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As a steward of your troop’s money, you have a wonderful opportunity to teach girls about budgeting and money management.

Establish an Account

Girl Scouts is a nonprofit organization, so it is important to manage the girls’ troop finances responsibly, track all spending, and keep good records. Troops with $25 or more must have a back account.

See our Bank Account Creation Packet (PDF) for instructions on opening a checking account at Wells Fargo, our banking partner.

Collect Troop Start-Up Dues

When a troop first forms, there are a few items that a Girl Scout usually purchases: a uniform, the starter patches, the Girls Guide to Girl Scouting, and a Journey book. You can ask for dues–yearly, monthly, per meeting, as needed, etc.–or have parents purchase their girl’s items and use any troop funds for troop activities the girls vote on. The amount you charge depends on what purchases the troop will be making and how much money will be coming in from product sales.

Be very transparent with parents and guardians about what the troop’s finances look like throughout the year. Keeping the lines of communication open will help avoid any conflict, suspicion, or concern.

Earn Money Through the Product Programs

The Girl Scout Cookie Program and Fall Product Program should be the girls’ primary way to earn money for programs and activities. Once the money comes in from participating in either of these sales, the money can be used for troop expenses. If the budget goal for a specific activity has not been met through product sales, girls may participate in supplemental money-earning projects.

Cookie Program

The Cookie Program (late January–early March) is the largest girl-run business in the world. Participation in the program teaches girl financial literacy and business skills.

Fall Product Program

The Fall Product Program (late September–early November) is an easy, online-only program, limited to family and friends. It’s a great way to add to the troop treasury or for new troops to earn start-up funds.

Supplemental Money-Earning Project Ideas
  • Before implementing any money-earning project, please refer to our Money Earning PolicySafety-Wise, and the Managing Group Finances section of Volunteer Essentials
  • Girls must be involved in planning and implementing the project.
  • Money-earning projects are for troops only. Service units are welcome to support and assist in the planning, but all proceeds must go back to individual troops.
  • Additional money-earning projects cannot take place during the Cookie Program or Fall Product Program.
  • Troops cannot take orders for, sell, or endorse commercial products or businesses of any kind (this includes Mary Kay, Tupperware, Candle Lite, Culvers and coupon programs). However, they can sell wholesale, non-branded or homemade items.
  • Troops cannot use paid advertising or the Internet to promote their project. They are encouraged to use signs, fliers and word of mouth.
  • Projects must not be conducted on a door-to-door basis (with the exception of the Cookie Program).
  • For projects involving food, troops must follow state food safety guidelines and, in some cases, purchase a food license:
  • Girls must receive 100 percent of the proceeds from any money-earning activity; and funds raised must belong to the troop as a whole (they cannot be refunded or redeemed by an individual member).
In-Kind Donations

Sponsorships and donations are mutually beneficial partnerships between Girl Scout troops and businesses, schools, communities of faith, and other organizations. Use the Donation Form for Troops and Service Units to document donations to your troop or service unit.

The following sponsorship and donation guidelines must be adhered to:

  • Raffles, silent auctions, games of chance, and direct solicitation of cash are not approved activities.
  • Troops may not ask large corporations or chains for donations; however, they may ask local businesses to donate in-kind materials (like supplies or food for an activity).
  • Troops cannot raise money for another organization or charity; however, girls may choose to donate a portion of the proceeds they earn to a charity of their choice.
Record and Report

To make records and reporting easy do not mix personal and troop funds and don’t use the troop checkbook for non-troop transactions. Save receipts from all troop activities and purchases and check your bank statements frequently with your receipts. Keeping good financial records ensures you have the necessary documentation, especially in the case of any issues.

Use the Troop Finance Tracker to help with your record keeping.

Every June troop leaders (and service units) are required to complete the Girl Scout Finance Report to make sure that proper records of funds are maintained and kept on file at the council office.

Financial Aid

Girl Scouts is an organization for all girls and we do not want financial constraints to have any bearing on a member’s ability to wear her uniform proudly, attend council-events and camp, and do fun things with her troop.

Let families know that financial assistance forms for shop purchases, troop dues, camp, and events can be found at www.gsnorcal.org/financial-aid. Forms must be completed by a parent/guardian requesting assistance for their daughter/girl or by the adult requesting assistance for themselves.

Troop Disbands, Transfers, Splits, and Merges

It is not uncommon for troops to change, move around, or disband. If this happens to your troop, follow these instructions regarding the troop’s money.

Disbanding Troops

Before a troop disbands, the troop is encouraged to use the existing money for activities. If funds are left, money is to be turned over to the council. The Troop Disband Form needs to be submitted to the council within 30 days of disbanding along with any remaining funds.

Transfers & Changes

If one of your girls leaves your troop, she relinquishes any claim on money she helped earn for the troop. If the girl is bridging, transferring to another troop, or becomes a Girl Scout Juliette*, the original troop has the option–though encouraged as a gesture of goodwill and sisterhood–to send the girl with a portion of the money for her next Girl Scout adventure.

To do this, the funds should be divided proportionally to the number of girls in the troop. The troop of the transferring girl should receive one of the proportionally divided funds (payable to the new troop, not the girl or parent).

*Juliettes have program credits instead of checking accounts. If your transferring girl is becoming a Juliette, mail a check to River Valleys with a completed Juliette Program Credit Deposit Form. Program credits will then be mailed to the girl.

Split or Merge

If a troop splits into multiple troops or merges into one troop, the original troop’s funds should be divided proportionally to the number of girls in each new troop.

For example, a troop of 35 girls splits into two distinct troops of 17 and 18 girls respectively. The original troop has $350 in its treasury. Divide $350 by 35 girls = $10 per girl. The funds are then distributed accordingly to the new troops: $170 to the new troop of 17 and $180 to the new troop of 18 girls.

If all girls from one troop merge into another troop all the funds from the old troop are to be transferred to the new troop.