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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.

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 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.

Follow Girl Scouts of Central Texas financial policies and procedures for setting up an account. GSCTX product program activities have specific banking and tracking procedures. 

Opening a Girl Scout Bank Account:

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 submit the Bank Account Request form for approval. The form can be found on the GSCTX website under forms and at www.gsctx.org/bankaccount and will be submitted directly to Customer Care for processing. Bank Account Request Form processing tips:

  • Requestor will need the name, address, and phone number for each signer who will be listed on the Girl Scout bank account
  • Girl Scout bank account must have three or more unrelated registered adult signers who are not living in the same household, one of which who must be an approved service unit volunteer
  • All signers must have an eligible Criminal Background Check (CBC) report on file with GSCTX
  • During the processing period, the Service Unit Director and Service Unit Treasurer will be informed of request to open a Girl Scout bank account
  • Once the form is processed by GSCTX, an authorization letter is returned to the original requestor, Service Unit Director, and Service Unit Treasurer
  • Account signers should take authorization paperwork to the bank to open the account. 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
  • If opening the 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 submit a new Bank Account Request Form to close the old Girl Scout bank account.

Making Changes to a Girl Scout Bank Account

To change banks where the Girl Scout troop or service unit bank account is active, or to change who are signers on the bank account, you will need to submit the Bank Account Request form for approval. The form can be found on the GSCTX website under forms and at www.gsctx.org/bankaccount and will be submitted directly to Customer Care for processing.

Bank Account Request Form – Making Changes processing tips:

  • Requestor will need the name, address, and phone number for each signer who will be listed on the Girl Scout bank account
  • Signers must not add or remove signers listed on Girl Scout bank account without written Bank Account Request form approval from GSCTX
  • During the processing period, the Service Unit Director and Service Unit Treasurer will be informed of request to change signers on a Girl Scout bank account
  • Once the form is processed by GSCTX, an authorization letter is returned to the original requestor, Service Unit Director, and Service Unit Treasurer
  • Account signers should take authorization paperwork to the bank to have changes updated on the account. 

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. 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 or another troop or to pay for girl activities. Girl activities can include purchasing materials to support another organization through Take Action projects.

Closing the Troop Account

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

To close a Girl Scout bank account, you will need to submit the Bank Account Request form for approval. The form can be found on the GSCTX website under forms and at www.gsctx.org/bankaccount and will be submitted directly to Customer Care for processing.

Bank Account Request Form – Closure processing tips:

  • Requestor will need the name, address, and phone number for at least two signers listed on the Girl Scout bank account
  • During the processing period, the Service Unit Director and Service Unit Treasurer will be informed of request to close a Girl Scout bank account
  • Once form is processed by GSCTX, an authorization letter is returned to original requestor, Service Unit Director, and Service Unit Treasurer
  • Once approved, designated person should take account closure authorization paperwork to the bank to close the account.
  • If closing the bank account, and there are still funds present, please follow guidelines for division of funds listed in the Managing Troop Funds section.
  • The troop treasurer will gather bank statements, receipts, unused checks and complete a final Annual Troop Finance Report for submission to SUT and Customer Care (by submitting documentation via email to customercare@gsctx.org) within 30 days of account closure. The final Annual Troop Finance Report must have a final bank statement attached showing a $0 ending balance.
Record Keeping and Financial Reports

To fulfill the responsibilities to the troop and council, please follow these guidelines:

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. 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.

Annual Troop Finance Reports

The Annual Troop Finance Report for troops and service units is due to GSCTX by 5/1.

To complete the form, you will need the previous year’s Annual Troop Finance Report to find the previous year’s ending balance which is called the Ending Balance and will be listed as the Starting Balance on the current year’s report.

Submit the Annual Troop Finance Report through the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) Finance Tab. Upload a copy of your March ending bank statement for the troop’s account. For more information on completing the Annual Troop Finance Report in VTK, review a brief description of the VTK Finance Tab training on the GSCTX website and complete the course in gsLearn.

The Annual Troop Finance Report is a report of banking activity through your troop’s March ending bank statement. The Total balance on Annual Troop Finance 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 adhering to Council policies.

