Troop Finances
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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.

Opening Troop or Service Unit Bank Accounts

No matter how much your troop plans on saving or spending, you’ll need a safe place to deposit your troop dues, product sale 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. 

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 accessible a debit card 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.

Follow your council’s financial policies and procedures for setting up an account. Most council-sponsored product program activities have specific banking and tracking procedures. 

Opening Bank Accounts:
Girl Scout Troop or Service Unit bank accounts may not be opened without approval from GSCTX.

To open your Girl Scout Troop or Service Unit bank account, you will need to go to the GSCTX website, find the web-based ‘Troop Bank Account Request’ form, and submit it for approval. This form will be submitted directly to Customer Care and processed from there. The form must have three or more unrelated, registered adult volunteer signers, one of which must be an approved Service Unit volunteer. All signers must have a successfully processed Criminal Background Check Report on file with GSCTX.

During the processing period, your Service Unit Director or Service Unit Treasurer will be informed you’ve requested to open a bank account.

Once the form has been processed and an authorization letter is returned to the original requestor successfully, they will take this paperwork to the bank to open the account. The account must be in the name of: Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Troop # ________.

Bank statements must be addressed to an account signer, not to GSCTX.

To change banks, change the signers on the bank account, or close the bank account, the same form is used. The GSCTX Bank Account Request Form is located at www.gsctx.org/bankaccount. Fill out the form and submit it for approval. This form will be submitted directly to Customer Care and processed from there. If closing the bank account, and there are still funds present, please follow the Troop separation or disbandment division of funds guidelines.

Online Payment Options
A Service Unit or Troop may use online payment options (such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Venmo) to accept funds as payment for Girl Scout-related events, activities, or goods and services so long as the payment account is linked to a Service Unit or Troop bank account and not to a personal bank account.

Debit Card Guidelines

Girl Scout volunteers provide invaluable services to our most precious clients-the girls. However, the ultimate responsibility for budgeting and record keeping belongs to the adults. All funds collected or received for Girl Scout service units, Girl Scout houses, troops and other organized Girl Scout groups must be deposited into a separate Girl Scout checking or savings account for that entity. All accounts must be in compliance with council banking procedures. When offered by the banking institution, Girl Scout subordinate bank accounts may accept debit cards for troop expenses.

Troop/Groups/Service Units are allowed two debit cards per bank account.

Volunteers who have debit cards issued in their name for any troop / service unit bank accounts are responsible for all purchases/charges made in use of the card. These may include any service fees, non-sufficient funds charges, closed account fee charges, fees associated with lost/stolen debit cards, etc. that may be incurred through use of the card.

Guidelines for using a Girl Scout bank account or debit card:

  • Troop and Service Unit debit cards are authorized for official Girl Scout business only.
  • Debit card records are to be fully reconciled monthly, to ensure accurate and timely end of the year reporting, and that no unauthorized expenditures are applied to the account.
  • ONLY Troop and Service Unit bank account authorized signers, as designated by the signature card with their financial institution, may be issued a bank debit card.
  • Use of the debit card for any type of expense other than Girl Scout business expense is considered a misuse of Girl Scout funds and may violate the Texas Penal Code.
Mismanagement of Funds

The Troop funds belong to the girls and should remain as such.

If a Leader or parent within the troop suspects that the troop funds are being mismanaged, first discuss the matter with the Troop leader.

Complete the "Service Unit/Troop Financial Money Issues or Concerns – Resolution Form” found in the Forms library on the GSCTX website.

Try to collect the facts and proper documentation.

If there is a possibility that the Leader has mismanaged funds, contact the Membership staff person.

The Membership staff person can initiate a preliminary inquiry and audit. If the matter is still unresolved or involves a significant amount of money, please contact the Council’s Chief Financial Officer for further guidance.

If the situation involves cookies, the Product Sales staff person should be notified as well.

If the records are poor and the bank statements have not been reviewed for months, the chances for a positive outcome are very low.

Please make every attempt to be proactive and establish good financial procedures and controls. Provide a good example to your girls.

The key to successful recovery of funds and resolution of financial problems is documentation and timeliness.

Tax Exempt Status

Sales tax exemption (State of Texas only) allows active Service Unit and Troop Leaders to purchase certain items for SU and Troop activities on a tax-free basis.

Contact your Service Unit Director or Registrar to obtain a GSCTX sales tax-exempt card for your troop.

