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Girl_Learning_Money_Skills

Troop Finances

With your guidance, your Girl Scouts will learn money skills that will serve them throughout their lives. 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.

Dues may range from 50 cents per meeting up to $25 per year (level-appropriate).

Establishing a Troop Account

No matter how much your troop plans on saving or spending, you’ll need a safe place to deposit your troop dues, product sale 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: 

  • 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 like a Girl Scout, and make sure another troop volunteer has accessible 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.

Follow your council’s financial policies and procedures for setting up an account. Most council-sponsored product program activities have specific banking and tracking procedures. 

Girl Scouts of Connecticut Troop/Group Bank Account Policies and Procedures
Each troop/group must have a checking account into and out of which all funds flow.  This account must be used solely in support of Girl Scout program. All statement savings or certificate of deposit (CD) accounts must have a designated purpose and must also be accounted for in the Troop/Group Year-End Financial Report submitted through the Volunteer Toolkit. GSOFCT does not authorize passbook savings accounts.

Each troop/group account must be in the name of “Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Troop/Group #_____” with the address of the primary troop co-leader or her/his designee.  Additionally, the corporate nonprofit identification number, #06-0662134, must be used on each account.

  • There must be at least two authorized signers*, none of whom are related to each other nor reside in the same household, on all Troop/Group accounts (including statement savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts). These signers shall be as follows:
    • The service unit treasurer or service unit manager and one approved* adult from the troop/group or
    • In the absence of the service unit manager and service unit treasurer, two approved* Girl Scout adults from the troop/group.

Please note: GSOFCT highly recommends that a service team member be an additional signer on all troop/group accounts.

*All volunteers who handle money must be currently registered Girl Scout members and have successfully completed the Volunteer Onboarding Process and Background Screening prior to opening the bank account.

  • Checks are never to be signed without a payee written on the face of the check.
  • Troop/group bank accounts and the funds therein, are the property of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Girl Scouts of Connecticut, therefore, reserves the right to randomly audit troop/group accounts as deemed necessary.

Procedures:

  • Ensure that only authorized signers are on troop/group accounts. Annually review accounts making certain that only currently registered and approved volunteers are listed as signatories. Verify with your banking institution that accounts are current and up-to-date; remove signatories who are no longer authorized signers. Report any changes to the account(s) to the service unit treasurer or service unit manager. Include a current listing of authorized signers on your Troop/Group Year-End Financial Report
  • To support girl programming, troops/groups will need to develop an operating budget. This budget will reflect anticipated income and expenses for the upcoming Girl Scout year.  A Troop/Group Budget Forecast Worksheet has been developed to assist you in this process. 
  • Reimbursement from troop/group accounts should only be made with appropriate supporting documentation.
  • Money earned during a membership year should be spent during that year. These monies belong to the troop/group jointly, and only as long as the troop/group is registered.
  • It is appropriate to have $10 per girl remain in the account to help with the next year’s troop/group start-up. If a troop/group is saving for a more expensive activity and needs to carry over more than the $10 per girl allotment to accomplish it, please note the details on the Troop/Group Year-End Financial Report in the Volunteer Toolkit. Special circumstances requiring larger carry over balances must be discussed and approved by the membership experience specialist.
  • It is appropriate to allocate end-of-year troop/group funds to purchase and/or supplement GSUSA Membership Dues for the following year. All currently registered troop/group members would be considered.
  • Service unit event expenses must never be processed through a troop/group account.  Troops/groups hosting a service unit event should process all event-related monies through the service unit account.
  • Troops/groups must reconcile bank accounts monthly.
  • All bank statements, check registers, and supporting documentation (receipts, invoices, canceled checks, etc.) must be maintained for seven years by the troop/group.

Managing Your Account
The troop/group treasurer is responsible for coordinating deposits, expenditures, and financial reporting for and to the troop/group. Since the money belongs to the “troop/group,” it is important that the management of funds is transparent for the girls, parents, and volunteers as well as the council. The service unit treasurer is responsible for providing local training and ongoing support to troop/group volunteers.

Purchasing supplies and requesting reimbursements correctly for troops/groups is an essential part of managing your bank account. Follow these guidelines to keep the process easy:

Purchases
Whenever possible, purchase supplies, equipment, goods, and services as a debit card transaction or with a troop/group check. This provides for a detailed accounting of monies spent. Use the Sales Tax Exempt certificate for all purchases.

