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.
*Overseas, individual troops are not permitted to have bank accounts. The Overseas Committee holds one account, and troop balances are maintained as sub-ledgers in this central account. For more information on USAGSO troop finances, check with your OCMT Treasurer and refer to USAGSO’s Volunteer Policies.
No matter how much your community plans on saving or spending, you’ll need a safe place to deposit your troop dues, product sale proceeds, and overall OCMT funds. If you’ve stepped up to lead an existing OCMT, you may inherit a checking account, but with a new community, you’ll want to open a new bank account.
Here are a few helpful tips you can take to the bank:
Here is your OCMT checklist for Year-End Financials! (due June 30, 2024)
Here is your troop checklist for Year-End Financials!
My community has more supporting documents than can fit on the Wufoo form. How do I submit these?
Please fill out the Wufoo form a second time and attached the additional supporting documents. You do not need to fill out the survey questions a second time.
Do I have to put my social security number on the Overseas Committee Year End Report?
Only the last 4 digits of your social security number are required.
Do troop finances need to be submitted to USA Girl Scouts Overseas?
No, troop finances should be submitted to the Overseas Committee Management Team. The OCMT then compiles all the troop reports into a comprehensive report and audit that is then submitted to USAGSO.
My community only handled 750.00 dollars. Do we need to fill out the Overseas Committee Year End Reporting form and submit to USAGSO?
Yes, all Overseas Committee Management Teams need to complete the year end reporting form and submit it to USAGSO. Only communities who handled more than $1000 dollars during the Girl Scout year need to complete the audit.
How much money can my community roll over from year to year?
Ideally funds should be spent in the year earned. Communities should not hold more than $50.00 per girl year over year. However, we know some troops or communities have long term plans for their funds, like a summer camporee and those situations will be evaluated on a community by community basis.
Who should complete my community’s financial audit?
Ask a parent or another volunteer that is not a member of the OCMT to review the financials and sign off that they have reviewed and believe the finances to be accurate.
How do I edit the end of year forms?
Download and save the forms to edit them.
Troops flex their financial muscles in two distinct ways:
The Girl Scout Cookie Program and other product sales of Girl Scouts (authorized product sales such as calendars, magazines, or nuts and candy) organized by your council. All girl members are eligible to participate in two council-sponsored product program activities each year with volunteer supervision—the Girl Scout Cookie Program and one other council-authorized product program. 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.
Girls’ participation in both council-sponsored product program activities and group money-earning projects is based on the following:
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.
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 program 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 programs as their primary money-earning activity; any group money earning shouldn’t compete with the Girl Scout Cookie Program or other council product programs.
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 program 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 Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
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 programs. 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
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 programs are designed to unleash the entrepreneurial potential in your girls. From there, your troop may decide to earn additional funds on its own.
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 program activities. As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to facilitate girl-led financial planning, which may include the following steps for the girls:
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 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.
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 USAGSO, to obtain guidance on the availability of sponsors, recruiting guidelines, and any USAGSO policies or practices that must be followed. USAGSO 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 are 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.
When closing an 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 USAGSO staff member.
When a committee disbands, any unused Girl Scout money left in the account becomes the property of USAGSO. Community 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 pay for girl activities. Girl activities can include purchasing materials to support another organization through Take Action projects.
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