How to properly use sales tax-exempt card:

  • Present to retailers prior to all Troop/Service Unit purchases as some retailers have their own form to complete whereby they will assign a group number to reference GSCTX as an authorized tax exempt organization, such as Walmart and Office Dept.
  • Do not alter the sales tax-exempt card provided
  • Do not provide the GSCTX tax ID number to non-members
  • Use sales tax-exempt cards wisely and never for personal purchases
  • Use Troop/Service Unit bank account for sales tax-exempt purchases
  • Using the sales tax-exempt card for personal purchases is considered Class C Misdemeanor

GSCTX Retail Outlets:
Tax can only be taken off core items (books, uniforms, insignia, earned awards, and patches) and only if the purchase is made entirely (no split tenders) with a Troop debit card or Troop bank account check.

Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certification form (from the Texas Comptroller’s Office). Some vendors may require a Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate as opposed to your GSCTX tax exempt card. Should this be the case, please contact Customer Care and make a request to get assistance from the GSCTX Acounting Department. Be prepared to provide them with the Sellers’ name and contact information along with the items to be purchased. They will complete and approve a Certification form. The approved form will be returned to you in the same manner received. 

Record Keeping and Financial Reports

To fulfill the responsibilities to the troop and Council, please follow these directions:

Keep records (receipts) of all income and expenses. All deposits and withdrawals to the troop account should be noted in the troop financial records. At least two troop signers should monitor all income and expense transactions.

The Detailed Cash Record provides a written record of troop income and expense; a Troop Dues Record may be used to keep track of troop dues. Have more than one adult knowledgeable about group funds; do not borrow troop money for personal use and do not mix personal and troop/ group money.

It is important for the troop leader(s) or designated individual to keep accurate records of the troop finances because an audit of troop records may be called at any time by the Service Unit Director or GSCTX staff member. It is the responsibility of the Troop Treasurer or Co-Signer to share monthly banking activity with parents of the troop. All bank records, canceled checks, bank statements and deposit slips must be kept for five years.

Troop Financial Report

The Troop Financial Report is due to GSCTX by 5/1. The Service Unit Financial Report is due to GSCTX by 5/1.

To complete the form, you will need the previous year’s Troop Financial Report to find the previous year’s ending balance which is called the Total Balance and will be listed as the Previous Year’s Balance on the current year’s report.

Submit the original Troop Financial Report through the VTK Finance Tab. Upload a copy of your March ending bank statement for the troop’s account. This report may be found online on the GSCTX website in the Forms Library or in VTK (Volunteer Toolkit) under the Finances Tab. The title of this form under the VTK Finance Tab is: “Annual Troop Finance Report”. For more information on completing the Troop and Service Unit Financial Report in VTK, go to the GSCTX website, and on the Volunteer Training page, select the “VTK Finance Tab Training” option.

The Troop Financial Report is a report of banking activity through your Troop’s March ending bank statement.

The Total balance on Troop Financial Report must match the ending balance on March bank statement.

This report fulfills your obligation as a leader/advisor and the Girl Scouts of Central Texas’s obligation as a legal corporation to account for public funds.

It is important that this report be completed and returned regarding adhering to Council policies.

If group income is not reported, then you can become liable for that income being taxed as your personal income.

The SUD or SUT will submit Troop Financial Report through the VTK Finance Tab (By May 1st) for approval. Troop Financial Report must be accurate, legible, and complete prior to submitting to Council. Once approved, your troop cookie bonus (if one was earned from the cookie program) will be deposited into your troop bank account. Failure to submit a Troop Financial Report by the due date may result in forfeiture of your cookie bonus and jeopardize the Troop Bank Account. Failure to submit Troop Financial Report will result in troop being ineligible to participate in future Product Program Sales (cookie and fall program) until report has been received.

Once the report is filed, any further monies spent after the report has been filed will be included on the next years’ Troop Financial Report.

Remember that it is very important for the troop leader(s) or designated individual to keep accurate records of the troop finances because an audit of troop records may be called at any time by the Service Unit Director or GSCTX staff member.

Service Unit and Troop Bank Account Balances

The Service Unit bank account should not exceed a $5,000 year-end limit.

The Troop bank account should not exceed a $1,000 year-end limit.

Council approval will be required for Service units and/or Troops wishing to exceed these limits due to activities requiring these additional funds. Documentation supporting these activities should be submitted to your designated Membership Development Executive for review and approval and a note referencing these reason(s) should be included in the Troop Financial Report.