It is also important to only use the troop/group bank account for appropriate troop/group expenses. If a troop/group co-leader has a question about appropriate purchases, the service unit treasurer should be contacted. See below for a partial list:

  • GSUSA Membership Dues
  • Purchase of troop/group checks
  • Training/workshops for registered troop/group adults that will directly benefit working with the girls
  • Supplies, equipment, goods, and services purchased for troop/group use (become property of the troop/group and must be included in the troop/group inventory)
  • Troop events and field trips
  • Donations to GSOFCT’s Girl Assistance Fund or the Juliette Gordon Low World Friendship Fund
  • Co-leader books and materials (become property of the troop/group and must be included in the    troop/group Inventory)
  • Babysitting for troop/group co-leader to attend training or meeting times – this should be discussed and agreed upon during a parent/guardian meeting. All parents/guardians must be made aware of the childcare need prior to any troop/group monies being used.
  • Recognitions for girls and adults (i.e. – gift for cookie volunteer, outdoor trained adult, etc.)
  • Purchase of food gift cards to donate to needy families (Stop & Shop, Big Y, etc.)

Reimbursements
If a volunteer or parent requires a reimbursement for pre-approved purchases, requests need to be submitted to the troop/group and/or service unit within two weeks of purchase and must be accompanied by a detailed receipt. To maintain good financial management, strict adherence to the two-week timeframe is suggested. No reimbursements are to be given without a detailed receipt. 

Reimbursements should be made by check with the reason for reimbursement noted in the check memo section. If a signer on the account or a member of her or his family is receiving reimbursement, one of the alternate signers must review the receipts and sign the check.

Cash
An ATM withdrawal receipt does not qualify as a receipt for reimbursement or justification for troop/group purchases. Troop/group checks may not be made out to cash. All purchases made with cash require detailed receipts of the goods and services purchased.

Debit Cards
To help facilitate troop/group money management, GSOFCT has established guidelines for debit card use.

  • Each troop/group may obtain one debit card to be used for deposits and payments. The card is for official Girl Scout business only.
  • Debit cards should only be issued to currently registered troop/group co-leaders who have completed the onboarding process and have had a successful background screening. 
  • The cardholder is responsible for obtaining purchase receipts, securing the card, and is legally responsible for the transactions posted to the card.
  • Debit card expenditures should be reconciled monthly to ensure that there are no unauthorized expenditures to the account.
  • Inappropriate debit card usage will result in forfeiture of the debit card privilege.
  • Credit cards will not be authorized since borrowing money is not allowed for troop/group accounts.
  • PayPal accounts are not authorized for troop/group use.

Online Banking
Online banking is authorized on troop/group bank accounts to view account balances, download transaction history, and print copies of checks and statements. Because all signers are responsible for maintaining the troop/group account, the user ID and password for access to the account should be shared with all account signers. This will facilitate monitoring the account activity and balance and help prevent cardholders/signers from inadvertently overdrawing the account and/or incurring fees. Passwords should be changed whenever there is a change in account signers.

 Please note: Webster Bank requires additional paperwork to be completed and notarized prior to gaining online access to banking accounts.

Reporting
By June 30, troops/groups are required to submit the Troop/Group Year-End Financial Report, accompanied by copies of month-end bank statements for the months of September, December, March, and the most recent month of the current membership year, through the Volunteer Toolkit. All troops/groups must complete this form regardless of their year-end balance.

Girl Scout troops/groups cannot participate in non-council sponsored money-earning activities of any kind if they have not submitted their year-end financial reports from the previous year(s).

Bad Check Procedures

It is the responsibility of the troop/group co-leader to ensure all accounts are in compliance with GSOFCT Financial Procedures and monthly bank reconciliation is occurring.

  • Any checks returned by our bank as NSF (insufficient funds), account closed, refer to maker, etc. will be immediately forwarded to Payliance for processing. Payliance will have full authority to contact the check writer for collection on the bad check and to charge collection fees from the check writer as allowed under current state law. GSOFCT will no longer attempt redeposit of bad checks.
    • An initial courtesy phone call will be made if contact information is available.
  • As a reminder, all checks accepted and deposited on behalf of GSOFCT should include name, residence address (no P.O. Boxes), phone number with area code, and driver’s license number. Temporary checks and checks lacking imprinted information should never be accepted. If possible, use the reference line to list the troop number and activity (example: Troop XXXXX/cookies).
  • At no time will the council accept or hold a check to be deposited at a later date.
  • Troops/groups with any financial delinquencies will be submitted to the council chief financial officer for further action.

When a bank account is mismanaged and fees are accumulated, it is the responsibility of the volunteer(s) managing the account to personally pay such fees assessed by the bank or by a given business.

Poor financial management on a volunteer’s part will result in jeopardizing not only the individual’s financial status but also places GSOFCT’s credit standing and relationship with the financial institution at risk.

