Helping girls decide what they want to do, and coaching them as they earn and manage money to pursue their goals, is an integral part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). With your guidance, your Girl Scout group will plan and finance its own activities while the girls learn valuable financial skills that serve them throughout their lives.
Girl Scout groups are funded by a share of money earned through council-sponsored product sale activities (such as Girl Scout cookie activities), group money-earning activities (council approved), and any dues your group may charge. This chapter gives you the ins and outs of establishing a group account and helping girls manage their group’s finances and understand how to collaborate with sponsors and causes.
The Troop’s Treasurer
The troop treasurer is the volunteer responsible for the troop’s bank account which includes: coordinating deposits, expenditures, and financial reporting to the troop. This is a wonderful troop committee position for a detailed oriented parent or the troop leader with an interest and/or skill in finance. Many troops ask a parent to act as the troop’s treasurer.* This can be a great way to involve a parent who wants to be active with the troop, but whose schedule is restricted because of work or other obligations. Girl Scout volunteers provide invaluable services to our most precious clients – the girls. However, the ultimate responsibility for budgeting and record keeping belongs to the adults.
*The troop treasurer’s job depends on the girls’ program level: At the Daisy and Brownie level, girls may collect and record dues, but the troop volunteer handles money and keeps financial records; she or he does all troop budgeting, but explains the process to girls and gets their input on activities and purchases. At the Junior level, it is a shared girl-adult responsibility. At the Cadette level and above, an adult mentors the girls as they keep the troop’s financial records and give reports to parents and troop volunteers.
Since the money belongs to the troop, it is important that the management of funds is transparent for the girls, parents, and volunteers as well as for the Council. The troop treasurers will be trained and will receive ongoing support from their service unit treasurer. Any volunteer with an outstanding debt to Council may not be appointed to a troop treasurer position. Volunteers who serve in this role must complete the required background screening process and be a registered volunteer.
How to get a bank account for your troop
Because Girl Scout troops earn and spend money, every troop/group needs to have a bank account. If you are taking over an existing group, you may inherit an existing checking account, but if you are starting a new group, you’ll want to work with your service unit treasure or council treasurer liaison to open a new account as soon as possible. All troops/groups must have an open bank account before they can be approved to participate in any money earning or product programs.
Keep in mind the following when working with troop funds:
All money in the troop or group’s account belongs to the girls, and should be treated as such.
Receipts and records are required for all use of group funds. They must be kept for at least two years plus the current year and may be requested at any time by GSOSW.
Avoid withdrawing cash from the group account. Instead, debit cards are the preferred method of payment for groups and troops because of the ease of record keeping. Checks may also be used by the troop if needed. If it is absolutely necessary to carry group cash, receipts must be turned in and kept with the group records showing the amount of cash withdrawn from the account, and how it was spent. Excess cash must then be deposited into the group account when the event is over.
A troop/group is considered disbanding when the following apply:
The girls have graduated high school.
The troop has decided to no longer be active.
Memberships are not renewed by November 30.
The troop does not meet the membership criteria of at least two leaders and five girls (exceptions may be approved by GSOSW volunteer support staff).
Before finalizing your decision to disband, there are a few options the troop should consider:
If troop meetings no longer fit your schedule, consider choosing a new day and time to meet, or prepare to meet less frequently.
If you no longer have time to volunteer to lead the troop, reach out to the other adults in your troop and service unit about the possibility of obtaining new leadership.
If combining resources with another troop would be helpful, consider merging your troop with another troop in your area.
A Troop is considered merging when it has decided to continue by joining another existing troop.
Notify all current members and their parents/guardians that the troop leadership has chosen to disband, merge, or that the troop will no longer be continuing. Share they ways their girl can still participate; with a different troop, as a member in any council activities, or as an individually registered member.
Email both email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate the disband process. Include the planned timing of the disband or merge.