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

The troop leader or troop treasurer will submit an Annual Troop Finance Report through the VTK Finance Tab (by May 1st) for approval. The Annual Troop Finance Report must be accurate, and complete prior to submitting to GSCTX. 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 an Annual Troop Finance Report by the due date may result in forfeiture of your cookie bonus and jeopardize the troop bank account. Failure to submit an Annual Troop Finance Report will result in troop being ineligible to participate in future Product Programs until report has been received and approved.

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

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 troops wishing to exceed these limits due to activities requiring these additional funds. Troops with bank account balances over $1,000 and service units with bank account balances over $5,000 are required to provide a detailed explanation on the intent of use for the funds including dates, destination, and number of participants.

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 the appropriate Girl Scout checking or savings account for that entity. All accounts must follow 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 using 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

If a parent or volunteer within the troop or service unit suspects that the funds are being mismanaged, first discuss the matter with the GSCTX membership staff. Based on information received, the GSCTX membership staff can initiate a preliminary inquiry, collect facts, gather proper documentation, and conduct an audit if necessary.

Please make every attempt to be proactive and establish good financial procedures by reconciling the Girl Scout bank account monthly. Provide a good example to the girls and adults in your troop.

Tax Exempt Status

Sales tax exemption (State of Texas only) allows active service unit and troop leaders to purchase certain items for service unit and troop activities on a tax-free basis.

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

How to properly use a 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 Depot.
  • 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 bank account debit card or troop check.

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 Accounting 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.

Money Earning

Council sponsored Product Program - a council-wide program of Girl Scout-authorized products and vendors (such as Girl Scout Cookies and Fall product) in which members participate. The funds are for Girl Scout activities and are NOT to be retained by individuals as their property.

Blackout dates: Cookie Program - Third Wednesday in January- last full weekend in February and Fall Product Program- First two weeks in October starting on October 1st.

Troop money-earning - activities organized by a Girl Scout group/troop (not by the council) that are planned and carried out by girls in partnership with adults, and that earn money for the troop/group treasury.

Sponsorships - monetary or in-kind donations of services, meeting locations, or products given to the troop or group. More on this can be found in this chapter under Collaborating with Sponsors and Other Organizations.

Corporate Matching Programs – Many corporations and businesses have programs in which they will match donations or volunteer hours contributed by their employees to nonprofit organizations in the community. Some companies give their employees a certain amount of corporate funds to designate to their nonprofit of choice. Please notify Girl Scouts of Central Texas if you plan to donate to your troop, group, or service unit through your corporate giving program by submitting the Money-Earning, Fundraising, or Sponsorships Application/Report. For questions about your corporate giving procedures, please contact your Human Resources Department.

Starting October 1, 2021, Girl Scouts of Central Texas will assess a 6% administrative fee to troop sponsorships resulting from workplace giving programs. The procedure to track, process, record, and disburse workplace giving funds involves multiple staff and departments within GSCTX, plus third-party costs for our council. Assessing an administrative fee covers staff and third-party costs related to these activities so troops may continue to benefit from direct donations allowed due to our 501c3 status.

The administrative fee will not be assessed on:

  • fundraising that supports special award projects
  • money-earning from girls that may pass through council
  • donations from civic or corporate groups to support troop or service unit activities

Fundraising - activities conducted by adults to provide funds or in-kind items for a troop or group. This can represent a troop, service unit, specialized pathway, or The Girl Campaign. Fundraising guidelines are outlined in the campaign section below. Girls may not fundraise. Requesting for donations is considered fundraising, and therefore must be done by adults (per Blue Book of Basic Documents).

Special Fund-Raising Event - an event where the primary motive is to raise charitable contributions (this includes monetary, products, or services) for the benefit of Girl Scouts of Central Texas (council, troop, group, or service unit). For an event to be considered a fundraising event, an actual event occurs where donors and/or participants purchase a ticket or pay an admission fee. They receive a benefit of some kinds for their ticket/donation. For instance, they may receive a meal for a luncheon or a t-shirt at a fun run. There are expenses directly related to conducting the event, including sales tax on the fair market value portion of the ticket/donation that must be paid before the net event proceeds can be determined and utilized. Special event fundraising often has more associated expenses and is more time consuming than other types of fundraising. Examples of special event fundraising include golf tournaments, fundraising dinners, charity auctions, and runs/walks.