Bank Account fees may not be deducted from troop/group funds.

Outstanding Debt Procedures
A person owing a debt to GSOFCT for more than 120 days will be removed immediately from any adult volunteer position currently held. Only if the debt is repaid within three months from the date it was incurred may the individual be reinstated in a volunteer position. Any person incurring a second debt to the council will be removed immediately from any adult volunteer position and permanently banned from any volunteer position.

Procedures:

  1. The council will notify the debtor via mail that there is a debt. The debtor will be given 10 business days from the date the first letter is mailed to pay the debt in full.
    • If the debt is not paid in full, the responsible party will be charged a $25 surcharge/processing fee.
    • Should the council agree to work out payment arrangements, there will be a $10 monthly service fee in addition to the amount owed.
  2. If the debtor does not make arrangements or pay within the 10-business day period, the debtor will be notified via certified letter that she/he is removed as a volunteer.
    • A copy of the certified letter will be retained by council.
    • The service unit manager, membership staff, and any other appropriate individuals will be notified of volunteer’s release.
    • Reinstatement as a volunteer will occur after all payments have been made in full; appropriate individuals will be notified.
    • If the debt remains uncollected it will be turned over to the collection agency for them to handle.
  3. If a second debt occurs, the council will notify the debtor via certified mail that she/he is immediately and permanently removed from any adult volunteer position.
    • The volunteer’s council record will be marked with a permanent ban from any volunteer position.
    • The service unit manager, membership staff, and any other appropriate individuals will be notified of volunteer’s permanent release.

Protect Yourself!
Money is one of those areas that can cause a lot of bad feelings and ill will among girls and parents/guardians in a troop/group. Save yourself an endless amount of heartache and avoid the possibility of having your financial practices being called into question by following these practices:

 

  • Keep good financial records including receipts for all expenditures.
  • Bank statements and receipts should be retained for seven (7) years. If a troop is disbanded, all records should be handed to the service unit manager to retain for seven (7) years.
  • Ensure all financial responsibilities are addressed in a timely manner. All outstanding delinquencies will be reported to the council chief financial officer for further action.
  • Involve girls (and sometimes parents/guardians) in financial decision-making. The more they know, the better!
  • Ensure there is no comingling of personal and troop funds.
  • Ensure all signers on the account(s) are aware of financial transactions not just the primary checkbook holder.
    • We recommend both signers on the account independently reconcile the accounts monthly in order to identify and resolve any discrepancies as soon as possible.
  • Review account status regularly with all signers to ensure compliance with GSOFCT policies and procedures. Report any discrepancies to your service unit manager.
  • Report on troop/group finances regularly to girls and parents/guardians. The money belongs to the girls, and they should know how much they have and how it has been spent.
    • We recommend maintaining transparency with the girls and the parents regarding the troop financials throughout the entire year.
    • We recommend utilization of a balance sheet to be distributed to the girls monthly, so they can review and share with their families their plans for utilizing the funds throughout the year.
  • Pay attention to and follow the other financial guidelines in this booklet. They are there to protect you, and to keep you in compliance with GSOFCT policies and guidelines.
  • We recommend two account signers to sign all checks payable for $500 or more.
  • Always use caution when receiving calls, texts, emails from a financial institution, always confirm with either GSOFCT or the financial institution verbally if uncertain about the validity of the request and verify who is requesting the financial or confidential information.

Service Unit Bank Accounts
Each service unit must have a checking account into which and out of which all funds flow. This account must be used solely in support of Girl Scout program. All statement savings or certificate of deposit (CD) accounts must have a designated purpose and must also be accounted for in the Annual Service Unit Financial Report.  GSOFCT does not authorize passbook savings accounts.

“Such money and other assets must be used for the purposes of Girl Scouting. They are the property of and are administered by the Girl Scout council or Girl Scouts of the USA and shall not be sold, given, transferred, or conveyed to a third party for less than fair market value. Such assets are not the property of individuals, troops, geographic units, subordinate units, or communities within a Girl Scout council.” ( Blue Book of Basic Documents, 2017, Page 22)

Each service unit account must be in the name of “Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Service Unit _____” with the address of the service unit treasurer or the service unit manager.  Additionally, the Corporation non-profit identification number, #06-0662134, must be used on each account.

  • There must be at least two authorized signers*, none of whom are related to each other nor reside in the same household, on all service unit accounts (including statement savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts). 
    • These signers must include the service unit treasurer and service unit manager or
    • In the absence of a service unit treasurer and/or service unit manager, another service team member appointed by the council may serve as an authorized signer. 