Making Changes to a Bank Account

To make changes to your Girl Scout Troop or Service Unit bank account, you will need to visit the GSCTX Bank Account Request form, and submit it for approval. This form will be submitted directly to Customer Care and processed from there. The form must have three or more unrelated, registered adult volunteer signers, one of which must be an approved Service Unit volunteer. All signers must have a successfully processed Criminal Background Check Report on file with GSCTX.

During the processing period, your Service Unit Director or Service Unit Treasurer will be informed you’ve requested make changes to a bank account.

If closing the bank account, and there are still funds present, please follow the Troop separation or disbandment division of funds guidelines.

If opening a bank account at a different bank, once the new bank account is opened, the troop should write a check on the old account to clear it out and deposit those monies into the new bank account. Make sure that all outstanding checks have cleared the old account.

When the old bank account is “empty,” you will need to visit the GSCTX Bank Account Request, and submit it for approval. This form will be submitted directly to Customer Care and processed from there.

Once approved, the designated person will close the bank account.

This ensures continued use of the funds for the girls.

Closing the Troop Account

Prior to closing bank account, the entire troop should vote on an appropriate Girl Scout activity to use any remaining funds in the troop account. Examples of appropriate use of funds would be a final troop trip, donating to the GSCTX Girl Campaign, or donating to the service unit, etc.

If there are still funds present, please follow the Troop separation or disbandment division of funds guidelines.

Troop funds do not belong to individual girls and should not be distributed to the girls in any form.

When the old bank account is “empty,” you will need to visit the GSCTX Bank Account Request Form, and submit it for approval. This form will be submitted directly to Customer Care and processed from there.

During the processing period, your Service Unit Director or Service Unit Treasurer will be informed you’ve requested make changes to a bank account.

Once approved, the designated person will close the bank account.

The Troop Treasurer will gather bank statements, receipts, unused checks and complete a final Troop Report of Banking Activity for submission to SUT within 30 days (this report will show how the funds were used).

Troop Separation and Division Guidelines

Note:  The transfer process outlined here, with oversight by an authorized volunteer or staff person, is in place to ensure the best interests of each girl and each troop are met.  Girls will not be moved out of troops and troops will not have girls transferred in without approval by an authorized volunteer or staff person.

What constitutes separation from a troop?
A girl is considered separated from her troop if she stops attending meetings for two or more months without a verbal or written explanation to the Troop Leader.

If the troop leader has received verbal communication that the girl is not attending meetings for two months the troop leader must record in writing on which day and who gave the authorization.

Troop Leaders are responsible for initiating communication with the girl’s guardian regarding their absence at troop meetings to determine whether they wish to continue with the troop or not.

A girl is considered separated from her troop if there is a written or documented verbal request from the girl’s guardian.

How is a member transferred out of a troop?
After a girl has been absent from troop meetings from two or more months, with no communication to the troop leader from a parent or guardian, Troop Leaders will work with the receiving troop leader, SUD or SUR, or MDE to have a girl’s membership transferred out of troop.

Leaders who are sending (transferring) girls out of their troops do not complete the Troop Transfer Request Form, but must work with either the Troop Leader of the receiving troop, the Service Unit Director or Service Unit Registrar in charge of the troop receiving the Girl Scout member, or the Membership Development Executive (MDE), all who are all authorized to make this type of request.  

Additionally, a parent or guardian may complete the Troop Transfer Request Form, but only when the request is to transfer the girl into the Service Unit’s Individually-Registered Member (IRM) / Juliette troop.  This option may be best when time is of the essence and the parent or guardian wants the separation date to occur quickly.  Girls can later be transferred into their new home troop, if applicable, when the receiving Troop Leader of the new troop submits the Troop Transfer Request Form. 

A girl is considered separated from her troop as of the date the Troop Transfer Request Form is submitted by an approved GSCTX volunteer or staff member. The Troop Transfer Request Form is available on the GSCTX website.

If the Troop Leader feels that mediation is needed to keep a girl in their troop, they may reach out to their Service Unit Director or Membership Development Executive for further guidance.

What should a Troop Leader do if they see inactive girls or members who should be separated on their troop rosters?
To avoid troop treasury issues after the Fall Product / or Cookie Sales have started, troop leaders should review their troop rosters before the sales start and work with the parents, SUD, SUR, or MDE to ensure the roster is correct and transfers out of the troop are done in a timely manner, as per the processes outlined above.