The Girl Campaign - Girl Scouts of Central Texas’ annual giving campaign offers to Girl Scout families and friends an opportunity to financially support the mission of Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

Profit Share - is a program in which restaurants or businesses give a percentage of proceeds of a specific time frame to a troop/group/service unit in return for promoting or being promoted by girls, troops, groups, or service units.

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 cculation.
  • Troops are encouraged to participate in council product programs as their primary money-earning activity; any group money earning shouldn’t compete with the Girl Scout Cookie Program or other council product programs.
  • 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 program  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 Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
  • 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 programs. 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 may be required from GSCTX. The Money-Earning, Fundraising, or Sponsorships Application/Report is for troops/groups, girls, and service units wanting to earn money for special events, fundraising, or higher awards projects. This form, available at www.gsctx.org/moneyearning may be used for one-time events/projects or for a recurring event/project throughout the membership year.

The Money Earning, Fundraising, or Sponsorships Application/Report should be submitted when:

  • Proceeds exceed $250 of profit
  • To report donations valued over $250 that was not part of a money-earning or fundraising event
  • Donor requires acknowledgement from council for donations less than $250 that was not part of a money-earning or fundraising event

This form is submitted directly to Customer Care for processing. During the processing period your Service Unit Director will be informed that a Money-Earning, Fundraising, or Sponsorships Application/Report has been submitted.

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 GSCTX Fall Product and Girl Scout Cookie Program. Exceptions will be made for new groups or troops that are not active during Product Programs.

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

  • Daisy Girl Scouts – No money-earning activities. 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 Programs is not approved for Daisy Girl Scouts.
  • Brownie Girl Scouts – one money-earning activity
  • Junior Girl Scouts – two money-earning activities
  • Cadette/Senior/Ambassador Girl Scouts – three money-earning activities

If additional money-earning activities are required to meet troop/group budget requirements, the Service Unit Director will consult with the GSCTX membership staff on the need and number prior to approval. For multi-level troops, these guidelines are for each sub-level in the troop.

The troop leader will report all money-earning activities income on the Annual Troop Finance 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.

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 programs are designed to unleash the entrepreneurial potential in your girls. From there, your troop may decide to earn additional funds on its own.

Concession Money-Earning Guidelines

Purpose of Concession: Concession is an opportunity for troops to supplement what is earned through Product Programs and other Money Earning activities to help offset cost of an upcoming troop trip. Concession earnings belong to the troop and are not to be retained by individual Girl Scouts or their family members. When planning troop travel, participation should include at least 50% of girls registered into the troop along with at least the required number of safety-wise adults.

  • New concession applications must be completed and submitted a minimum of 4+ weeks prior to conducting the project to be considered for approval. All existing Concession applications must be renewed by September 30th each year to participate in Concessions in the following program year.
  • All Concession Money-Earning applications should be reviewed by the Service Unit Director or Service Unit Lead and must be approved by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
  • The Council CFO must approve all new Concession contracts before troop begins working concession.
  • The troop will complete a Concession Money-Earning Project Application which can be found in the Forms Library on GSCTX website or www.gsctx.org/forms.
    • A detailed budget is required. Budget, at a minimum, needs to include number of participants (adults & girls) attending trip, transportation cost, meal cost, and hotel cost.
    • Souvenir, passports, and spending money expenses may not be earned through Concessions. These items are considered personal and therefore not program related expenses.
  • Only two (2) adults per girl in the troop can participate in Concessions. At least one of these adults must be a related (parent/guardian) party.
  • Only one (1) related adult (parent/guardian) may serve as a chaperone for their girl and work Concessions to earn money for the trip as a chaperone.
  • All working adults shall be registered members of GSUSA and have a current Criminal Background Check (CBC) on file.
  • For girls to take part in a troop money-earning activity they must have participated in both Council-sponsored Product Programs (GSCTX Fall Product and Girl Scout Cookie Program).
  • Troop needs to meet the following requirements prior to submitting application. If a troop has not yet participated in Product Program, the application will be denied until they have.
    • Fall Product Program Requirements:
      • Each girl in the troop must sell a minimum of 5 units (paper or online nuts or magazines) of Fall Products
      • Any girl not reaching their minimum 5 items will be notified by Product Program no later than November 19 of current Fall Product Program that they cannot continue to participate in the Concession Money-Earning program.
    • Cookie Program Requirements:
      • All troops participating in Concession Money-Earning will be required to sell a minimum troop average of 251 packages in the Cookie Program.
      • Any troop not reaching their minimum per-girl-average (PGA) package level will be notified by Product Program no later than March 1st of current Cookie Program that they cannot continue to participate in the Concession Money-Earning Program. Failure to be notified by Product Program, does not release troop from complying with Concession requirements.
      • Any troop continuing to participate after being notified that they cannot work, will forfeit all earnings to Council generated after March 1st .
  • Troop leaders must also fill out an end of the year financial report in the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) that includes ALL the money earned by the troop through ANY money-earning activity. There is a specific line item for concessions.
  • All monies earned by individuals not identified on the Concession Application will be retained by GSCTX to be used for Financial Assistance to benefit all girl members of GSCTX.
  • GSCTX reserves the right to audit the bank accounts and related trip documentation of any troop participating in Concessions money-earning. Lack of supporting documentation, mishandling of documentation or delay in conducting the audit within a reasonable timeframe, will delay the turning over of earned monies to the troop until satisfactory completion of the GSCTX audit process.
  • All Concession money-earning programs accumulating $25,000 or more in earnings will automatically generate a GSCTX audit request.