*All volunteers that handle money must be currently registered Girl Scout members and have successfully completed the Volunteer Onboarding Process and Background Screening prior to opening the bank account. 

  • Checks are never to be signed without a payee shown on the face of the check.
  • Service unit bank accounts and the funds therein, are the property of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Girl Scouts of Connecticut, therefore, reserves the right to randomly audit service unit accounts as deemed necessary.

Procedures:

  • Ensure that only authorized signers are on service unit accounts. Annually review accounts making certain that only currently registered and approved volunteers are listed as signatories.  Verify with your banking institution that accounts are current and up-to-date; remove signatories who are no longer authorized signers. Report any changes to the account(s) to the service unit manager and membership specialist. Include a current listing of authorized signers on your Annual Service Unit Financial Report
  • Reimbursement from service unit accounts should be only made with appropriate supporting documentation.
  • It is appropriate to have $10 per girl, and $10 per adult, remain in the service unit account to assist in the overall management of the service unit and for providing program opportunities for girls. If a service unit needs to carry over more than the $10 per girl and $10 per adult allotment, please note the details the Annual Service Unit Financial Report. Special circumstances requiring larger carry over balances must be discussed and approved by the membership specialist.
  • The Annual Service Unit Financial Report, accompanied by a copy of the most recent banking statement, must be submitted to the membership specialist by August 15.  Ensure that the service unit manager has reviewed and approved. These reports are reviewed by service unit treasurers, service unit managers, and/or council staff.
  • Troops/groups hosting a service unit event should process all event related monies through the service unit account. Service unit event expenses must never be processed through a troop/group account.   
  • The service unit exists to support troop/group programming. In order to cover related administrative costs and create opportunities for inter-troop/group activities, service units will need to develop an operating budget. This budget will reflect anticipated income and expenses for the upcoming Girl Scout year. A service unit Budget Forecast Worksheet has been developed to assist you in this process. A service unit proposed budget is due to the member experience specialist no later than August 15 of each year. GSOFCT reserves the right to disapprove anticipated expenses.
  • Service units must reconcile bank accounts monthly. 
  • All bank statements, check registers, and supporting documentation (receipts, invoices, canceled checks, etc.) must be maintained for seven years by the service unit treasurer or service unit manager.  

Managing the Service Unit Account
The service unit treasurer is responsible for coordinating deposits, expenditures, and financial reporting for and to the service unit.  Since the money belongs to the “service unit,” it is important that the management of funds is transparent for the volunteers as well as the council. The service unit manager is responsible for ensuring the service unit treasurer obtains training necessary for the position and that she/he supports local troop/group volunteer’s financial needs.

Purchasing supplies and requesting reimbursements correctly for service units is an essential part of managing your bank account. Follow these guidelines to keep the process easy:

Purchases
Whenever possible, purchase supplies, equipment, goods, and services as a debit card transaction or with a service unit check.  This provides for a detailed accounting of monies spent. Use the Sales Tax Exempt certificate for all purchases.

It is also important to only use the service unit bank account for appropriate service unit expenses. If the service unit treasurer has a question about appropriate purchases, the service unit manager should be contacted.  See below for a partial list.

  • Training/workshops for registered troop/group adults that will directly benefit working with the girls.
  • Purchase of service unit checks
  • Supplies, equipment, goods, and services purchased for service unit use (become property of the service unit and must be included in the service unit inventory)
  • Service unit events and field trips
  • Service unit donations to GSOFCT’s Girl Assistance Fund or the Juliette Low World Friendship fund
  • Purchase copies of National Portfolio materials for all service unit troop/groups to use (become property of the service unit and must be included in the service unit inventory)
  • Volunteer recognitions (i.e. Helping Hands, Leading the Way, etc.)
  • Purchase of food gift cards to donate to needy families (Stop & Shop. Big Y, etc.)

 

Reimbursements
If a volunteer or individual troop/group requires reimbursement for a pre-approved purchase and/or event expenses, requests need be submitted within two weeks of purchase or event completion and must be accompanied by a detailed receipt. To maintain good financial management, strict adherence to the two-week timeframe is suggested. No reimbursements are to be given without detailed receipts.

Reimbursements should be made by check with the reason for reimbursement noted in the check memo section. If a signer on the account or a member of her or his family is receiving reimbursement, one of the alternate signers must review the receipts and sign the check.

Cash
An ATM withdrawal receipt does not qualify as a receipt for reimbursement or justification for service unit purchases. Service unit checks may not be made out to cash. All purchases made with cash require detailed receipts of the goods and services purchased.

