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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 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.

With your guidance, girls will learn key money skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

Remember that all funds collected, raised, earned, or otherwise received in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be used for the purposes of Girl Scouting. Funds are administered by the troop and do not belong to individuals.

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. 
  • Four signers (2 Service Unit and 2 Troop) are recommended for all troop accounts. Two signers
  • (1 Service Unit and 1 Troop) are required.
  • Two signers are required on all checks.
  • 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. 

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 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. 

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.

Use of Cash, Reimbursements, Troop Account and Debit Card Tips

Cash withdrawals are not to be used unless necessary and must be completed at a bank teller to allow an audit trail. A detailed accounting of how cash was used must be reported with the troop financial records. Do not reimburse for expenses using cash; reimburse someone who used their own funds to purchase troop items using a check. If a troop leader is being reimbursed, they cannot be one of the signers on the check. Relatives, spouses, minors, and members of the same household as the primary signer may not be the secondary signer on troop checks.

Do not store debit card information on-line for any website in order to protect the Girl Scout funds.

Troop Budget and Finance Reports

Troops are encouraged to submit a budget report at the beginning of the year to aid in the planning of the troop experience and management of troop funds and are required to submit a finance report at the end of the year. The budget report should be a realistic plan for how the troop intends to spend their money throughout the year. The finance report should account for all troop income and expenses throughout the year. Amounts in the troop account of $300 or less at the end of the program year may be carried over to the next program year. If the troop has more than $300, the girls should plan and carry out activities, so they benefit from the money they have earned. Troops of Girl Scout Junior grade level or above planning an extended trip in the near future may retain amounts greater than $300 for that trip. Failure to turn in the troop finance report by the deadline determined by the service unit will prevent the troop from participating in product sales in the next membership year, may lead to troop leadership not being reappointed, and troop funds being transferred into the Service Unit Account until the finance report is received.

Account Management and Support

Contact your Service Unit Accounting Coordinator and 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.

Individuals listed on an account are responsible for all account activity. Responsibilities include but are not limited to account maintenance, keeping accurate records, retaining receipts, and any overdraft fees. The troop adult leadership team should:

  • Adhere to all local, state and federal laws and ordinances.
  • Help girls prepare a group budget.
  • Ensure funds are being used in support of the Girl Scout experience and that the troop benefits from the money that is earned. No troop funds are to be used for personal benefit. For example: A troop may pay for girls to attend an event, but not for adults not needed for safety ratios, siblings not in the troop, or a girl attending without the troop. A troop may pay for a leader to attend a training to be certified for an upcoming troop activity, but not for a training unrelated to the troop activities.
  • Keep group money secure at all times by establishing a group bank account.
  • Maintain financial records, keep receipts and make them open and available to parents.
  • Help girls establish the amount of weekly or monthly dues to be collected.
  • Using the girl and adult partnership, set goals for income from council-sponsored product programs and other money-earning activities.
  • Inform girls and parents of the benefits of being philanthropic and inform them of the benefits of supporting the Family Partnership Campaign.
  • Recruit and supervise a group product program coordinator.
  • Prepare and submit to the Service Unit accounting coordinator an annual Budget/Finance Report.

Your Service Unit Accounting Coordinator is your primary contact and support in regard to managing your troop banking account. They will provide training when opening the account and/or as part of onboarding new leader(s). They are the primary recipient of the troop bank account statement to allow for monitoring of activity.

Troop finances/bank statements should be reviewed by girls regularly and parents should receive periodic updates. All financial documents must be available for review upon request. Actions related to Girl Scout banking and money management that are not in line with council policies, result in loss of funds, or could be considered negligent will result in consequences up to and including removal from all West Central Florida roles and possible legal action.

Council reserves the right to audit troop and service unit accounts and financial information without consent of the account signers at any time.

Council reserves the right to process ACH (Automated Clearing House) direct electronic debits and credits to or from troop or service unit accounts at any time.

