Your Questions Answered

Details About Year 2 of the Lowe's Eagle Scout Service Project Impact Grants

Made possible by the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
  1. How is Year 2 of the Lowe's National Eagle Scout Project Impact Grant program different from Year 1?
  2. How does our council reserve the $100 gift cards for our Eagle Scout candidates?
  3. How long will our reservation for gift cards be honored?
  4. May BSA members in other countries, such as with the Far East or Transatlantic councils, participate?
  5. Gift cards go directly to our Scouts; but how do we submit Scout addresses to the National Council?
  6. We understand we should enter our Scout recipients as we find them, but how often can we do that?
  7. Local councils will have less responsibility in Year 2; exactly what is the local council's obligation?
  8. Why do councils large and small have access to the same number of gift cards?
  9. What are the responsibilities of the follow-up volunteer who is designated by each participating council?
  10. How are the Scout recipients to be selected?
  11. Is there a grant application form we may use in selecting our Scouts?
  12. What if we are unable to find enough Scouts to receive the cards we have reserved?
  13. Each Scout recipient will receive a packet containing his gift card; what else will be in the packet?
  14. What are the Eagle Scout candidate's obligations?
  15. The deadline for reports on grant-funded Eagle projects is April 30, 2014; how will the reporting be done?
  16. How will we follow up with Scouts to be sure they submit their project reports?
  17. Where does the council follow-up volunteer send the photos and receipts?
  18. What if we believe we can find more than 25 Scouts to put the gift cards to use?
  19. If an individual Scout wants to participate independently, must his council be involved?
  20. What happens if we need to change our follow-up volunteer?
  21. Are there limits on what may be purchased with the cards and where they can be used?
  22. What happens to the cards after they are used, and when do they expire?
  23. What if a gift card is lost or stolen or if a Scout cannot find his card number when he needs it?
  24. Where can Scout grant recipients send thank-you letters?
  25. What will be the responsibilities of the national volunteer Lowe's Service Project Task Force?

See below for the answers.

For questions not covered above, please send a message to lowes.grant@scouting.org.