Debit Cards
To help facilitate service unit money management, GSOFCT has established guidelines for debit card use.

  • Each service unit may obtain one debit card to be used for deposits and payments. The card is for official Girl Scout business only.
  • Debit cards should only be issued to currently registered service unit treasurers who have completed the onboarding process and have had a successful background screening. 
  • The cardholder is responsible for obtaining purchase receipts, securing the card, and is legally responsible for the transactions posted to the card.
  • Debit card expenditures should be reconciled monthly to ensure that there are no unauthorized expenditures to the account.
  • Inappropriate debit card usage will result in forfeiture of the debit card privilege.
  • Credit cards will not be authorized since borrowing money is not allowed for service unit accounts.
  • PayPal accounts are not authorized for service unit use.

Online Banking
Online banking is authorized on service unit bank accounts to view account balances, download transaction history, and print copies of checks and statements.

Because all signers are responsible for maintaining the service unit account, the user ID, and password for access to the account should be shared with all account signers. This will facilitate monitoring the account activity and balance and help prevent cardholders/signers from inadvertently overdrawing the account and/or incurring fees. Passwords should be changed whenever there is a change in account signers.

Please note: Webster Bank requires additional paperwork to be completed and notarized prior to gaining online access to banking accounts.

Money Management and the Individually Registered Girls (Juliettes)
Girl Scouts of Connecticut uses the title “Juliette” for a girl who registers in Girl Scouts individually (Individually Registered Girls), rather than as a part of a specific pathway. As Juliettes, girl members may participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program and Fall Product Program, Treats & Reads, as well as, additional money-earning activities (when applicable). Monies for Juliettes can be managed through the service unit banking account. These monies are the property of the service unit and should be distributed to girls following GSOFCT guidelines and accounted for on the Service Unit Year-End Financial Report. The following resource has been developed to help in managing these funds:

  • Request for Funding – Independently Registered Girl Scout – This form is to be completed when a Juliette is requesting monies to help pay or defray the cost of participating in Girl Scouts. The form, along with supporting documentation, is submitted to the service unit treasurer or designee for approval and disbursement. See form for more specifics.

Remember: All monies raised in the name of Girl Scouting must be used solely for that purpose. Monies are never directly disbursed to a girl, her parent/guardian or an adult volunteer without proper documentation. 

Reporting
By August 15, service units are required to submit the Annual Service Unit Financial Report, accompanied by a copy of the most recent banking statement, to the service unit manager. If the account year-end balance is more than the allotted $10 per girl and $10 per adult carry over, note details on the Annual Service Unit Financial Report.  Special circumstances requiring larger carry over balances must be discussed and approved by the membership specialist. This report is reviewed by the service unit manager and council staff. All service units must complete this form regardless of their year-end balance.

Girl Scout service units cannot participate in non-council sponsored money-earning activities of any kind if they have not submitted their year-end financial reports from the previous year(s).

Bad Check Procedures
It is the responsibility of the service unit treasurer to ensure the service unit account(s) are in compliance with GSOFCT Financial Procedures and monthly bank reconciliation is occurring.

  • Any checks returned by our bank as NSF (insufficient funds), account closed, refer to maker, etc. will be immediately forwarded to Payliance for processing. Payliance will have full authority to contact the check writer for collection on the bad check and to charge collection fees from the check writer as allowed under current state law. GSOFCT will no longer attempt redeposit of bad checks.
    • An initial courtesy phone call will be made if contact information is available.
  • As a reminder, all checks accepted and deposited on behalf of GSOFCT should include name, residence address (no P.O. Boxes), phone number with area code and driver’s license number. Temporary checks and checks lacking imprinted information should never be accepted. If possible, use the reference line to list the service unit number and activity (example: Service unit XXXX/Square Dance).
  • At no time will the council accept or hold a check to be deposited at a later date.
  • Service units with any financial delinquencies will be submitted to the council chief financial officer for further action.

When a bank account is mismanaged and fees are accumulated, it is the responsibility of the volunteer(s) managing the account to personally pay such fees assessed by the bank or by a given business.

Poor financial management on a volunteer’s part will result in jeopardizing not only the individual’s financial status but also places GSOFCT’s credit standing and relationship with the financial institution at risk.

Bank Account fees may not be deducted from service unit funds.