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 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 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, which 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.

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 themselves as Girl Scouts by 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

A commercial product 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 (FP) are partial payment financial assistance for uniforms, books, camps, and other service unit or council-led activities. Adults are not eligible for financial partnerships; this is strictly for girls and their experiences in Girl Scouts. Any balance left after using the financial partnership award would need to be covered by the guardian. Go to www.gsctx.org/FA to apply for a financial partnership.

Processing can take up to 2 weeks. Any applications received less than 2 weeks before an event will not be processed, and financial partnership will not be awarded.

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 GSCTX Fall Product Program and Cookie Program. (Note: For girls registering after one or both product program 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.

How will I know if financial partnership was awarded or denied for my child?

Applicants will be notified via email. 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. Reimbursements are not given, and financial partnership will not be used to reimburse for uniforms, books, camps, and other service unit or council led activities.

Are financial partnerships available for the Girl Scout Destinations program?

The Girl Scout Destinations program is a GSUSA sponsored program and is not GSCTX sponsored. Therefore, financial partnerships are not available for this program. However, GSCTX does have a limited budget for both scholarships and financial assistance for girls interested in Girl Scout Destinations.

Troop Separation Guidelines

Girl Separation from Troop

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.

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. 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.

Troop leader receives written or verbal communication that the girl is separating from the troop. Troop leader should record in writing the date this became effective, who authorized the separation, and notify GSCTX membership staff of the separation.

A girl is considered separated from her troop as of the date a 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 at www.gsctx.org/trooptransfer.

Troops Disbanding or Retiring

When the entire troop decides not to continue in Girl Scouts or when the girls in a troop have reached the maximum age for Girl Scout troop participation (12th grade) and are graduating from high school, 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 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.

Troop treasurer will gather bank statements, receipts, unused checks and complete a final Annual Troop Finance Report for submission to Service Unit Treasurer and Customer Care (by submitting documentation via email to customercare@gsctx.org) within 30 days of account closure. The final Annual Troop Finance Report must have a final bank statement attached showing a $0 ending balance.

Troop leader should submit a Troop Update Form to notify GSCTX to mark the troop as retired within the Volunteer Systems.

Troops Merging Guidelines

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

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 bank accounts to empty those bank accounts and deposit those monies into the new bank account and then follow procedure listed above for “Closing a Girl Scout Bank Account”.

The troop treasurer will gather bank statements, receipts, unused checks and complete a final Annual Troop Finance Report for submission to Service Unit Treasurer and Customer Care (by submitting documentation via email to customercare@gsctx.org) within 30 days of account closure. The final Annual Troop Finance Report must have a final bank statement attached showing a $0 ending balance. Troop funds should not be co-mingled until the merger is complete. Notify the Service Unit Director and Service Unit Treasurer as well as the GSCTX membership staff of the merger by submitting a Troop Update Form.

Managing Troop Funds

What can Girl Scout funds be used for?

