Knot of the Week: James E. West Fellowship Award


The boys in your Scout unit
can tie several knots with their eyes closed. They can set up a tent in mere
minutes, and their first-aid skills are first-rate. But for all of the great
life lessons they’ve learned in Scouting, they probably don’t know much about
how the program is funded.

And that’s the way it should

Let the boys worry about
growing into fine young citizens and having fun while you and the other adult
volunteers help keep the program financially stable. Like most nonprofit
organizations, the Boy Scouts of America partially relies on gifts from
generous donors to stay afloat.

That’s why the James E.
West Fellowship Award
, this week’s Knot of the Week, is so important. Read on to find out more.

The award recognizes gifts of more than $1,000 to BSA local council endowment funds.
These contributions are meant to supplement—not replace or diminish—the donor’s
annual giving to the Friends of Scouting campaign.

For those who have the desire
and ability to give an even larger donation, the BSA expresses its gratitude
with a special recognition program called the 1910 Society. There are four
levels of giving, ranging from $25,000 for a Seton Level gift all the way to
$10 million for a Phillips Gold Level gift. Donors at any of these levels can
pin the small, gold 1910 Society device to their James E. West knot.

The Founders Circle, the
newest level of endowment recognition, honors donors who make deferred gifts to
their council endowment funds. These planned gifts of more than $100,000 can be
charitable bequests in a will, life insurance or retirement plan designations,
or other gifts approved by the local council. Like the 1910 Society, Founders
Circle donors wear a special device pinned on top of the James E. West knot.

If you and your family are at
a place where a donation to Scouting is possible, contact your local council for

The generosity of volunteers
like you represents a 100-year tradition in the BSA that enables young people
to experience the joys of Scouting. Help continue the tradition for the next
100 years.


  1. This is a very old thread but I’m wondering if you’re still taking comments. In one description for this award I see the following:

    “The money may be given by a group of Scouters or individual Scouter to honor a fellow Scouter, as a memorial on the death of a Scouter, or to recognize an achievement.”

    Is that to suggest that if a unit makes the donate each member can wear the knot? We have many opportunities for individual contribution, corporate matching and fundraising. Just wondering if a single award goes to the organizer or if it can become a unit award for those who participated in the raising of the funds.

    Where can I see more guidance on this?

  2. Hi Alan my name is Martin and to help with your question yes a unit can raise money for the James E West fund. The award is for raising 1000 dollars per person. If you do this as a group and only raise 1000 dollars only one knot is awarded. To make it fair it’s best to put the knot on a plague and have everyone’s name engraved as part of the team effort. If your doing it to honor someone like if a scout has passed or is ill you could give the know to that person. Hope this helps.

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