Troop Finance Policies
Each troop supports its activities through several means: troop dues, activity fees, troop sponsors, approved money earning projects, the QSP/Nuts product program, and the Girl Scout cookie program. All troop activities should be planned for, budgeted for and paid for with troop funds. Girls cannot be discriminated against based on their family’s ability to pay or their level of participation in product sale programs.
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) policy states “The income from troop money-earning activities never becomes the property of individual members—girls or adults. Troop income comes from a variety of sources: dues, council product sales programs and approved money-earning projects. Troop funds belong to the troop as a whole and not to individual members of the troop; therefore, they should not be prorated by girl.”
However, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts may designate money earned by individuals for special activities, such as a trip or service project. At the end of the program year, or upon completion of the activity, this record-keeping system must be dissolved into the troop treasury from which it was generated.
When a troop disbands, a financial report shall be turned in to the Girl Scout Area Manager, who gives it to the Membership Specialist. Prior to disbanding, the troop may decide to donate any unused funds to a worthwhile organization, to another troop, or for girl activities. If girls from the disbanded troop are joining other troops, the funds can be divided proportionately and given to the appropriate troops the girls are joining. Remaining funds of the disbanded troop shall be turned in to Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan. Such funds may be returned to the troop if it is reorganized within one year. After one year, the unclaimed troop funds shall be entered into the GSHOM General Fund. As when closing a personal account, be sure all checks and other debits have cleared the account before you close it.
Who Pay's for Girl Scouting
The girl’s family typically pays for annual membership registration dues, troop dues, uniform and insignia, transportation, resident or day camp fees. Each family is encouraged to support Family Partnership, the cookie and QSP/ Nut product programs. These programs help to fund the troop.
The troop treasury may pay for: materials for troop programs, supplies and equipment for basic troop operation, all required trainings for troop adults, pins, patches and recognitions awarded by the troop, expenses related to outings, campouts, and trips. The troop may vote to set aside funds to pay for the annual membership registration dues.
Learning about responsible decision making begins with girls deciding what they will do, where they will go, and how they will pay for it. Through planning and budgeting, girls will set goals and plan how their level of participation in the Cookie Program and the QSP/Nut Program will help them reach their goals.
The Girl Scout program should not be expensive for girls or a financial burden for families. As girls participate in Girl Scouting, they learn to manage money wisely. One of the unique components of Girl Scouting is the importance placed on girl/adult planning and decision-making. Girl Scout Troop Leaders guide girls in deciding, carrying-out and evaluating program activities. The troop budget, built on dues and proceeds from the annual Girl Scout product programs, should cover most of the normal expenses. Estimating costs and talking with girls, helps them develop valuable money management skills.
Troop Dues and Activity Fees
The girls, with adult leaders’ guidance, decide if the troop will collect troop dues, and if so, how much they will be. Girls bring the troop dues to the meeting. This helps them learn responsibility, and helps them to see where the money comes from for their activities. If troop dues do not cover all the costs involved in troop activities, troops may collect program fees for girls to participate.
Troop dues should be kept as low as possible so girls are able to pay their share. Girls must never be excluded from Girl Scouting because they have not paid troop dues. Dues are determined based on the troop’s estimated annual budget. If the amount turns out to be too high or too low, the girls should be allowed to decide to change the amount of weekly dues, if appropriate.
Girl Scout Cadette, Girl Scout Senior and Girl Scout Ambassador Troops may plan extended trips which require additional money earning activities. Special permission is required for both money earning projects and the trip itself.
Girls should receive the best program that the troop can afford each year. Be careful about saving money for activities several years away. In today’s mobile society, troop membership changes continuously. If current troop program is hindered in order to save money for the future, the girls do not receive the full benefit of Girl Scouting now. It is entirely appropriate to save some money to be used to re-register the troop members for the next year, and to carry the troop through the fall.
Parents/guardians have a right to know what happens to troop money. Set up a communication system to keep them informed. Troop treasury records should be available to parents at any time. They must be kept up to date and accurate. Parents also need to know, that once money is received by the troop treasury, it no longer belongs to individual girls.
GSUSA Policy from the Blue Book of Basic Documents 2012, page 21
“All money and other assets, including property, that are raised, earned or otherwise received in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be held and authorized by a Girl Scout council or Girl Scouts of the USA. Such money and other assets must be used for the purpose 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.”