Scouting Alumni & Friends to offer grants for council alumni committees

For those Scout volunteers looking to identify, recruit and re-engage Scouting alumni, $500 or $2,000 could go a long way.

Through its grant programs, Scouting Alumni & Friends is offering free money to help councils boost their engagement with alumni. This means councils can strengthen this vital segment of the community without cutting into other parts of their budget.

(Scouting Alumni & Friends, blog readers might recall, is the new name of the Scouting Alumni Association. It’s a reminder that the group is open to anyone who wants to help further Scouting’s mission — even those who were never in Scouting as young people.)

There are two types of grants, and applying is easy.

The deadline for submitting an application to receive a 2019 grant is Oct. 31, 2018. Recipients will be announced in November 2018, and grants will be distributed in December 2018.

Two types of grants

Recruitment grants

  • What: Used to assist local councils in the recruitment of former Scouts and Scouters to a council, district, unit or other alumni role. Special consideration will be given to councils that have only recently established a Scouting Alumni & Friends committee.
  • How much: Grant requests can be for up to $500 each.
  • How used: Grants are paid for helping committees complete future events. Events must be completed during the calendar year in which funding is received.

Innovation grants

  • What: Designed not only to assist local councils in the recruitment of former Scouts and Scouters to a council, district, unit or other alumni roles, but for those committees that plan innovative ways to recruit un-engaged alumni — not just registered Scouters.
  • How much: Grant requests can be for up to $2,000 each.
  • How used: Like recruitment grants, these monies are for future events and must be used during the 2019 calendar year.

How the grants might be used

Here are some examples of how a council alumni committee might use a grant. Of course, this is an incomplete list.

  • Developing an online presence for alumni communication
  • Designing and producing an alumni patch or reunion souvenir
  • Using direct mail to reconnect with individuals without an email address
  • Connecting Star/Life Scouts to 20-something Eagle Scout mentors
  • Holding a camp alumni reunion that includes an improvement project
  • Establishing a young professionals network
  • Holding a merit badge university at a local college
  • Involving trade organizations to hold merit badge clinic(s)

How to apply

Applications for Recruitment and Innovation grants are now online. The application asks easy-to-answer questions and outlines a straightforward follow-up process that includes submitting photographs, testimonials and member statistics. Successful grantees will share their results and the lessons they learned with other councils and alumni committees.

Dates to know

The Recruitment and Innovation grant cycles will run concurrently.

  • Aug. 1, 2018: Grant submission window opens
  • Oct. 31, 2018: Grant submission window closes
  • November 2018: Announcement of grant recipients
  • December 2018: Distribution of grant money to recipients

Where to ask questions and learn more

Questions should be directed to:

Visit Scouting Alumni & Friends at to learn more, and be sure to like their Facebook page for more great info.

About Bryan Wendell 3286 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.