side menu icon
Girl_Learning_Money_Skills

Troop Finances

How do girls become financially empowered women? Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), that’s how! Your Girl Scout troop should plan and finance its own activities, and you’ll coach your girls as they earn and manage troop funds. Troop activities are powered by proceeds earned through council-sponsored product program activities (such as the Girl Scout Cookie Program), group money-earning activities (council approved, of course!), and any dues your troop may charge.

With your guidance, girls will learn key money skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

Remember that all funds collected, raised, earned, or otherwise received in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be used for the purposes of Girl Scouting. Funds are administered by the troop and do not belong to individuals.

Establishing a Troop Account

No matter how much your troop plans on saving or spending, you’ll need a safe place to deposit your troop dues, product program proceeds, and other funds. If you’ve stepped up to lead an existing troop, you may inherit a checking account, but with a new troop, you’ll want to open a new bank account.

Troops should set up a bank account within the first 3 months of forming or by December. Check with your service unit to learn their requirements. If they have no specific bank, you can choose a bank. Any bank is allowed. Girl Scouts of Central Indiana has relationships with the following banks so we will be able to help you if you have problems at your local branch.

Fifth Third
First Financial - Ohio
Forum Credit Union
Home Bank
Huntington
Old National
PNC
Regions

Before setting up a bank account the troop leader should take Money Matters 1. This is required before completing the banking form online. As a new troop leader you should have received an email welcoming you to Girl Scouts with the next steps to take this training.
Both signers must be at the branch to open an account. Every troop can have a debit card, which will be mailed to Girl Scouts of Central Indiana and then sent to you.

General Rules
· There must be two unrelated adults living in separate households as signers that have signatures on the account. Debit cards are allowed.
· The account should be named Girl Scouts of Central Indiana Troop XXXXX with the five digit troop number.
· Online banking is permissible if the bank has capacity. Some banks can only access online banking (free) by using the tax identification number, and that won’t work for us. (Everyone would have access to all accounts.)
· To change signatures on an account, both volunteers (the old and new signers) should go to the bank together. If that is not possible, contact the help desk at Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. We can provide a documentation letter.

If you have questions about banking please call Help Desk at 317.924.6810.

Here are a few helpful tips: 

  • Be sure to find a bank that has free checking and low fees.
  • Designate a troop treasurer, that is, one person who is responsible for troop funds and for keeping a daily account of expenditures.
  • Ensure your account comes with a debit card that you can use during activities or trips. These transactions are easier to track at the end of the year.
  • Be prepared like a Girl Scout, and make sure another troop volunteer has a debit card accessible for the troop account in case the main card is lost.
  • Handle a lost troop debit card the same way you would a personal debit card: cancel it immediately.
  • Keep troop funds in the bank before an activity or trip and pay for as many items as possible in advance of your departure.
Troop Disbanding and Unused Troop Funds

When a troop disbands, any unused Girl Scout money left in the account becomes the property of the council or turned over to the service unit. Troop funds are not the property of any individual girl. Before disbanding, ask your girls how they want to pay it forward: they may decide to donate any unused funds to their service unit, to another troop, or to pay for girl activities. Girl activities can include renewing memberships for girls who want to continue, or purchasing materials to support another organization through Take Action projects.

Summary: Dispersal of Group Funds

Girl leaves; does not continue in GS

No funds move

Girl moves to another Troop

A portion of funds move with girl

Troop disbands; girl moves to another troop

A portion of funds move with girl

Troop disbands; no girls continue in GS

Funds are turned over to service unit or GSCI

Troops merge

Funds merge

Troops divide into 2 or more troops

Portion of funds follow each girl

Troops bridge to new troop

Portion of funds follow each girl

Closing the Troop Account

When closing a troop account, be sure all checks and other debits have cleared the account before you close it. Complete the troop banking form. Remember, you may have to close the account in person. Turn remaining funds over to a council staff member or your service unit.

 

Money-Earning Basics for Troops

Troops flex their financial muscles in two distinct ways:

• The Girl Scout Cookie Program and other sales of Girl Scout–authorized products (such as calendars, magazines, or nuts and candy), organized by your council. All girl members are eligible to participate in two council-sponsored product program activities each year with volunteer supervision: the cookie program and one other council-authorized product program. Please remember, volunteers and Girl Scout council staff don’t sell cookies and other products—girls do. 