Inactive girls are not considered Girl Scouts because they are not registered.  Inactive girls appear on the troop roster for one year after they become inactive, per the GSUSA/Volunteer Systems process, and automatically fall off the roster after one year of being inactive.

To transfer girls who are currently registered/active members out of a troop, the troop leader will follow the process for completing the Troop Transfer Request Form as outlined above.

How should troop funds be divided when girls are separating from the troop?
Troop funds will be split equally per the number of registered girls in the troop at the time of the separation.

In the case of older girls (Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors) earning and saving money for funding of Girl Scout Higher Awards or for participation in Destinations or Service Unit/Council Sponsored Travel, the amount each girl has earned for the Higher Awards and/or the Destinations or Service Unit/Council Sponsored Travel, minus any non-refundable deposits, will be transferred to her new troop. Written documentation needs to be submitted to the Membership Development Executive explaining what the funds will be used for Higher Awards or Destinations/Travel. Please refer to the “Managing Money-Earning Funds…” section of the Volunteer Essentials Troop Finances section for more information.

If a girl is inactive during Product Sales, then she is not eligible to receive any portion of troop proceeds from Product Sales when the funds are split.

If a girl is in the process of separating from her troop and does not participate in Product Sales within the current membership year, then she is not eligible to receive any portion of troop proceeds from Product Sales for the current membership year when the funds are split.

If a girl has not met financial obligations to the troop she is separating from within the current membership year, then she is not eligible to receive any portion of troop funds upon separating from the troop. Examples of “financial obligations” are: troop dues, payment for campouts/travel, etc.

What should the Troop Leader do with the separating girl(s) funds once they have been portioned?
The funds portioned for the girl(s) separating from the troop at the time of the separation should be moved (via a check) to the appropriate bank account (SU bank account or receiving troop bank account) and the funds held for 90 days from the time that the girl is separated from the troop. 

If the girl joins a new troop or requests registration as an Individually-Registered Member (IRM) within 90 days, the funds will be transferred to the new troop or held in the Service Unit’s designated Individually-Registered Member (IRM) bank account.

After 90 days, the funds would be considered Service Unit funds to be used for scholarship purposes or put towards Service Unit FOGs goals.

What if the funds are claimed after the girl separated from her troop?
If the funds are claimed via written documentation within 90 days after separation, then they will be moved to the appropriate bank account via check. Depending on her decision, they would go to the Individually-Registered Member (IRM)/ Juliette Troop account designated by the Service Unit or to her new troop’s account.

What if the funds are not claimed after the girl separated from her troop?
If the funds are not claimed via written documentation within 90 days after separation, then they will be moved to the Service Unit bank account via check. They will then be considered Service Unit funds to be used for scholarship purposes or put towards Service Unit FOGs goals.

Troops Merging, Disbanding, and Retirement

First Guiding Principle
– Troop funds collected and earned by the girls belong to the troop. The funds never belong to one individual.

Troops Merging
When two troops decide to combine, the troops must decide which troop number will remain active. This will determine which bank account to leave open.

As soon as the merger has been decided all troops involved should write a check on the old account to clear it out and deposit those monies into the new bank account and then follow procedure listed above for “Closing Bank Account”.

The Troop Treasurer will gather bank statements, receipts, unused checks and complete a final Troop Report of Banking Activity for submission to SUT within 30 days (this report will show how the funds were used)

Troop funds should not be co-mingled until the merger is complete.

Notify the SUD and SUT as well as the GSCTX MDE of the merger.

Troop Disbanding
When the entire troop decides not to continue in Girl Scouts, the troop should vote on an appropriate Girl Scout activity to use any remaining funds in the troop account. Examples of appropriate use of funds would be a final troop trip, donating to the GSCTX FoGS campaign, or donating to the service unit, etc.

Troop funds do not belong to individual girls and should not be distributed to the girls in any form.

The troop leader will complete a Troop Financial Report and contact SUD or SUT to transfer any remaining funds to the Service Unit Account.

Remaining funds in the account will be deposited into the Service Unit account to be forwarded to new troops if any of the girls transfer to another troop.

The amount forwarded will be determined by dividing the remaining funds equally among the girls who were registered with the troop at the time it disbands. Please see the Girl/Troop/Group Separation Report and Treasurer Worksheet in the Forms Library on the GSCTX website for more information.