  1. How is Year 2 of the Lowe's National Eagle Scout Project Impact Grant program different from Year 1?
    The major differences between Year 2 and Year 1 are as follows:
    • The national Advancement Team has been called upon to administer Year 2, and the national Advancement Committee has formed the Lowe's Service Project Task Force to assist in contacting local council volunteers to monitor and promote follow-up with Scout recipients.
    • Gift cards will be mailed directly to individual Scouts. Local councils are not responsible for receiving, recording, or distributing cards.
    • All councils, regardless of size, will have the opportunity to apply for up to 25 cards for 25 Scouts.
    • Councils must identify and electronically submit the names and postal addresses for each Eagle Scout candidate recipient. This will be done through the software the National Council uses to conduct most of its opinion surveys. It is recommended that council advancement committees coordinate the effort.
    • Each council must provide one volunteer who will agree to follow up with that council's Scout recipients until each Scout has submitted a brief electronic project report, and sent photographs of his project, receipts from gift card purchases, and his gift card (if it has a remaining balance) to the national office. The electronic reports will be submitted through the same survey software. Go to www.scouting.org/trailtoeagle and click on the link, "Responsibilities of the local council Lowe's Foundation project follow-up volunteer."
  2. How does our council reserve the $100 gift cards for our Eagle Scout candidates?
    The council Scout executive or a designated council staff member sends a message to lowes.grant@scouting.org notifying the national Advancement Team of the council's intent to participate. The council advancement chair or other authorized volunteer may send this message as long as either the Scout executive or designated staff member is copied.
    The message must include the following:
    1. Your council name.
    2. The name of your Scout executive or staff designee.
    3. Name and email address (only) of the volunteer who has agreed to follow up with the Scout recipients until they have fulfilled their reporting obligations.
    4. The number of cards the council would like to reserve for its Scouts (up to 25). There should be confidence that a Scout recipient can be found for every card reserved.
    5. Councils may request more than 25 cards (up to 50) but must explain how the Scout recipients will be identified.
  3. How long will our reservation for gift cards be honored?
    We will continue to hold any cards for which you have not submitted Scout recipients until you let us know you would like to release your reservation or until our supply of cards runs low. In either case, you may continue to submit Scout recipients, but we will issue the cards on a first-come, first-served basis. Councils submitting notifications of participation after our supply has diminished will be informed we are not able to reserve cards for them, but that we will accept new Scout recipients until the supply of cards is exhausted.
  4. May BSA members in other countries, such as with the Far East or Transatlantic councils, participate?
    Unfortunately the gift cards are not permitted for distribution or usage outside of the United States. If a Scout is to receive one of the Lowe's Foundation grants for a project that takes place in another country, all purchases using the gift card must be made within the United States.
  5. Gift cards go directly to our Scouts; but how do we submit Scout addresses to the National Council?
    The follow-up volunteer identified by each council will receive a link to the Scout recipient submission Web page. In order to prevent unauthorized use, the link will only work from the email address to which it is sent. The message with the link will not work if it is forwarded to someone else. The designated council follow-up volunteer is the only person permitted to enter the council's Scout recipients. Upon entering the site, the follow-up volunteer will enter his or her telephone number and read and agree to the responsibilities involved in the effort; the volunteer will then enter the names and postal addresses for each Scout. A box must be checked affirming that any Scout under the age of 14 has his parent's or guardian's permission to participate. Another box must be checked affirming that each Scout has agreed to the spending and reporting obligations that come with the card. Scouts should be entered into the system weekly as they are identified. Within one or two weeks of entry, the national Advancement Team will put each Scout's gift card in a packet and mail it directly to the Scout. We ask that councils allow 30 days between the date of entering Scouts into the system and the date they will begin spending for their projects.
  6. We understand we should enter our Scout recipients as we find them, but how often can we do that?
    It is important to enter Scouts into the system weekly as they are identified. This way the national Advancement Team will have the best chance of getting gift cards to the Scouts before they begin spending. When the follow-up volunteer goes into the submission website there will be a box to check letting us know that more recipients will be entered later. If the box is checked we will send the follow-up volunteer another invitation to the website so this can be done. The invitations will be sent out weekly, and the site cannot be accessed without the invitation message. If the box is not checked, it will mean that all the Scouts from that council have been entered.
  7. Local councils will have less responsibility in Year 2; exactly what is the local council's obligation?
    Councils need only identify the Scout recipients and recruit a follow-up volunteer—probably someone from the advancement committee—who will work with the youth to assure submission of their reports. Councils will not receive the cards. Councils are, however, expected to assure that all Scout recipients fulfill their reporting obligations.
  8. Why do councils large and small have access to the same number of gift cards?
    All councils, regardless of size, may arrange for up to 25 cards. Councils may request more, but they must include an explanation of how Scout recipients will be found. No more than 50 cards per council will be issued. If, however, 50 Scouts in a council meet all of their obligations, that council may—depending on our stock—be approved for additional cards. Though it may be more equitable to automatically provide more cards to large councils, a study of Year 1 results revealed that success in identifying Scouts who are preparing to conduct their Eagle projects is not a function of council size.
  9. What are the responsibilities of the follow-up volunteer who is designated by each participating council?
    Each council must select a follow-up volunteer who will electronically submit the council's Scout recipients and then work with them until all their reports are submitted. Follow-up volunteers must also collect the Scouts' photos, receipts, and any unused cards or cards with remaining balances, and send these to the national Advancement Team. It is recommended follow-up volunteers be in a position to identify Scouts who are submitting Eagle Scout service project proposals. Each council follow-up volunteer will receive a link to the Scout recipient submission website. The link will only work from the email address to which it is sent; it will not work if it is forwarded to someone else. The follow-up volunteer will enter his or her telephone number and read and agree to the responsibilities involved, and then enter the names and postal addresses for each Scout recipient. A box must be checked affirming that each Scout has agreed to the spending and reporting obligations that come with the card. Scouts should be entered into the system weekly as they are identified. We ask that councils allow 30 days between the date of entering Scouts into the system and the date they will begin spending for their projects.