• Group money-earning activities organized by the troop (not by the council) that are planned and carried out by girls (in partnership with volunteers) and that earn money for the group.

Participation Guidance
Girls’ participation in both council-sponsored product program activities and group money-earning projects is based upon the following:
• Voluntary participation
• Written permission of each girl’s parent or guardian
• An understanding of (and ability to explain clearly to others) why the money is needed
• An understanding that money earning should not exceed what the group needs to support its program activities
• Observance of local ordinances related to involvement of children in money-earning activities as well as health and safety laws
• Vigilance in protecting the personal safety of each girl
• Arrangements for safeguarding the money

Additional Guidelines

Keep these specific guidelines—some of which are required by the Internal Revenue Service—in mind to ensure that sales are conducted with legal and financial integrity.
• All rewards earned by girls through the product program activities must support Girl Scout program experiences (such as camp, travel, and program events, but not scholarships or financial credits toward outside organizations).
• Rewards are based on sales ranges set by councils and may not be based on a dollar-per-dollar calculation.
• Troops are encouraged to participate in council product program as their primary money-earning activity; any group money earning shouldn’t compete with the Girl Scout Cookie Program or other council product program.
• Obtain written approval from your council before a group money-earning event; most councils ask that you submit a request for approval.
• Girl Scouts discourages the use of games of chance. Any activity which could be considered a game of chance (raffles, contests, bingo) must be approved by the local Girl Scout council and be conducted in compliance with all local and state laws.
• Girl Scouts’ Blue Book policy forbids girls from the direct solicitation of cash. Girls can collect partial payment toward the purchase of a package of Girl Scout Cookies and other Girl Scout–authorized products through participation in council-approved product sale donation programs.
• Girl Scouts forbids product demonstration parties where the use of the Girl Scout trademark increases revenue for another business, such as in-home product parties. Any business using the Girl Scout trademark or other Girl Scout intellectual property must seek authorization from GSUSA.
• Group money-earning activities need to be suited to the ages and abilities of the girls and consistent with the principles of the GSLE.
Money earned is for Girl Scout activities and is not to be retained by individuals. Girls can, however, be awarded rewards and/or may earn credits from their Girl Scout product program. Funds acquired through group money-earning projects must be reported and accounted for by the group according to council procedures.


GSCI Additional Money-Earning Guidelines

The Girl Scout Cookie Program and other council-sponsored product programs are designed to unleash the entrepreneurial potential in your girls. From there, your troop may decide to earn additional funds on its own.
• Additional Money Raising Requirements
• View Money Matters, Module 4 – Additional Fund- Raising Guidelines. This module covers all restrictions and guidelines.
• Troops are required to actively participate in the Girl Scout cookie program.
• Blackout Dates
• There are no blackout dates for additional money earning activities during the Fall Product Program.
• Money earning activities must not take place during the Cookie Program period.
• Troop Cash Contributions
• When a troop or Service Unit receives a cash contribution for which the giver requires a gift receipt (for tax credit) OR which is above $250, the gift should be mailed directly to council for deposit and acknowledgment.  
• Once the money is received and matched to the money earning application, a check will be mailed to troop leader.
• If the donor does not want a receipt, the money should not be sent into the Girl Scout office.
• Additional Fund Raising Opportunities:
• Restaurant Nights – troops/service units may participate in 1 Restaurant Night fundraiser, per membership year. Remember, however, that Girl Scouts may not endorse any product or service. Girls, volunteers, and parents may not stuff flyers in mailboxes or post them in public places. This needs to be word of mouth promotion to families and close friends of the girls and volunteers in the troop or service unit.

Grants:
• Girls may not directly solicit funds from individual or organizations
• Individual troops and service units (all girls, parents, and volunteers) may not solicit grants or financial donations from foundations or corporations.
• In Kind Contributions:
• If a troop or Service Unit solicits an in-kind donation with an estimated value of $500 or more, approval must be sought from council. Approval must occur before solicitation. Please contact fund development department at funddevelopment@girlscoutsindiana.org.
• Matching Gifts:
• Many employers will match gifts or volunteer hours to Girl Scouts of Central Indiana as part of their corporate policy. Does yours?
• If your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your employer, complete, sign and send it with your gift. We will do the rest. The impact of your gift to Girl Scouts of Central Indiana may be doubled or possibly tripled.