Funds remaining in the SU account after one full program year will become part of the Service Unit’s operating budget. (SUD and SUT please refer to flow chart in the SUD manual and SUT manual for details on the steps to take when a troop disbands)

Troop Retirement
When the girls in a troop have reached the maximum age for Girl Scout Troop Participation (12th Grade) and are graduating from high school they should vote on how the remaining funds in the troop account will be spent.

Examples of appropriate use of funds would be a final troop trip, donating to the GSCTX The Girl Campaign, or donating to the service unit, etc.

Troop funds do not belong to individual girls and should not be distributed to the girls in any form.

Once the troop retires the troop leader should submit a final Troop Financial Report and write a check to clear it out and coordinate with SUD/SUT to process “Closing Bank Account.” 

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 sale activities each year with volunteer supervision: the cookie program and one other council-authorized product sale. 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 sale 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 sale 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 sales as their primary money-earning activity; any group money earning shouldn’t compete with the Girl Scout Cookie Program or other council product sales.
  • 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 incentives and/or may earn credits from their Girl Scout product sales. Funds acquired through group money-earning projects must be reported and accounted for by the group according to council procedures. 

GSCTX Money-Earning Guidelines
To participate in a troop or group money-earning activity, permission from GSCTX must be obtained by filling out a Money-Earning Application. This form is available at www.gsctx.org/moneyearning; fill it out and submit it for approval. This form will be submitted directly to Customer Care and processed from there. During the processing period your Service Unit Director will be informed you’ve submitted a Money-Earning Application. For more specifics on Concession Sales, please see the Concession Money-Earning Project Application Guidelines section below.

Group money earning activities need to be suited to the age and abilities of the girls and consistent with the principals of the GSLE and are limited to the number of recommended activities by age group.

Money earned is for Girl Scout activities and is not to be retained by individuals.

For girls to take part in a troop / group money-earning activity, they must have participated in both Council-sponsored product programs (GSCTX Fall Product and Girl Scout Cookie Program). Exceptions will be made for groups or troops that are not active during the time of the Council-sponsored product program.

The recommended number of allowable money-earning projects per Girl Scout year:

  • Daisy Girl Scouts – None. All money transactions occur between the troop leader and the parents. Parents may be asked to contribute a certain sum to cover troop expenses, although program expenses at this level should be minimal. Money-earning outside council approved product sales is not approved for Daisy Girl Scouts.
  • Brownie Girl Scouts – one money-earning project
  • Junior Girl Scouts – two money-earning projects
  • Cadette /Senior/Ambassador Girl Scouts – three money-earning projects

If additional money-earning projects are required to meet troop/group budget requirements, the SUD will consult with the MDE on the need and number prior to approval. For multi-level troops, these guidelines are for each sub-level in the troop.

Each money-earning project may have several elements in time. Examples: T shirt sales over a period of three (3) months, consisting of six venues and dates; or three (3) car washes and one garage sale spaced over four (4) months.

The Troop Leader will report all money-earning project income on the year-end Troop/Group/SU Troop Financial Report for the income earned during the reporting year. 

GSCTX has determined that restaurant fundraisers, concessions, or third-party fundraisers are allowable money-earning activities. Girl Scouts are not allowed to endorse commercial products or provide testimonial but are allowed to sell certain commercial products or partner with businesses as money-earning efforts.

Concession Money-Earning Project Application Guidelines
All money-earning applications for Concessions must fill out a specific Concessions Money-Earning Application and obtain approval by the SUD and the Council Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The Council CFO must approve all new Concession contracts. The troop/group will complete Concession Money-Earning Project Application which can be found in the Forms Library on the GSCTX website

Applications must be completed and submitted a minimum of 4+ weeks in advance prior to conducting the project within the following guidelines to be considered for approval:

  • All money-earning applications for Concession money-earning must obtain approval by the SUD and the GSCTX Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The GSCTX CFO must approve all new Concession contracts.
  • At least 75% in your troop must have participated in both Fall Product and Cookie Sales.
  • For girls to take part in a troop/group Concession money-earning activity they must have participated in both Council-sponsored product programs (GSCTX Fall Product and Girl Scout Cookie Program).
  • Each girl in the troop must sell at least five (5) items in the Fall Sale. This unit can be either a Nut or a Magazine item. (Both paper and online acceptable)
  • All troops/groups participating in Concession money-earning will be required to sell a minimum troop average of 185 boxes per girl. This minimum troop average will be raised to 251 boxes per girl in March 2020. Any troop/group not reaching their troop minimum PGA box level will be notified by Product Sales at the end of the Cookie sales that they cannot continue to participate in the Concession money-earning program.