Protect Yourself!
Money is one of those areas that can cause a lot of bad feelings and ill will among volunteer in a service unit.  Save yourself an endless amount of heartache and avoid the possibility of having your financial practices being called into question by following these practices:

 

  • Keep good financial records including receipts for all expenditures
    • Bank statements and receipts should be retained for seven (7) years.
  • Ensure all financial responsibilities are addressed in a timely manner. All outstanding delinquencies will be reported to the council chief financial officer for further action
  • Ensure all signers on the account(s) are aware of financial transactions not just the primary checkbook holder
    • We recommend all signers on the account(s) independently reconcile the account(s) monthly in order to identify and resolve any discrepancies as soon as possible.
  • Review account status regularly with all signers to ensure compliance with GSOFCT policies and procedures. Report any discrepancies to your service unit manager.
  • Report on service unit finances at monthly volunteer meetings. Service unit monies support your area’s girl and adult activities as well as cover administrative expenses. Local volunteers should know how much the service unit has and how it has been spent.
  • Pay attention to and follow the other financial guidelines in this booklet. They are there to protect you, and to keep you in compliance with GSOFCT policies and guidelines.
  • We recommend two account signers to sign all checks payable for $500 or more.
  • Always use caution when receiving calls, texts, emails from a financial institution, always confirm with either GSOFCT or the financial institution verbally if uncertain about the validity of the request and verify who is requesting the financial or confidential information.

Handling Discrepancies of Service Unit Funds
At the time of appointment, the service unit treasurer should be told that she/he is the custodian of the service unit funds. The service unit treasurer is responsible for any monies collected in the name of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Such monies are to be used ONLY by the service unit and for service unit activities. The service unit treasurer is responsible for maintaining records and preparing reports, which reflect the status of funds within the service unit. If the service unit treasurer fails to maintain records and prepare reports, the service unit manager should review the situation with the service unit treasurer and try to reconcile the problem.

If it is suspected that there has been misappropriation of funds or when actual misappropriation is established, the service unit manager or her/his designee will contact the membership specialist to establish a course of action that may include the audit of service unit monies and/or the possible removal of the service unit treasurer from her/his position.

Thank you for adhering to these policies. GSOFCT reserves the right to step in and close accounts if there is misappropriation or policy violations. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact GSOFCT’s director of finance at ( 800) 922-2770.

Troop Disbanding and Unused Troop Funds

When a troop disbands, any unused Girl Scout money left in the account becomes the property of the council. 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. 

Closing the Troop Account

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.

Money-Earning Basics for Troops

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. 

Help Your Troop Reach its Financial Goals

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-sale activities. As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to facilitate girl-led financial planning, which may include the following steps for the girls:

  1. Set goals for money-earning activities. What do girls hope to accomplish through this activity? In addition to earning money, what skills do they hope to build? What leadership opportunities present themselves?

  2. Create a budget. Use a budget worksheet that includes both expenses (the cost of supplies, admission to events, travel, and so on) and available income (the group’s account balance, projected cookie proceeds, and so on).

  3. Determine how much the group needs to earn. Subtract expenses from available income to determine how much money your group needs to earn.

  4. Make a plan. The group can brainstorm and make decisions about its financial plans. Will cookie and other product sales—if approached proactively and energetically—earn enough money to meet the group’s goals? If not, which group money-earning activities might offset the difference? Will more than one group money-earning activity be necessary to achieve the group’s financial goals? In this planning stage, engage the girls through the Girl Scout processes (girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning) and consider the value of any potential activity. Have them weigh feasibility, implementation, and safety factors. 

  5. Write it out. Once the group has decided on its financial plan, describe it in writing. If the plan involves a group money-earning activity, fill out an application for approval from your council and submit it along with the budget worksheet the girls created. 

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 part of the GSLE. 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.

Girl Scout Daisies 
The group volunteer handles money, keeps financial records, and does all group budgeting.
Parents/guardians may decide they will contribute to the cost of activities.
Girls can participate in Girl Scout cookie activities and other council-sponsored product sales.
Daisies are always paired with a volunteer when selling anything. Girls do the asking and deliver the product, but volunteers handle the money and keep the girls secure.
Girls should be given the opportunity to practice identifying money and counting back change with an adult during each transaction.
Girl Scout Brownies
The group volunteer handles money, keeps financial records, and shares some of the group-budgeting responsibilities.
Girls discuss the cost of activities (supplies, fees, transportation, rentals, and so on) with guidance from their volunteer(s).
Girls set goals for and participate in council-sponsored product sales.
Girls may decide to pay dues to contribute to the cost of activities.
Girl Scout Juniors 
The group volunteer retains overall responsibility for long-term budgeting and record-keeping, but shares or delegates all other financial responsibilities.
Girls set goals for and participate in council-sponsored product sales.
Girls decide on group dues, if any. Dues are collected by girls and recorded by a group treasurer (selected by the girls).
Girls budget for the short-term needs of the group, on the basis of plans and income from the group dues.
Girls budget for more long-term activities, such as overnight trips, group camping, and special events. 
Girls budget for Take Action projects, including the Girl Scout Bronze Award, if they are pursuing it.
Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors 
Girls estimate costs based on plans.
Girls determine the amount of group dues (if any) and the scope of money-earning projects.
Girls set goals for and participate in council-sponsored product sales.
Girls carry out budgeting, planning, and group money-earning projects.
Girls budget for extended travel, Take Action projects, and leadership projects.
Girls may be involved in seeking donations for Take Action projects, with council approval.
Girls keep their own financial records and give reports to parents and group volunteers.
Girls budget for Take Action projects, including the Girl Scout Silver or Gold Awards, if they are pursuing them.
Working with Sponsors and Other Organizations

