In 1986 a dedicated and visionary group of Palmetto Boy’s State staff members developed the idea of pledging financial support to the program. Before that time, the American Legion had been the primary PBS sponsor. However, the American Legion was not only slowly losing membership, but also the ability to indefinitely sustain financial support for the Boy’s State programs across the United States. With that in mind, in 1988 the PBS group founded a tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation named the Friends of Boy’s State.
For the next twenty two years, FOBS relied exclusively on private donations to help finance Boy’s State. However, by 2008 the failing financial climate and cost of living increases mandated a change in fundraising philosophy. In 2011, the FOBS Board of Directors voted to accept not only private gifts, but funds from corporations, government sources and foundations.