Funds utilized should provide a one-time benefit for the girl. For example, purchasing a passport for international travel, or purchasing a camera for a photography project would provide a long-term benefit to the individual and would not be an approved use of Girl Scout funds.

  • Higher Awards - please review the Money Earning and Sponsorships resources on the GSCTX Higher Awards pages for more information specific to utilizing Girl Scout funds for Higher Awards.
  • Travel - Girl Scouts love to travel — from the field trips they take as Brownies to the global adventures they go on as teens. Girl Scouts can travel three different ways: travel with girls from our council, with your troop, or through Girl Scouts of the USA destinations.
    • Some travel expenses could include:
      • Transportation (airfare, train, bus, rental vehicle)
      • Hotel
      • Meals while traveling
      • Travel insurance
      • Covid-19 testing directly related to travel
    • Girl Scout funds cannot be used for souvenirs and spending money or travel documentation (such as passports, visa, or state IDs).
    • When planning troop travel, participation should include at least 50% of girls registered into the troop along with at least the required number of safety-wise adults.
  • Girl Scout sponsored events/activities: these are events and activities that are hosted by GSCTX, other Girl Scout councils, or GSUSA hosted activities/events.
  • Non Girl Scout sponsored events/activities: these are community events or activities hosted or coordinated by outside organizations. These events/activities should have a  focus of at least one of the Girl Scout pillars (Outdoors, STEM, Entrepreneurship, Life Skills).
  • Girl Scout Membership: funds may be used to pay for girl memberships or to purchase of lifetime membership for graduating girls.
  • Girl Scout Shop: funds may be used for purchases in Girl Scout Shops, including uniforms, badges, patches, books and Girl Scout merchandise.
  • Non Girl Scout Shop purchases: funds may be used to purchase materials and supplies for activities, events, and troop meetings.

How should Girl Scout funds be managed for Individually Registered Girl Scouts?

Girl Scouts who are Individually Registered Girls can participate in the Fall Product Program and Cookie Program through GSCTX. Proceeds earned through Product Programs, additional approved money earning, and concessions may offset some out-of-pocket expenses for approved Girl Scout events/activities. Proceeds earned will be managed by the service unit, since individual girls cannot profit directly from Product Programs, GSCTX approved money earning or concessions.

For Individually Registered Girls to be eligible to utilize funds for Girl Scout activities, they must have participated in Product Programs previously and then are eligible to request to utilize service unit managed funds for approved Girl Scouts activities. Depending on the activity, service units may pay for the activity up front or request a receipt and provide reimbursement. Individually Registered Girl Scouts have up to 90 days to request reimbursement of funds through their service unit.

Can Individually Registered Girl Scouts use Girl Scout funds for travel?

Yes! Individually Registered Girl Scouts would need to submit an Activity and Travel Application to GSCTX for approval. Girl Scout funds should only be used for the girl and one caregiver accompanying the Individually Registered Girl on the Girl Scout trip. Girl Scout funds should not be used for individuals who are not registered or for more than one caregiver (including but not limited to non-Girl Scout siblings, a second caregiver, non-Girl Scout friend, or additional family members).

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 except in the instance of specific cases:

  • Girls must be a registered member to receive a portion of troop funds
  • Product program proceeds are always considered troop funds, regardless of whether older girls are saving money for higher awards or Girl Scout travel
  • In the case of older girls (Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors):
    • Concessions earnings may be reserved by older girls wishing to save funding for higher awards or Girl Scout travel
    • Money-earning activities may be reserved by older girls wishing to save funding for higher awards or Girl Scout travel
    • Written documentation should be submitted to Customer Care to provide a detailed explanation on the intent of use for the funds for higher awards or Girl Scout travel including approximate travel dates and destination
  • Financial obligations:
    • Owed to the troop: the amount owed to the troop the girl is separating from may be deducted from the eligible portion of troop funds
    • Owed to GSCTX: the amount owed to GSCTX will be deducted from the eligible portion of troop funds

What should the troop leader do with the separating girl(s) funds once they have been portioned?

  • Funds must be requested via written documentation within 90 days of separation from previous troop.
  • Funds can be moved (via check) to appropriate bank account (Service Unit account for Individual Registered Members or receiving troop bank account)
  • If the funds are not claimed via written documentation within 90 days after separation, funds will be retained by the troop for troop use.

 

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