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.

For information on working with a sponsor, consult your council, which can give you guidance on the availability of sponsors, recruiting guidelines, and any council policies or practices that must be followed. Your council may already have relationships with certain organizations or may know of some reasons not to collaborate with certain 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 themselves as Girl Scouts by 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
A commercial product 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.

If  your troop has the opportunity to apply for funding from a foundation, please contact fund development directly at (800) 922-2770 to discuss your request in the event GSOFCT has received funding from them or is in the process of requesting funding.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut supports and encourages troop/groups and service units to fundraise monetary and in-kind contributions from local businesses, foundations, organizations, or individuals using the following guidelines:

  1. The maximum amount a troop/group/service unit may accept from donated monetary gifts in a membership year is $1,000.
    • a. The funds must benefit the entire troop/group or service unit, not a specific individual.
    • b. Funds will be disbursed to the troop/group or service unit only after the troop/group co-leader or service unit manager sends written correspondence confirming that the funds will be for the benefit of the entire troop/group or service unit and not for a specific individual.
  2. Any designated donation monies of $250 or more from a foundation, corporation, government entity, or individual (including recognition of volunteer service hours) should be written payable to Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Inc. and sent to 340 Washington Ave., Hartford, CT, 06106 and designated to the specific troop/group or service unit. Online donations can be made at gsofct.org (click the “Donate” button on top right corner of main page) and call (800) 922-2770 to confirm troop/group or service unit designation. 
    • a. The troop/group or service unit should complete the Monetary Gift Acceptance Form and forward to the Hartford Service Center, Attn: Fund Development, email customercare@gsofct.org.
    • b. The council is responsible for thanking the donor though the troop/group or service unit may want to send an acknowledgement as well.
    • c. Girl Scouts of Connecticut will issue up to $1,000 of donation to the designated troop/group or service unit upon completion of the Monetary Gift Acceptance Form.
    • d. The balance of donations will be used toward the council’s Girl Assistance Fund to benefit Connecticut Girl Scouts in need. 
    • e. Troops/groups or service units are not legal 501(c) (3) organizations. The troop/group or service unit therefore cannot provide documentation of tax-deductibility of the donation. GSOFCT will provide a tax receipt.
  3. Any designated donation monies of $249.99 or less from a foundation, corporation, government entity, or individual can be written to and received directly by the troop/group or service unit.
    • a. Notification to the council is appreciated.
    • b. The troop/group or service unit is responsible for thanking and acknowledging the donor.
    • c. If the donor requests a tax-deductible receipt the troop/group or service unit must forward the donation to the council to process with the completed Monetary Gift Acceptance Form.
    • d. Troops/groups or service units are not legal 501(c) (3) organizations. The troop/group or service unit therefore cannot provide documentation of tax-deductibility of the donation. GSOFCT will provide a tax receipt if requested by the donor.
  4. In-kind Gifts:  Troops/groups or service units should notify their deputy chief of member experience or her/his designee of any in-kind gifts of goods for troop/group or service unit activities.
    • a. If an in-kind gift of goods or services is received that is valued at over $250 and/or the donor requests a tax-deductible receipt, the Gift-In-Kind Acceptance Form must be completed and submitted to the council so the donor may be properly thanked. If the form is not submitted, the gift may not be recognized as tax deductible.
    • b. All in-kind gifts of goods or services received that are valued at $250 or less can be received directly by the troop/group or service unit. The troop/group or service unit is responsible for thanking and acknowledging the donor.
  5. Funds donated must benefit the entire troop/group or service unit not a specific individual. The funds in the troop/group or service unit never become the property of individual girls/adults.
  6. All donations must be accounted for on the Troop/Group Year-End Financial Report submitted through the Volunteer Toolkit or the Annual Service Unit Financial Report.
  7. Troops/groups or service units that do not comply with fundraising guidelines may be subject to sanctions.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut thanks all volunteers, service unit managers and troop/group co-leaders who solicit and secure donations for the benefit of our members. 

