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Teach girls financial skills through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience

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 troop funds through product program participation and additional money-earning activities. 

With your guidance, girls will learn key financial skills that will serve them throughout their lives. See below for guidance on how to set up and maintain your troop bank account. 


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Troop Banking Training Materials 2
Troop Banking Handbook
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Troop Banking Training Webinar
Troop Banking Knowledge Check
Start New Bank Acct
Identify Account Signers

Every Bank Account requires at least two unrelated adults who have the following:

  1. An active Girl Scout Membership
  2. GSHPA & State Required Clearances
    1. GSHPA Pre-Screen
    2. Child Abuse History 
    3. PA State Police Criminal 
    4. FBI
  3. An active Volunteer role
Complete GSHPA Troop/Group Bank Account Request Form
Fill out my online form.
Complete Troop/ Group ACH Authorization Form
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Complete GSHPA Troop/ Group Bank Account Request Form
Complete the online form.
Complete Troop/ Group ACH Authorization Form
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Troop Disbanding and Unused Troop Funds

When a troop disbands, any unused Girl Scout money left in the account becomes the property of the GSHPA. 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, to another troop, or to pay for girl activities. Girl activities can include purchasing materials to support another organization through Take Action projects. 

Please complete a Troop Participation Form to notify GSHPA of your troop's disbandment.

Graduating Seniors Fund Extension - GSHPA recognizes the impact COVID-19 has had on our graduating seniors. GSHPA is pleased to offer troops with graduating high school seniors who are not able to complete their planned activities, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity to apply for a Graduating Seniors Fund Extension Request. Approval of this request will extend the deadline for when the troop's funds need to be used from September 30, 2020 to August 31, 2021. Please review all guidelines that your troop must follow to be approved.

Additional Money Earning Guidelines

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 sale activities each year with volunteer supervision: the cookie program and one other council-authorized product sale. 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 sale 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 sale 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 calculation.
  • Troops are encouraged to participate in council product sales as their primary money-earning activity; any group money earning shouldn’t compete with the Girl Scout Cookie Program or other council product sales.
  • 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 sale 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 GSLE.
  • 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 sales. Funds acquired through group money-earning projects must be reported and accounted for by the group according to council procedures. 

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

Donation Guidelines
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 volunteer support coordinator; they can give you guidance on the availability of sponsors, recruiting guidelines, and any council policies or practices that must be followed. GSHPA may already have relationships with certain organizations, or may know of some reasons not to collaborate with certain organizations.

Important guidelines when approaching money earning with other 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 ourselves as Girl Scouts (such as 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: “Commercial products” 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.

Tax Exempt Form

This tax exempt form can be used by volunteers for Girl Scout related purchases. Please be sure to check with the customer service department at stores before making your purchase. This form is to be used for Girl Scout related purchases only.

Troop Finance Report Worksheet

Troop Finance Report Worksheet

This excel spreadsheet will help Troop Leaders keep track of income and expenses for the troop checking account. It also makes filing the Annual Troop Finance Report quick and easy!

 

Have questions about Troop Banking? Contact your Volunteer Support Coordinator or our Troop Banking Specialist at 800-692-7816 or by email at TroopBanking@gshpa.org