The Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) encourages girls to become financially empowered at every age—and thanks to you, they have all the tools and resources they need to make it happen. As you guide your Girl Scout troop through Product Programs, troop trips, service projects, and more, they'll learn how to plan and budget troop funds along the way. Explore the helpful links and information below to help your troop get started on their next adventure!
Fall Product & Girl Scout Cookie Program
Girls can participate in two council-sponsored Product Programs each
year: the Fall
Product Program and the Girl Scout Cookie
Program. A troop’s primary money-earning activity should be the
Girl Scout Cookie Program (however, it is not a requirement).
All girl members, including Girl Scout Daisies and Juliettes (individually registered members), are eligible to participate in council-sponsored Product Programs with volunteer supervision. Please remember: volunteers and Girl Scout council staff don’t sell cookies and other products—girls do.
Troop Money-Earning Activities
Troop money-earning projects need written approval from the council before a group money-earning activity. Submit the Group Money Earning and Project Funding Approval Form to your community development manager.
There are a few specific guidelines—some required by the Internal Revenue Service—that ensure that sales are conducted with legal and financial integrity. To that end, consider the following reminders and cautions:
For ideas about additional money earning, review the Finances section in Volunteer Essentials or brainstorm ideas with your service team or community development manager.
Troop dues are an option for troops to cover the costs of snacks, supplies, and other materials used by the girls at regular meetings and girl activities. Troop dues are meant to supplement Cookie and Fall Product Program activities. No girl shall be denied membership in a troop or have her participation restricted based on an inability to pay troop dues.
When setting the amount of troop dues, the fees should be decided on by all members, with consideration given to the income levels of all of the girls in the group. Any collected troop dues should be documented and deposited into the troop account within 3 days of collection.
For example, to lower troop dues, host a troop birthday party for your first meeting to collect supplies. Girls bring supplies as "birthday presents," and everyone opens them up during the party. Instead of asking the parents for supplies regularly, you can build a stockpile up front.
New troops are required to establish the troop checking account within 30 days of first troop meeting with girls. This will allow troops to be prepared when there is money to deposit from troop dues, product programs, or troop money-earning activities. The council’s recommended bank for troop accounts is Fifth Third Bank (exceptions include the following: Champaign, Clinton, Fulton, Hardin, Henry, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams and Ohio County in Indiana. If you are in one of these counties and need help identifying a Girl Scout friendly bank, please contact your community development manager).
Benefits of banking with Fifth Third Bank include: free checking, no minimum opening deposit requirement, free debit cards, electronic monthly statements, starter checks, and ATM usage. Our partnership allows us to manage financial resources more efficiently and does not require volunteers to have a third signer on the account. Troops that do not elect to use electronic bank statements will be charged a $3 a month fee for paper statements.
One critical task for each troop is to keep excellent records and establish a clear accounting system for all money earned and spent. As a troop leader or troop assistant, you’re in charge of making sure money is spent wisely, excellent records are kept (keeping copies of all receipts in a binder or folder), and all income and expenses are tracked.
When planning your expenses at the beginning of the year, download the Troop Budget template! It’s hosted on Google Sheets, but you’re welcome to download it as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet if that’s more comfortable for you. This blog post walks you through how to use it.
It is required to keep records (receipts, bank statements, and finance reports) for a minimum of two years. You can use our Troop Finance Tracking Sheet to track your troop's income and expenses throughout the membership year.
Troop Finance Report
All Girl Scout troops are required to submit information regarding the troop’s finances annually as part of the appointment and reappointment process. All troops, including new troops, must complete a final Troop Finance Report and submit a copy of their bank statement by June 30 each year. The Troop Finance Report can be accessed, completed, and submitted through the VTK Finance Tab.
Having a Troop Financial Report on file that includes names of two registered and approved volunteer signers is required for:
The annual Troop Finance Report is due:
Bank Information Form
Separate from the Troop Finance Report, all troops are required to submit a Bank Information Form each year. New troops must complete the form within 30 days of opening a troop checking account, and returning troops should complete it at the beginning of each Girl Scout year.
The information submitted in this form enables GSWO to complete electronic financial transfers to and from troops, including refunds, financial assistance, and cookie proceeds.
The GSWO Bank Information Form must be completed:
Supplies could be markers, paper, scissors, tape, glue sticks, snacks, and more!
Girls can work to solve problems or give back to the communities that are meaningful to them.