    For more information about the duties of the follow-up volunteer, go to www.scouting.org/trailtoeagle, and click on the link, "Responsibilities of the local council's designated follow-up volunteer."
  10. How are the Scout card recipients to be selected?
    The method for selecting Scout recipients is a local council decision. The only national qualification is that recipients must be Life Scouts who are preparing to work on an Eagle Scout service project. The national Advancement Team recommends council advancement committee members should be involved because they may know of Scouts preparing to work on Eagle service projects. Be sure to submit Scout recipient information at least 30 days before spending on a project is to begin. There is a sample grant recipient application at www.scouting.org/trailtoeagle that your council may customize. Click on the link, "Grant Application for Eagle Scout Candidates."
  11. Is there a grant application form we may use in selecting our Scouts?
    Yes. It can be found at our Lowe's Foundation project website, and it may be customized for your council. Go to www.scouting.org/trailtoeagle, and click on the link, "Grant application for Eagle Scout candidates." The application instructs the Scout to send it to his local council. Using the application is not a national requirement, but councils may require their Scouts to fill it out and submit it. Doing so provides the necessary contact information and also affirms the Scout's agreement to fulfill his obligations. The applications, however, are for local use only, and are not to be sent to the National Council. Be aware that some Scouts may find the application through www.scouting.org and may send it to their council service centers independent of any council efforts to identify recipients. It is important to understand that these Scouts will not be able to participate in the grant opportunity unless their councils elect to participate in the program.
  12. What if we are unable to find enough Scouts to receive the cards we have reserved?
    This is not a problem. Just send a message to lowes.grant@scouting.org letting us know that you will not be submitting any further Scout recipients. We will then release your cards for other Scouts to use. Follow-up volunteers may also let us know this while they are in the submission website entering the last of the Scouts who have been identified. They would simply not check the box that indicates they will have more Scouts to enter later. If at that time there are cards remaining in the council's reserved quota, they will be released for use in other councils.
  13. Each Scout recipient will receive a packet containing his gift card; what else will be in the packet?
    The packet will include four items: a cover letter providing a link to the reporting website, a sheet explaining the Scout's obligations, the gift card with an explanation of usage rules, and a Lowe's poster, which must be displayed at the project site.
  14. What are the Eagle Scout candidate's obligations?
    Each grant recipient must agree to use the card solely for purchases of goods or services that contribute directly to his project. Cards must not be used to "reimburse" individuals for previous purchases. The Scout also agrees to electronically submit a very brief report on his project, and through the local council follow-up volunteer, send in his receipts from card expenditures, and a few before-and-after photographs of his project—preferably depicting the materials or supplies purchased with the gift card. If a Scout does not use his card or if it has a remaining balance after spending is finished, the card must be turned over to the council follow-up volunteer so it can be returned to the national Advancement Team. The card represents a gift restricted for use on an Eagle project. It is not the result of a fundraising effort, and is not to be turned over to the project beneficiary.

