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). Your Girl Scout group plans and finances its own activities, with your guidance. At the same time, the girls learn many valuable 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, of course), and any dues your group may charge. (This is in addition to the annual membership dues that go to the national organization.) This chapter gives you the ins and outs of establishing a group account and helping girls manage their group's finances, practice successful product-sales techniques, review the safety requirements around product sales, and understand how to collaborate with sponsors and causes.
If your group is earning and spending money, the group needs to set up a bank account. If you're taking over an existing group, you may inherit a checking account, but with a new group, you'll want to open a new account. This usually happens when there is money to deposit, such as group dues or money from product sales or group money-earning activities. Consider these tips when working with a group account:
Follow your council's financial policies and procedures for setting up an account. Most council-sponsored product sale activities have specific banking and tracking procedures.
Girl Scouts of Manitou Council is responsible to ensure that troop funds are used for the purpose of Girl Scouting and is required to monitor troop funds and activities according to Girl Scouts of the USA. Volunteers are responsible for ensuring Girl Scouts of Manitou Council has online access to troop accounts and maintaining financial records for annual reporting through the annual troop summary. In addition, proper maintenance of Girl Scout troop accounts is essential for successful troops. This includes maintaining a positive balance and monitoring expenses to assure they do not exceed the available troop funds. If a troop account incurs non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, it is the responsibility of the volunteers with the troop to pay those fees and to bring the account to a positive balance. Girl Scouts of Manitou Council is not responsible for covering NSF fees incurred by troops.
As you choose the financial institution for your troop account, please be advised to review all of the information provided by the bank or credit union including possible service fees that may be associated with a new account. It is preferable to choose an account that does not include service fees. That being said, the council has developed cooperative working relationships with certain financial institutions in the council’s jurisdiction and troops are required to use one of these banks and credit unions when setting up a new troop account or changing an existing troop account.
The most highly preferred banks and credit unions in the council area are as follows:
Other banks and credit unions that have acceptable qualifications are as follows:
Follow the procedures below to set up a new troop account or to change an existing troop account to comply with council requirements. All troop accounts must be set up so that Girl Scouts of Manitou Council has online access to the account. Also, consider the convenience of a debit card for troop usage and more detailed records of troop expenditures on bank statements.
The following procedures must be applied to all new and existing Girl Scout troop accounts. The troop account should be entitled “Girl Scouts of Manitou Council – Troop 0 8 _ _ _”
Once the account has been established, it is absolutely imperative that the council be made aware of the troop account information including name of bank or credit union, account number and online access information such as user ID’s, passwords and security questions and answers. Without this information the troop may have difficulties obtaining crucial information regarding the cookie sale, troop and girl rewards, and access to the E-budde accounting system for cookie sales and incentives.
All troop bank accounts must be set up so that Girl Scouts of Manitou Council has online access. Account access information (such as username, password, and security/challenge questions and answers) should be sent to Nancy Severson, firstname.lastname@example.org, the council’s Chief Financial Officer. When setting up your online banking account to include Girl Scouts of Manitou Council access, use "GSofMC" as your access I.D. code and GS plus your troop number as the password, i.e. GS08123. (If your banking institution has different access I.D. and password restrictions that need to be adhered to, then Girl Scouts of Manitou Council’s guidelines should serve as an example.) Troops will still have access to all troop account information online including balances, activity, etc.
Unused Girl Scout money left in accounts when groups disband becomes the property of the council. Prior to disbanding, the group may decide to donate any unused funds to a worthwhile organization, to another group, or for Girl Scout activities. As when closing a personal account, be sure all checks and other debits have cleared the account before you close it, and realize that you may have to close the account in person. Turn remaining funds over to a council staff member.