Your Girl Scout troop will 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.
Remember that all funds collected, raised, earned, or otherwise received in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting belong to the troop and must be used for the purposes of Girl Scouting. Funds are administered through the troop and do not belong to individuals.
No matter how much your troop plans to save or spend, you’ll need a safe place to deposit your troop dues, product program proceeds, and other funds. If you’ve stepped up to lead an existing troop, you may inherit a checking account, but with a new troop, you’ll want to open a new bank account.
Here are a few helpful tips you can take to the bank:
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 and make sure another troop volunteer has 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.
Accounts must be held in the name of “Girl Scouts of Greater LA, Troop #_____”(or) “Girl Scouts of Greater LA, Service Unit #_____”. All bank accounts are opened as a non-profit business checking account, using GSGLA’s Tax ID number to open the account. Approved Pathway group accounts must be held in the name of “Girl Scouts of Greater LA, (name of group)” and follow the same guidelines as troops and service units.
Please do not use your personal social security number to open your
Girl Scout account. Although a Social Security number will not affect
tax status for the individual, the use of personal information can
complicate the identification of troop and GSGLA accounts.
Some banks may request to run a ChexSystem or credit report on
signers for the account using the signer’s Social Security number.
This is a standard procedure for most banks and credit unions when
opening a business account and is for their purposes only. GSGLA does
not have access to any information from the ChexSystem or credit
As a reminder, GSGLA REQUIRES a troop/SU bank account to have two
authorized signers to open a bank account and the third authorized
signer should be added within 120 days of opening the account. All
accounts must have the protection of two signatures when writing a check.
GSGLA now has a preferred bank for new troop/SU bank accounts which can be found in the Bank Letter Request eForm. After selecting a bank branch, the troop leader should complete the Bank Letter Request eForm. The leader will then receive the Bank Authorization letter containing GSGLA’s tax ID # and other documents needed to take to the bank to open the account. Please read the following requirements for opening a bank account:
Follow our council’s financial policies and procedures for setting up an account. Troop/Group Financials – Quick Reference information. Most council-sponsored product program activities have specific banking and tracking procedures.
When a troop disbands, any unused Girl Scout money left in the account becomes the property of the GSGLA. Troop funds are not the property of any individual member. Before disbanding, ask your girls how they want to pay it forward. They may decide to donate any unused funds to their service unit, to another troop, or to pay for Girl Scout activities. Activities can also include purchasing materials to support another organization through Take Action projects. Consult your membership specialist for details.
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.
Each year, by June 30th, troops are required to complete the Troop/Service Unit Year-End Financial Report. This report provides GSGLA with an overview of the troop over the past year.
Within the report, troops will be asked for information regarding:
Troops that do not complete the Troop/Service Unit Year-End Financial Report will not be able to participate in troop money-earning activities including the Fall Product and Cookie Product Programs. Troops that wish to participate in troop money-earning activities should reach out to their assigned staff membership specialist to get the annual cut-off date for submission to participate.
Girls’ participation in both council-sponsored product program activities and group money-earning projects is based on the following:
Sample Money-Earning Activities
The Girl Scout Cookie Program and Fall Product Program are designed to unleash the entrepreneurial potential in your girls. From there, your troop may decide to earn additional funds on its own.
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:
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.
Local sponsors can help councils power innovative programs for Girl Scouts. 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.
Guidelines for Collaborating with Other Organizations
When collaborating with any other organization, keep these additional guidelines in mind:
Donations to a Troop/Group/Service Unit/Gold Award Project
All Troops/Groups (Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, Ambassador, Multi-Level/Rainbow) and Service Units may receive a gift from any one source during one Girl Scout year of up to $1,000. Gold Award Girls working towards their Gold Award may individually receive a maximum of $1,000 from any one source. For gifts in excess of $1,000, the balance remains with GSGLA.
If the direct gift is larger than the maximum limit or if the donor wants a tax receipt, the gift must be sent directly to GSGLA. A troop leader or a SUM must complete the process by submitting an eForm. Once this form and donation are received, GSGLA will distribute payment to the Troop/Group/Service Unit.
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