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Helping girls decide what they want to do, and coaching them as they earn and manage money to pursue their goals, is an integral part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). Your Girl Scout troop plans and finances its own activities, with your guidance. At the same time, the girls learn many valuable skills that serve them throughout their lives.

This MONEY chapter gives you the ins and outs of establishing a troop account and helping girls manage their troop’s finances, practice successful product program techniques, review the safety requirements around the product program, and understand how to collaborate with sponsors and causes.

Managing Troop Finances

Girl Scout troops are funded by a share of money earned through council-sponsored product program activities (such as the Girl Scout cookie program), troop money-earning activities (council-approved, of course), and any dues your troop may charge. The girls should always make decisions together on how to spend their funds. All troop money legally belongs to the council to be used by the troop to pay for their Girl Scout activities.

For all the information on establishing troop finances and the policies around it, go to Managing Troop Finances(PDF)

Financial Literacy Skills for Girls

When girls become adults and go out on their own (whether off to college, or starting their careers and establishing their own households) they will need to know how to handle their bank accounts and credit cards, pay their bills on time, and learn to live within their means. Later, they’ll need to try to build savings accounts, handle their investments, and start saving for their retirement. Will they be ready?

To help build girls’ financial literacy skills as they grow, see Financial Literacy Skills for Girls(PDF)

Establishing a Bank Account

If your troop is earning, collecting, or spending money, the troop needs to set up a bank account. For more information on setting up your troop bank account, please see Establishing a Bank Account (PDF)

Reporting Responsibilities

One critical task for each troop, no matter what grade level, is to keep excellent records and establish a clear accounting system for all money earned and spent. As the troop's troop leader or treasurer, you’re in charge of making sure money is spent wisely and that excellent records are kept (keeping copies of all receipts in a binder or folder), and tracking all income, too.

For an in-depth look at what goes into keeping excellent records, please go to Reporting Responsibilities(PDF)

Disbanding, Merging, Bridging, or Splitting Troops

If your troop is anticipating upcoming changes in its configuration, e.g., it will be merging with another troop, splitting into more than one troop, or disbanding altogether, this link will provide you will all of the information you'll need to know.

Disbanding, Merging, Bridging, or Splitting Troops (PDF)

Options for Funding

To find out all of the ins and outs of managing troop dues, money-earning projects, in-kind donations, contributions from families, or other funding-related opportunities, check Funding Options (the link)., go to Options for Funding (PDF)

Contributions from Families

Girl Scouts of Northern California (GSNorCal) is a non-profit organization, and as such, donations to GSNorCal must benefit our collective mission and not provide a private benefit to a specific individual girl. Pass-through donations for troops must go into the troop treasury and be used for the benefit of all girls in the troop. If the troop has decided, by a democratic process, to support an individual girl's Gold Award project, then pass-through donations to the troop may be used to support an approved Gold Award project based on the approved budget for that project. For questions about donations to troops, please contact: 

Family Donations
Girls and their families should be part of the decision regarding financial contributions from families, rather than be assessed an amount decided on by the troop leader or adult leadership team. Care should be taken to ensure that the amount chosen is affordable by all families and that everyone understands that these donations are optional. Girl Scouting should be an activity that is affordable for all girls in the troop.

Encourage girls to designate a portion of their troop treasury for the annual national membership dues of the members. This practice enables girls to meet membership dues and lessens the potential burden to members.

Remember that charging girls and their families for opting out of participating in product program, other troop activities and/or volunteering for the troop are not allowed.

It’s a great idea to have the girls pay dues. Families often think it’s easier to just give a flat amount at the beginning of the year, however, collecting dues offer some great benefits to the girls:

  • They can do special chores at home to earn the money.
  • They have to remember to bring the dues, and keep track of the money (good to have them practice that before they get older and have to carry larger amounts).
  • They can take turns being “treasurer”—they have to collect the money and count it up to make sure it balances.
  • Handling money and building financial literacy skills is part of our Girl Scout program.

Here’s a fun idea: Start out every meeting with clothespins marked with girls’ names attached around the rim of a large can. As the girls enter, they attach their clothespin to their dues and drop it into the can. If a girl forgot her dues then she just drops the empty clothespin in the can. If a clothespin is left attached to the can, that girl is absent. Marking attendance/dues is easy for the girls!

Money-Earning Basics & Money-Earning Projects

Money-Earning Basics

Girls have big dreams, and we want to support those goals financially when possible. To understand the basics of earning money outside of product program, please go to Money Earning Basics (PDF)

Money-Earning Projects: Approval Required

When girls are ready to start planning their money-earning endeavors, please see Money-Earning Projects: Approval Required (PDF)

Collaborations with Sponsors & Other Organizations

For all of the information you need to know about collaborating with sponsors and other organizations, go to Collaborating with Sponsors & Other Organizations(PDF).

Supporting GSNorCal

GSNorCal raises needed funds to support program activities and resources for all girls and leaders through the Opportunity Fund, grants, and generous gifts from donors through employee matching gifts, and volunteer hours. To learn more about ways to support, please see Supporting GSNorCal(PDF)

Contracts and Certificates of Insurance

Girl Scouts of Northern California is the legal entity that may sign a contract on behalf of “Girl Scouts.” Troops and service units are not legal entities. Therefore, all contracts, agreements, Memorandums of Understanding, and facility use forms that benefit or impose responsibility or potential liability on “Girl Scouts” must be approved and signed by authorized staff representatives of Girl Scouts of Northern California.

For more information on our policy regarding contracts, agreements, use permits, memorandums of understanding, and certificates of insurance, please see Contracts and Certificates of Insurance (PDF)

Safeguarding Members' Personal Information

Volunteers and GSNorCal staff are governed by state and local laws which require the safeguarding of girls’ and adults’ personal information. For more information on how we safeguard information, please go to Safeguarding Members’ Personal Information(PDF)

Document Retention

Ever wonder how long to keep your troop's health history forms? How about those permission slips?

To better understand what to keep and discard, please read Document Retention(PDF)

Online Camp/Event Registration Information

There are many benefits of using an online registration system for a service unit camp or event.  If your troop is considering offering this option, you must ensure protection of credit card data in accordance with industry standards that are known as PCI Compliance. For more information, please see Online Camp/Event Registration Information(PDF)