• The Following Opportunities Are Not Allowed:
• Girls directly asking for cash donations.
• Crowd Funding – this includes GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, RocketHub, GoGetFunding, Ulule and CircleUp.
• Raising or collecting funds for other organizations (i.e. ringing bells for Salvation Army)
• Sales of gift cards, coupon books or candy bars for other organizations or businesses
• Product demonstration parties: Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, etc.

 

Sample Money-Earning Activities
Collections/Drives

• Cell phones for refurbishment
• Used ink cartridges turned in for money
• Christmas tree recycling
Food/Meal Events
• Lunch box auction (prepared lunch or meal auctioned off)
• Themed meals, like a high tea or a build-your-own-taco bar, related to activities girls are planning (For instance, if girls are earning money for travel, they could tie the meal to their destination.)
Service(s)
• Service-a-thon (people sponsor a girl doing service and funds go to support a trip or other activity)
• Babysitting for holiday (New Year’s Eve) or council events
• Raking leaves, weeding, cutting grass, shoveling snow, walking pets
• Cooking class or other specialty class

Tax ID number is an IRS designation, and as such, is given to Girl Scouts of Central Indiana – the council. We cannot give either the Federal Tax ID number or our Indiana Dept. of Revenue Sales Tax exemption number out to troops.

There are a couple of exceptions and here is how they will work:
1. A troop is requesting a donation (either cash or materials) for a Large Service Project (Gold, Bronze, Silver Award; Take Action project, or Large Project where the single purchase is over $250) and the donor needs the Tax ID #. Fill out the Troop Fund Raising Event Approval Form and we will mail the Tax ID # directly to the company donating the goods or cash.
2. A troop has filled out a youth grant form, such as the Kohls, or Youth as Resources Grant, and the granting agency needs the Tax ID #. Fill out the Troop/Service Unit Donation Form, and we will fill in the Tax ID and forward on to the granting agency.
3. A donor gives money ($250 or more) to a troop fundraiser, and requests our Tax ID #. Request that the donor write the check out to Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, and then fill out a Troop/Service Unit Donation Form, and then the check will get matched up with the form, and reissued to the troop. The donor will then receive a letter from GSCI for their tax records.
4. A troop is requesting either tax form for a Large Service Project Purchase (Gold, Bronze, Silver Award; Take Action project, or Large Service Project where the single purchase is over $250) and need the Tax ID/Sales Tax Exemption #. Please complete this form.


 

Help Your Troop Reach its Financial Goals

We get it—there’s something exciting about opening that first case of Girl Scout cookies.  However, before your girls take part in all the cookie program fun, it’s important they have a clear plan and purpose for their product program activities. As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to facilitate girl-led financial planning, which may include the following steps for the girls:

  1. Set goals for money-earning activities. What do girls hope to accomplish through this activity? In addition to earning money, what skills do they hope to build? What leadership opportunities present themselves?

  2. Create a budget. Use a budget worksheet that includes both expenses (the cost of supplies, admission to events, travel, and so on) and available income (the group’s account balance, projected cookie proceeds, and so on).

  3. Determine how much the group needs to earn. Subtract expenses from available income to determine how much money your group needs to earn.

  4. Make a plan. The group can brainstorm and make decisions about its financial plans. Will cookie and other product programs—if approached proactively and energetically—earn enough money to meet the group’s goals? If not, which group money-earning activities might offset the difference? Will more than one group money-earning activity be necessary to achieve the group’s financial goals? In this planning stage, engage the girls through the Girl Scout processes (girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning) and consider the value of any potential activity. Have them weigh feasibility, implementation, and safety factors. 

  5. Write it out. Once the group has decided on its financial plan, describe it in writing. If the plan involves a group money-earning activity, fill out an application for approval from your council and submit it along with the budget worksheet the girls created. 

Remember: It’s great for girls to have opportunities, like the Girl Scout Cookie Program, to earn funds that help them fulfill their goals as part of the GSLE. As a volunteer, try to help girls balance the money-earning they do with opportunities to enjoy other activities that have less emphasis on earning and spending money. Take Action projects, for example, may not always require girls to spend a lot of money!