Gifts Designated to Troops/Groups and Service Units

Volunteer Hours – Matching Gifts – Donations
Members of a troop/group or service unit may be eligible to participate in their employer’s charitable giving program for donations, matching gifts or volunteer hours. These gifts can be designated to a specific troop/group/service unit or they can be directed to the council for the benefit all Girl Scouts in Connecticut.

Adult volunteers are encouraged to contact their employer to inquire if a volunteer-hours grant is available. Such programs require the volunteer to report their service hours and summarize their volunteer activities. Upon approval, the employer will make a charitable contribution to the organization designated by the volunteer.

Families, volunteers, and friends can also direct a donation or matching gift made through an employer charitable giving program to a troop/group or service unit.

Troops/groups or service units are allowed to receive a maximum of $1,000.00 per fiscal year in donations. GSOFCT’s fiscal year runs October 1 through September 30.


To expedite the processing of the gift to your troop/group or service unit, please follow the directions below.

Requesting the Gift from an Employer:
When requesting a donation, please only use the account for Girl Scouts of Connecticut. All donations requesting a matching gift, a tax receipt, and/or are $250or more must go through GSOFCT as they are the nonprofit entity with the legal status of tax exemption. Troops/groups or service units are considered subdivisions of the council and therefore do not have separate tax exemption status.

1.  Access your employer’s Charitable Giving Program:

  • Search for the “Girl Scouts of Connecticut” or “Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Inc.” main account. 
    • Please note: There should be no GSOFCT accounts listed for individual troops/groups or service units.
    • If you need to search by Tax ID Number/EIN, contact Girl Scouts of Connecticut for this information at customercare@gsofct.org or (800) 922-2770.
    • If you cannot find an established account for GSOFCT, please have your employer contact:

Fund Development
Girl Scouts of Connecticut
340 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106
(800) 922-2770 or email
customercare@gsofct.org
Our staff will send your employer the documentation required to set up the account.

  • Do not set up a separate account for the troop/group or service unit. Doing so will result in the following:
    • The account set up for your troop/group or service unit will be closed.
    • GSOFCT staff will need to call the employer to have them move the gift into the GSOFCT main account.
    • The processing of the gift will be delayed and may miss the deadline set by the employer’s charitable giving program.

2.  There will be a field in which to designate how you would like GSOFCT to use the donation. Complete this field with the specific troop/group and/or service unit you wish to receive the donation; if the troop number is unknown, enter the town or troop/group co-leader’s name. Donations can also be designated to GSOFCT Campership Fund or Girl Assistance Fund. If this field is left blank, the gift will be allocated to general operating.

3.  Allow ample time when processing the donation or matching gift, or requesting volunteer hours from the employer. Familiarize yourself with the employer’s charitable giving program deadlines and timeline for processing gifts.

Notifying GSOFCT of a Gift for Troop/Group or Service Unit:
In order to receive the gift, you must complete the Monetary Gift Acceptance Form and forward to the Hartford Service Center, Attn: Fund Development, email to customercare@gsofct.org , or fax to (860) 548-0325. Gifts will not be released to a troop/group or service unit without this form on file at GSOFCT.

Please note:

  • Gifts that are directed to a troop/group or service unit must be used for the benefit of the
    entire troop/group or service unit and not for a specific individual(s).
  • If your troop/group or service unit receives a check or cash over $250directly from a parent, guardian, organization, etc. please send the donation to GSOFCT along with the Monetary Gift Acceptance Form. GSOFCT will process the donation, issue it to the designated troop/group or service unit, and provide a tax receipt to the donor. Do not deposit the check/cash into your troop/group or service unit bank account.
  • If your troop/group or service unit has reached the $1,000 limit for the current fiscal year, the balance of the gift(s) can be designated to benefit another Girl Scout through the GSOFCT Campership Fund or GSOFCT Girl Assistance Fund.

Receiving a Gift for Troop/Group or Service Unit:
Once GSOFCT has received the gift from your employer and has the corresponding Monetary Gift Acceptance Form on file, an EFT will be requested from the GSOFCT Finance Department.

  • The GSOFCT Finance Department completes EFTs every two weeks; depending upon the timing of your paperwork, it may take up to three weeks to process.
  • This donation must be reported on the appropriate year-end financial report for the troop/group or service unit.

If you have any questions, please contact the Fund Development Department at customercare@gsofct.org. A staff member will promptly contact you.

 

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