  • Troops and service units are responsible for ensuring they have sufficient funds in their account on the dates of scheduled ACH debits related to council’s Cookie and Sweets and Treats programs. Council publishes these dates and requirements annually.

Bad Debt / Mismanagement of Funds

Although it should rarely occur, troops/groups and service unit teams can be the recipient of bad debts, such as a parent/volunteer bouncing a check or not paying for cookies. Troops/Service Units are discouraged from taking checks from parents and other members of the community. Troops that receive NSF checks or any other type of bad debt should attempt to resolve the situation first, themselves. For instance, a parent may pay for dues with a check that subsequently bounces. Leaders should inform their service unit team accounting coordinator about the situation (as a fee will be incurred on the bank statement) and then work with the parent to recover the value of the check plus the fee charged by the bank. In the event the leader cannot resolve an issue with a bad check, the fee is a liability of the person who accepted the payment.

All communications and information regarding a case of suspected misappropriation of funds is to remain in strict confidence with ONLY those parties involved. The concerned party should report suspected misappropriation immediately to the Community Membership Manager. The CMM will review and investigate the situation. A final determination will be made and notification of such findings to the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer for final action. A determination of misappropriation of funds is cause for immediate release of a volunteer from all appointed positions.

Helping and coaching girls to earn and manage money to pursue their goals, is an integral part of the

Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). Volunteers/adults that owe money to the council, service unit, or the troop for product sales, bad checks, non-payment of summer camp fees, or misappropriation of troop funds, cannot serve as role models to volunteer at the troop, service unit or council levels, or earn Adult Awards.

Volunteering includes, but is not limited to:

  • Troop level - Troop leader (DP), fall or cookie program chair, troop treasurer, troop helper, transportation coordinator, record keeper, adult/girl ratio on trips, camping or activities, designated trained adult for Girl Scout trips, camping or activities. 
  • Service Unit level- Any position GSWCF considers administrative including delegates, volunteers needed for adult/girl ratios for SU events, programs, encampments
  • Council level- Any position GSWCF posts as a volunteer opportunity or participation in special committees and/or advisory groups at any level.

How these adults' guardians can participate if they owe money to the council or troop:

Provide permission for the girl to participate in Girl Scout activities, provide additional consent for activities that take place outside the scheduled meeting place. Drive the girl to and from meeting place or to locations outside the scheduled meeting place to attend events and activities. As a helper if the girl has special needs or abilities.

How their Girl Scout can participate if her adult guardian owes money to the council or troop:

Girls can attend all meetings and activities of the troop including product sales but are limited to selling in the online programs and at cookie booths only. The adult guardian should be the person to explain to the girl how she can participate in the product sales. This should not be up to the troop leader or the troop fall/cookie chair.

Digital / Online Payments

Cheddar Up is the preferred method of collecting digital and/or online payments for troops. Cheddar Up is the leading group payments platform and allows troop or service units an easy tool to collect payments, forms and information for troop and service unit expenses online, with no fee to the troop or service unit.

Girl Scout troops and service units may also open a PayPal account if it is helpful for collecting dues and activity payments. All fees charged by PayPal are the troop/service unit’s responsibility. Guidelines for using PayPal:

  • Set up an independent PayPal account, not an organizational or non-profit account.
  • Troop funds are not to be intermingled with other organization / personal funds. The PayPal account set up must be for Girl Scout use only.
  • Link the PayPal account to your troop / service unit checking account.
  • Transfer funds to your checking account monthly or when balance is greater than $100, whichever occurs first.
  • PayPal statement(s) are to be submitted with annual troop finance report.
  • If a troop disbands, the funds must be transferred to the troop account prior to closing the account. The PayPal account is also to be closed once the funds have been transferred.

Cheddar Up and PayPal may not be used to collect payment for Cookie or Sweets and Treats product programs. (See Product Program specific guidelines for credit card processing options).