    For more information about the obligations of the Scout recipients, go to www.scouting.org/trailtoeagle, and click on the link, "Scout Recipient's Obligations."
  15. The deadline for reports on grant-funded Eagle projects is April 30, 2014; how will the reporting be done?
    In his packet cover letter, each Scout will receive a link to a reporting website where he must submit a very brief report on his project. He will enter his name, gift card number, phone number, council, unit, project beneficiary name, the location of the project, key words on the type of project, a brief description of the project, and project start and finish dates.
  16. How will we follow up with Scouts to be sure they submit their project reports?
    As you identify Scouts who will begin their Eagle service projects in 30 days or more, you will want to collect their contact information. A sample grant application can be found at www.scouting.org/trailtoeagle. Each council must recruit one volunteer who will agree to follow up with each Scout recipient until he has submitted his report and provided his photos and receipts (and his gift card if it has a remaining balance when he has finished spending). Volunteers from the national Advancement Advisory Panel will be working with the national Advancement Team to keep in touch with council follow-up volunteers to alert them as Scout's electronic reports are received at the national office.
  17. Where does the council follow-up volunteer send the photos and receipts?
    The Scout is responsible for providing photos of his project as well as receipts for goods or services purchased with the gift card. These items, plus any cards with a remaining balance, are collected by the follow-up volunteer and, no later than May 31, 2014, sent to Program Impact Department; S209 Lowe's Project; National Council BSA, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.
  18. What if we believe we can find more than 25 Scouts to put the gift cards to use?
    Larger councils may request more than 25 Scout recipients. This should be done in the notification of participation or in a separate email to lowes.grant@scouting.org. The message must come from the Scout executive, staff designee, or from a volunteer providing leadership to the effort in the council. If a volunteer sends the message, the Scout executive or staff designee must be copied. The message must explain how the Scouts will be found. To begin with, no more than 50 cards per council will be issued.
  19. If an individual Scout wants to participate independently, must his council be involved?
    If an individual Scout hears about the Lowe's Foundation grant opportunity, he must work through his local council to participate. He may use the grant application found at this Web page: www.scouting.org/trailtoeagle. If the council has not heard about the opportunity, the Scout or his parent or guardian may refer the council to that same Web page and suggest the council send an email to lowes.grant@scouting.org so more can be learned. An individual Scout will not receive a grant if his local council chooses not to participate.
  20. What happens if we need to change our follow-up volunteer?
    If your council follow-up volunteer is no longer able to assist with the project, your Scout executive or staff designee must send a message to lowes.grant@scouting.org with the name and email address of a replacement. The designated follow-up volunteer is the only person who can go into the submission website to enter participating Scouts. You may have other follow-up volunteers who assist as well, but their names are not submitted to the national Advancement Team, and they will be unable to access the submission website.
  21. Are there limits on what may be purchased with the cards, and where they can be used?
    The gift cards are limited to direct purchase of supplies, materials, or services that will be used for an Eagle Scout service project. Receipts must be submitted to the BSA National Council. The cards must not be used to "reimburse" expenses that have already been incurred, nor can the cards be used for food or tools. Though funded through the generosity of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, the gift cards are supplied through Discover and may be used not only at a Lowe's location, but any establishment that accepts the Discover Card. The cards will expire on May 1, 2014.
  22. What happens to the cards after they are used, and when do they expire?
    If they have been exhausted, they may be destroyed. Any cards with a balance remaining after a Scout has finished spending on his project must be turned over to the council follow-up volunteer and returned to the National Council. The Discover gift cards will all expire on May 1, 2014.
  23. What if a gift card is lost or stolen or if a Scout cannot find his card number when he needs it?
    If cards are lost or stolen, we must receive word immediately through lowes.grant@scouting.org. We will replace a lost or stolen card only if you are able to provide the card number and only if, by the time we are able to deactivate the card, it has remained unused with the entire $100 balance remaining. The cards are just like cash and should be guarded carefully. Each Scout should make a record of his card number when he receives it. He must also have the card number to submit his electronic project report. If a Scout cannot find his card number he may send a message to lowes.grant@scouting.org, giving us a phone number where we may call to confirm his identity and give him his card number.
  24. Where can Scout grant recipients send thank-you letters?
    Scouts who would like to thank the Lowe's Foundation may either send thank-you messages or scanned letters to lowes.grant@scouting.org, or they may mail them to Program Impact Department; S209 Lowe's Project; National Council BSA, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. We will forward them to the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation.
  25. What will be the responsibilities of the national volunteer Lowe's Service Project Task Force?
    The national Advancement Team will transmit to the Lowe's Service Project Task Force members the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the local council follow-up volunteers along with the names of the Scouts who have been sent gift cards. Task force members will assist in promoting the gift card opportunity to selected councils, but their primary responsibility will be to work within the four BSA regions to welcome council follow-up volunteers and encourage them to follow up with Scouts who have not yet submitted their reports, receipts, photos, and any gift cards with remaining balances.