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.
Service Community Policies
Service Communities follow all troop account regulations including Finance Report reporting periods. If there is not a bank account, a zero report should be turned in.
The Service Community accounts are to be used for Service Community events that are not hosted as troop money earning events. The funds are to be used to serve the service community as a whole.
Service Community accounts should not have funds in excess of current budgetary needs. This can include camporee deposits, but should not include a “safety net” beyond any budgeted recurring charges (i.e. a storage unit).
Please use additional funds to defray the cost of events to benefit all girls in the service community.
Service Community financial status, including bank balance, must be presented to the group at each meeting to ensure everyone is aware of the availability of funds.
Troop/Group Finance Report Guidelines
Each troop is required to submit a troop finance report annually.
If the co-leader does not submit the troop finance report on or before the Council deadline, the co-leader will have an additional 10 day grace period to submit.
If the finance report is not submitted at the end of the 10 day grace period:
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:
Guidelines for Opening a Troop Account
A troop bank account should be opened as soon as the troop has started collecting funds, a bank account is required for all product sales, and it makes financial record keeping easier. Petty cash not deposited in troop accounts should be kept to a minimum at all times.
Girl Scout bank accounts in Citrus Council must be opened under the Council’s name and tax ID number by corporate resolution. Due to audit regulations, Citrus Council is the legal co-owner of every account and all troop accounts are accessible for review at all times. We currently recommend BB&T, Fairwinds Credit Union, or Wells Fargo for troop banking.
To open a bank account, the troop should identify the bank they wish to use and secure the name of the name and email of the manager to complete the request form. Girl Scouts of Citrus will produce a letter with the necessary information to complete the account opening process. The form is located on our web-site at https://girlscoutscc.wufoo.com/forms/pmcs6ij1w3v7ke/.
Once you are ready to open the account, it will be important for the account to be opened correctly:
The name of the troop account should be:
o Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, Inc.,
o Troop #
Note: this may require two lines for the troop number to be visible on mailings, checks, etc.
GSUSA recommends the use of Debit Cards and/or ACH transfers to facilitate future online registration processes for membership and activities through the Council Enterprise System (CES). Debit cards will only be issued to troop bank account signers and should be used for most troop purchases. Credit cards will not be authorized as troops and communities are not permitted to borrow money.
Any checks returned by our bank as NSF (insufficient funds), account closed, refer to maker, etc. will be immediately forwarded to collections for processing. GSC will not attempt to redeposit bad checks.
Sales Tax Exemptions
Troops and Service Communities are not able to be issued Sales Tax Exempt Certificates for purchases due to audit restrictions. Service Communities and troops that have had a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate must destroy the document.
In an effort to accommodate service communities and troops, purchases through the Girl Scouts of Citrus Shop which are paid for with a troop or service community Girl Scout check or debit card will not be charged sales tax. Items purchased with personal checks or cash do not qualify for sales tax exemption.
If your troop or service community hosts a large event and would like to have the sales tax exempted, please contact the Council Service Center to request assistance.
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.
Per GSUSA guidelines, proceeds received by a troop/group are non-transferable. Girls who leave the troop or leave Girl Scouting, are not entitled to proceeds earned while in the group, when they leave. PROCEEDS DO NOT FOLLOW THE GIRLS.
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.
If you have questions about closing down troop accounts, please reach out to Customer Care at: email@example.com or 407-896-4475
Troops flex their financial muscles in two distinct ways:
Girls’ participation in both council-sponsored product sale activities and group money-earning projects is based upon the following:
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.
Sample Money-Earning Activities
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.
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:
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!
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 your council; 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.
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.
Request for Cash Gifts
Per national Girl Scout policy, no Girl Scout is permitted to ask for gifts of cash from any entity. However, if a leader, parent or adult volunteer has a connection in your community for possible cash gifts, please consult with the Fund Development Department where it will be determined how to work in partnership to secure the gift. Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, Inc.is the only legal entity that can secure and process cash gifts as a condition of our 501(c) (3) status.
Donor Designated Gifts
If an individual donor or business wishes to make a gift of cash to a specific troop/group/community then the individual donor or business must send their donation directly to council with a note including the troop/group/community name that they wish their gift to be directed.
As the registered 501(c)(3) organization in receipt of donated funds and good stewards of all donations made through our organization, it is Girl Scouts of Citrus’s responsibility to ensure that all designated troops/groups/communities are active and in adherence with Council financial requirements.
All active Girl Scouts of Citrus troops are required to have a troop bank account with two (2) unrelated signers on the account. When a donor check stipulates that donations are made to designated troops, checks must be deposited into the troop account. Council will process payment only if the following information is current:
Once the check has been processed, council will remit the donation to the appropriate troop/group/community. Note that council keeps a small fee (percentage of donation) to cover processing costs.
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