Any troop continuing to participate after being notified that they cannot, will forfeit all concession earnings to the council that were generated after March 1 of the current Cookie season.

Troop leaders must also fill out an end of year Troop Financial Report that includes all Concession earnings by the troop. The report has a specific line item for Concessions.

Managing Money-Earning Funds
When a troop is planning a Girl Scout activity as an entire group, and they will participate in additional money-earning activities beyond the product sales program to earn money for that event/travel, any funds earned from the additional money-earning, including concession sales through GSCTX, are to be considered communal funds to benefit the entire troop equally, regardless of how much any individual girl earns during the additional money-earning.

When an individual, older girl (Cadette, Senior, or Ambassador) is planning a Higher Award project or GSUSA or GSCTX sponsored travel, and they will participate in additional money-earning activities beyond the product sales program to earn money for that event/travel, any funds earned from the additional money-earning, including concession sales through GSCTX, are to be considered individual funds portioned within the troop bank account, to go only towards that individual girl’s planned activity.

If the intention of the money-earning is for a group activity, the money earned is considered group money, not considering how much any individual girl may have earned.

If the intention of the money-earning is for an individual activity, the money earned by the older girl is considered individual money, portioned within the larger troop/group bank account for the planned activity.

When leaving Girl Scouts, the girl’s individual funds within the troop/group bank account must stay within Girl Scouting.

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

The Girl Scout Cookie Program and other council-sponsored product sales are designed to unleash the entrepreneurial potential in your girls. From there, your troop may decide to earn additional funds on its own. 

Branded Materials or Items

With Girl Scouts of Central Texas’s approval, products bearing the Girl Scouts name or intellectual property may be created for non-commercial purposes, only, and may not be offered for resale (money-earning) by troops, service units, volunteers, or individual members. Branded materials produced for giveaway at fee-based events must be produced by a GSUSA licensed vendor. Any other publicly visible materials that use the Girl Scouts or Girl Scouts of Central Texas name, logo, fonts, or any other branding must be approved by communications@gsctx.org prior to use.

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-sale 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 sales—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 sales.
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 sales.
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 sales.
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 sales.
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.

Financial Partnerships

Financial Partnerships
Financial Partnerships (FP) are available to registered Girl Scouts for assistance with uniform basics (tunic, vest or sash, troop numbers, Council ID), Journey books, Service Unit and Council events and Camperships. Because GSCTX is a non-profit business, FP funding is limited to budgeted funds available. The FP budget may be exhausted at any point in a membership year. FP awards for high valued events such as, Council sponsored trips and Camperships, will be limited up to $400 per girl per membership year. (Note: An applicant may not qualify for the full $400 amount)

Who is eligible for Financial Partnership?
To be considered for FP, each girl must be registered for the current membership program year AND have participated in both of the Council sponsored Product Sales events (Fall Products and Cookie Sales). (Note: For girls registering after one or both product sales events, FP awards will be reduced based on participation. Each applicant must sell a minimum of 5 units (Nuts or Magazines) of Fall Products, and a minimum of 60 boxes of Cookies to be eligible for FP. Adults are not eligible for Financial Partnership.

What are the Financial Partnership deadlines/meeting dates?
There are no deadlines for turning in applications. Please allow 2 - 4 weeks for processing and notification. NOTE: Applications received less than 2 weeks before an event will not be processed. When applications are submitted after an event has passed or if your payment is made prior to submitting an FP application, no FP amount is awarded. Find the “ Financial Partnership Application ” in the Forms Library on the GSCTX website.

How will I know if Financial Partnership was awarded or denied for my child?
Applicants will be notified via US mail. All responses will be sent to the parent or guardian listed on the application. For Service Unit events, a copy of the response will be sent to the Service Unit Director.

Are FP available for the DESTINATIONS travel program?
The DESTINATIONS program is a GSUSA sponsored program and is not GSCTX sponsored. Therefore, FP are not available for this program. However, GSCTX does have a limited budget for both scholarships and financial assistance for girls interested in DESTINATIONS.

Reimbursements are not given.

FP will not be used to reimburse for events, Camperships, uniform basics (tunic, vest or sash, troop numbers, Council ID) or Journey books previously paid for by the applicant.

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