Service Unit Accounts

Girl Scout service unit teams must maintain checking accounts to meet the expenses of supporting Girl

Scouting in their area. A CMM and Service Unit Manager will jointly appoint accounting coordinators to handle the bank account. All guidelines that apply to troop checking accounts apply to service unit team checking accounts as well. Individuals listed on an account are responsible for all account activity.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to account maintenance, keeping accurate records, retaining receipts, and any overdraft fees. The service unit adult leadership team should:

  • Adhere to all local, state and federal laws and ordinances.
  • Provide budgeting guidance as needed.
  • Help troop leaders/advisors establish a troop bank account.
  • Ensure safe money practices by monitoring the troops’ monthly statements.
  • Establish a service unit team bank account.
  • Provide regular service unit team treasury reports to the accounting coordinator for your service unit.
  • Ensure funds are being used in support of the Girl Scout experience and that the service unit benefits from the money that is earned. No service unit funds are to be used for personal benefit.
  • Review and approve Supplemental Money-Earning Permission Requests from troops.
  • Assist troop leaders/advisors with preparation of Budget/Finance Reports as needed.
  • Collect and review service unit team and troop finance reports; submit finance reports to your Accounting Coordinator, and/or review and approve the Troop Finance Reports.
  • Submit service unit finance report to community membership manager at program year-end.

Amounts of $1,000 or less may be carried over at the end of the program. If the service unit team has plans that will benefit girls and will make use of the money in the near future, an amount greater than $1,000 may be retained for that purpose, but it must be clearly outlined in the annual finance report.

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

  • 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-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

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 the GSWCF Fund Development Department; they 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.

Employer Benefits/Matching Gifts
Some employers offer matching gifts and volunteer service hours to their employees. Employers may match the employee’s monetary donations or make a donation based on the hours the employee has volunteered with a nonprofit. Find out if your employer participates in a matching gift or volunteer program. Matching gift forms can typically be obtained from the company’s employee benefits department. Forms should be completed by the employee and submitted to the Fund Development department through email:  or dropped off at the Leadership Center.

Any donation from a foundation, corporation, employer, etc. in recognition of volunteer service hours will be considered a commemorative gift in honor of the Girl Scout volunteer who performed the hours of service. Any amount exceeding $500 per membership year will go toward the Family Partnership Campaign. Contact the Fund Development department for more information.

Troops and service unit teams are not authorized to apply for grants for general funds. Girls are permitted to apply for Youth As Resources (YAR) grants or other youth funding entities to fund Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award projects or other community service projects. Girls must adhere to project budget guidelines for Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. Council approval is needed before applying for grant funding. Contact the Grant Manager (Juanita Buitrago) for questions regarding grants and/or for grant approval.

Sponsoring organizations may provide meeting space for a troop or group, donate needed items such as handbooks, uniforms, flags, camping equipment, etc.; or offer financial support. The maximum financial support per membership year (10/1-9/30) is $500, for every troop or service unit seeking sponsorships (there may be more than one financial sponsor for a combined total of $500).  A troop must participate in at least one of the two most recent council organized product program fundraisers (fall product sales or Girl Scout Cookie program) in order to receive sponsorship funds.

Up to two (2) troops or service units may benefit from a sponsorship donation. No more than $500 can be given to each troop or service unit from the gift. After the two (2) troops or service units are selected, any remaining donation amount will be designated to the Family Partnership Campaign, supporting all Girl Scouts in west central Florida.

All charitable contributions should be made payable to Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Monetary contributions should provide the troop number or service unit on the check or with correspondence. GSWCF is incorporated in the State of Florida and is designated as a 501(c)3 organization, but individual troops are not. Troops and service unit are not permitted to provide donors with tax receipts. Please note sponsorships may not be solicited via crowdfunding or social media platforms. 

Questions regarding supplemental money earning can be directed to the Troop Support team. Restaurant fundraisers, car washes, service unit events, Aramark fundraisers, etc. are considered supplemental money earning, not troop sponsorship. See the “Money-Earning Basics” section of this document for more information.

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.