Download the Disband/Merging Troop Packet and follow the instructions within 30 days. This packet includes the Final Troop Financial Report and the Troop/Group Roster.
Submit your filled-out Disband/Merging Troop Packet to email@example.com and keep a copy of all paperwork for your records for 3 years.
For Disbands: If there are remaining troop funds, close the troop/group bank account and mail the balance as a cashier’s check to GSOSW Disband at 9620 SW Barbur Blvd., Portland, OR 97219. b.
For Merging: If there are remaining troop funds, close the troop/group bank account, and transfer funds to the continuing troop. Combined troop funds will be the property of all the girls in the continuing troop.
Remaining troop funds submitted to council are held for one year.
If a troop reforms within a year from disbanding, remaining funds may be restored to the troop. A request for the funds for returning girls’ use is to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a girl from a disbanded group rejoins Girl Scouts within one year, a portion of the disbanded group’s funds may be requested to be transferred to her new group. A request for the transfer of the funds from the new group leader is to be submitted to email@example.com.
Any portion of the disbanded groups funds remaining after one year will be used to benefit other girls through financial assistance.
Groups with equipment should email firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the disposition of the equipment.
Girl Transfers and Troop Divisions
A “transfer” is defined as a girl leaving one troop and joining another troop while her original troop remains active. A “troop division” is when the intention is for one or more groups of girls to leave a troop and form two or more Girl Scout troops as defined by the “group composition” policy highlighted on page 131.
Procedure: Girl Scout group money belongs to the group and is not attributed to any individual girls. For girls who transfer to a new troop, the girl’s original troop, in a gesture of Girl Scout sisterhood, may decide to make a gift to the new troop. For those troops dividing and forming new troops, the troop funds at the time of the division will be divided equally between each new troop, based on the number of girls in each.
Can I expense myself with troop funds?
Troops will only reimburse expenses that directly relate to a troop activity, and troop spending should be discussed in advance. In any request for reimbursement, it is important to keep financial records with receipts and by noting what the purchase was for, the date the reimbursement was completed, and by whom. Reimbursement requests should be submitted promptly after the expense is incurred as a troop or group may elect not to reimburse items submitted past 60 days.
Reimbursements must be made by request to a signer on the troop or group bank account. At no time is anyone permitted to pay for an activity with personal funds and reimburse themselves. Co-mingling of troop and personal funds, even with the intention to pay the troop back is strictly prohibited.
When reimbursing for driving expenses, reimbursements are to be made based on number of miles driven. Reimbursement for gasoline is not allowed by the IRS.
Each group will maintain accurate records of income and expenses and will submit reports as required. Adult(s) in charge of group funds and/or bank accounts will be currently registered members of GSUSA and have successfully completed a criminal background check and be held accountable for those funds at all times.
Procedure: A completed Troop Financial Report (form #108), along with a copy of the group’s most current bank statement, must be submitted to email@example.com for review no later than June 30 of the current program year. The date of the report should coincide with the most recent bank statement date. The service unit treasurer will submit all forms to the treasurer staff liaison by July 30 of the current program year.
Each troop or group must maintain financial records through an organizational system, using any combination of a binder or secure electronic drive containing copies of all up to date transaction logs (form #107, #107b or similar financial tracking tool), receipts, bank statements, product sale summaries, Troop Financial Reports (form #108) and any additional financial paperwork. Records are to be kept with the troop and should be available for review by parents/guardians, the girls in the troop, service team members, and/or GSOSW staff for no less than three (3) years.
A completed Service Unit Financial Report (form #208), along with transaction logs and a copy of the service unit’s most current bank statement, must be submitted to the treasurer staff liaison no later than July 15 of the current program year.
The Service Unit Financial Report (form #208), all receipts and a Detailed Bank Activity Record (form #107, or similar financial tracking tool) are to be kept with the service unit records and available for review by the members of the service unit, service team and/or GSOSW staff for no less than three (3) years.