. Someone else should step up and keep this station on the air, or that trail maintained, or that museum staffed, or…
Someone else always seems to take care of your worthy cause. That which you enjoy, take advantage of, or participate in. Membership allows for that right? I pay my dues.. I shouldn’t have to do more. Someone else can afford to do more.
Time, Treasure, Talent. We all have some, we can do more, we need to budget our worthy cause or causes into our lives.
You pick and choose what that cause is, we all do. We decide what is important to us and those around us and make a choice to support it or just take advantage of “Someone else”.
The Boy Scouts of America. My worthy cause.
For over a century it has relied on the stewardship of its members, Alumni, and those that know and understand what its mission is. It takes money to make programs happen. It takes support to ensure that the mission can be sustained and accomplished. A mission that takes the life span of the member and will never stop as long as a 7 year boy comes to a join night. It will forever need support and funding as long as Troops load up the vans, buses, and station wagons and head to summer camp. It will continue to be in need of time, treasure, and talent as long as we wish our young people to learn, live, and share the values and make choices that shape their character. Yes, a worthy cause.
But, Someone else will do it.
Each year the BSA asks of its members to become a Friend of Scouting. To go above and beyond their contribution of time and talent. To do more financially than their annual dues and registration fees. To support the organization where it counts. The worthy cause that is provided at the local Council level. Where the Scout and the Scouts family benefit. It takes more than registration fees and lending a helping hand at a local camp, it takes money, just like you local radio station that asks for support to maintain its programing uninterrupted by ads.
Yes the BSA goes to corporations and asks for their contribution. The BSA targets organization that share our values and support our type of programing. Buts not enough and we can’t rely on someone to do it.
We all know that Scouting is a worthy cause. We all know what the outcomes can be because of Scouting. We all know that Scouting offers programing that no other youth organization can do. But we can not wait for someone else. We all need to do our part.
Budgeting your worthy cause.
I will not tell you how to spend your money. My wife and I are like everyone else, we have a budget and try to stick to it. We know what we have and what we can give. We make a choice each year on what and who we are going to support. For us, the Boy Scouts of America is our worthy cause. We have seen what it does for the young men and their families. We have watched as our sons took advantage of the all of the great programs the BSA offers. From monthly campouts to the National Jamboree. From Summer camp to Philmont our family has always enjoyed what the Boy Scouts of America offers and does. So when we budget our giving we make a choice to give to our worthy cause. We choose to support Scouts. Our sons are grown and no longer actively in the program, even though Scouting will always be a part of their lives. Now we support someone else, we have become that someone else that does it because someone else didn’t do it. Like the radio station, I want Scouting’s programming to stay on the air. I budget how much time I wish to give, how much of my talent I have to give, and how much treasure I have to give. The bottom line is what we decide is our worthy cause. The cause that means the most to us. The cause that we see the most impact for our dollar. And the cause that we know can last forever if we all pitch in.
What is your worthy cause. Just because you are reading this does not mean it is Scouting. I know that. When I make our annual Friends of Scouting appeal to my Troop we ask that everyone help support a Scout. We ask that they all do something to help. A dollar, Two hundred dollars, whatever they can budget to help Scouting. I ask that they take a look at their Scout and Scouting family and see the benefits that come with Scouting. Finally I ask that they believe in what Scouting does and decide if it is important enough to them to keep it going. I ask that they make Scouting a worthy cause.
Each year, we make our goal, last year we exceeded our goal and that is wonderful. The best part for me is the understanding that the families of our unit make Scouting a priority and worthy of their giving. This says a lot about them to me. They share the values of Scouting and do not want to let “someone else” be the reason their son and the sons of families in the future enjoy Scouting.
Yes, it is a worthy cause. Worthy of our time, our treasure, and what little talent I have.
Have a Great Scouting Day!