Financial Management and Product Program Abilities by Grade Level

As with other Girl Scout activities, girls build their financial and sales savvy as they get older. Every girl will be different, but here you’ll find some examples of the abilities and opportunities for progression of girls at each grade level.

Girl Scout Daisies 
The group volunteer handles money, keeps financial records, and does all group budgeting.
Parents/guardians may decide they will contribute to the cost of activities.
Girls can participate in Girl Scout cookie activities and other council-sponsored product programs.
Daisies are always paired with a volunteer when selling anything. Girls do the asking and deliver the product, but volunteers handle the money and keep the girls secure.
Girls should be given the opportunity to practice identifying money and counting back change with an adult during each transaction.
Girl Scout Brownies
The group volunteer handles money, keeps financial records, and shares some of the group-budgeting responsibilities.
Girls discuss the cost of activities (supplies, fees, transportation, rentals, and so on) with guidance from their volunteer(s).
Girls set goals for and participate in council-sponsored product programs.
Girls may decide to pay dues to contribute to the cost of activities.
Girl Scout Juniors 
The group volunteer retains overall responsibility for long-term budgeting and record-keeping, but shares or delegates all other financial responsibilities.
Girls set goals for and participate in council-sponsored product programs.
Girls decide on group dues, if any. Dues are collected by girls and recorded by a group treasurer (selected by the girls).
Girls budget for the short-term needs of the group, on the basis of plans and income from the group dues.
Girls budget for more long-term activities, such as overnight trips, group camping, and special events. 
Girls budget for Take Action projects, including the Girl Scout Bronze Award, if they are pursuing it.
Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors 
Girls estimate costs based on plans.
Girls determine the amount of group dues (if any) and the scope of money-earning projects.
Girls set goals for and participate in council-sponsored product programs.
Girls carry out budgeting, planning, and group money-earning projects.
Girls budget for extended travel, Take Action projects, and leadership projects.
Girls may be involved in seeking donations for Take Action projects, with council approval.
Girls keep their own financial records and give reports to parents and group volunteers.
Girls budget for Take Action projects, including the Girl Scout Silver or Gold Awards, if they are pursuing them.
Working with Sponsors and Other Organizations

Every girl deserves an empowering leadership experience like Girl Scouts and local sponsors can help councils make that vision a reality. Community organizations, businesses, religious organizations, and individuals may be sponsors and may provide group meeting places, volunteer their time, offer in-kind donations, provide activity materials, or loan equipment. Encourage your girls to celebrate a sponsor’s contribution to the troop by sending thank-you cards, inviting the sponsor to a meeting or ceremony, or working together on a Take Action project.

For information on working with a sponsor, consult your council; they can give you guidance on the availability of sponsors, recruiting guidelines, and any council policies or practices that must be followed. Your council may already have relationships with certain organizations, or may know of some reasons not to collaborate with certain organizations.

Important guidelines when approaching money earning with other organizations


When collaborating with any other organization, keep these additional guidelines in mind: 

Avoid fundraising for other organizations: Girl Scouts are not allowed to solicit money on behalf of another organization when identifying ourselves as Girl Scouts (such as wearing a uniform, a sash or vest, official pins, and so on). This includes participating in a walkathon or telethon while in uniform. However, you and your group can support another organization through take-action projects. Girl Scouts as individuals are able to participate in whatever events they choose, as long as they’re not wearing anything that officially identifies them as “Girl Scouts.” 

Steer clear of political fundraisers: When in an official Girl Scout capacity or in any way identifying yourselves as Girl Scouts, your group may not participate (directly or indirectly) in any political campaign or work on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for public office. Letter-writing campaigns are not allowed, nor is participating in a political rally, circulating a petition, or carrying a political banner. 

Be respectful when collaborating with religious organizations: Girl Scout groups must respect the opinions and practices of religious partners, but no girl should be required to take part in any religious observance or practice of the sponsoring group. 

Avoid selling or endorsing commercial products: “Commercial products” is any product sold at a retail location. Since 1939, girls and volunteers have not been allowed to endorse, provide a testimonial for, or sell such products.

Troop and Service Unit Fundraising Guidelines
Adults only, representing a troop or service unit, may solicit cash donations from local community businesses within 30 miles of where the troop or service unit meets. No more than 1 ask per calendar year can be made of a business and the ask must not exceed $500.

A local community business is defined as one that does not exceed 100 employees.