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Troop Banking

From the Girl Scout Cookie Program to adventurous troop trips, our volunteers are true role models in savvy money handling. And until girls become as knowledgeable as their leaders, they'll need a little help managing their money. That's why it's super important to understand our troop banking policies and guidelines. Once you've got it down, then you can pass on those skills and get your girls involved in managing their own troop funds!

Here you will learn about different ways you can help educate and inspire girls to develop strong financial literacy skills. But first, here's what you need to know about Troop Banking as a volunteer.

Getting Started with Troop Banking
 

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Read Chapter 5 of the Volunteer Essentials. This chapter on managing group finances will give you the ins and outs of establishing a group account and helping girls manage their group’s finances.
 

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Open a troop checking account by submitting this Bank Letter Request form. With this same form, you can also request startup funds and a free Girl Scouting Guidebook. Troops must have two leaders and eight girls enrolled to be eligible for the $100 startup fund. After receiving your bank letters and/or start-up funds, you can take them to any bank to open a non-profit checking account, complete with a debit card and online banking services. Don’t worry, if you don’t have eight girls yet then you can always re-apply for the start-up funds.

 

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Update your banking information with GSSN. This quick online form allows you to submit information about your troop bank account and authorizes GSSN to electronically debit your account – which makes all the financial transactions related to product sales a piece of cake!
 

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Report on your troop finances. Due on June 15 of each year, troops are required to submit a Year End Financial Report. The best part? It’s super easy!  All you have to do is fill out and submit this form - with the appropriate bank statement attached - and you’re done.


 

Troop End-of-Year Financial Report

Due on June 15 of each year, troops are required to submit an End of Year Financial reportto GSSN. The best part is that it’s super easy.  All you have to do is fill out a quick online form through the VTK Finance Tab, attach the appropriate bank statement, and you’re done! Here are some more details about the process.

Log into your MyGS account, go to the Volunteer Toolkit, and click on the “Finance” tab. Complete the form by inputting all of your troops starting funds, income, expenses, and most recent bank statement. The form will automatically calculate your total income, total expenses, and your ending balance! We look to see that the end balance you report matches the end balance on the bank statement you provide. Any large discrepancies must be resolved before your financials can be approved. Also on the VTK Finance Tab is a step-by-step guide to submitting financials.

If you notice a large discrepancy right away, then please double check your numbers. It’s very common to transpose numbers or miss a decimal by mistake. Other items to double check include: dates of the reporting period, starting balance (compare to bank statements or last years ending balance), cookie sale numbers, fall product sale numbers, and the date of the bank statement you’re submitting. If you still cannot find the cause of the discrepancy then feel free to request an in-person meeting by making a note in the “Comments” section.

Need more assistance? Check out our handy step-by-step guide to submitting your End of Year Financial Report on the VTK Finance Tab!

 

Making Changes to Your Troop Bank Account

There are so many banking options out there these days. It’s important to be comfortable with your money management methods. That’s why we make it so easy to make changes to your troop bank account!

At any time, you can add/remove signers or switch banks by submitting the Bank Letter Request form. There must always be a minimum of two, background checked volunteers listed as signers on the account at any time. All relevant signers must be present at the bank in order to make these changes. Any time changes are made to a troop account, you will need to submit an ACH & Bank Account Info. Update Form to let GSSN know the changes that were made.

 

Juliettes or Individual Registered Girls

Not all Girl Scouts belong to a troop and that is OK! We have seamless financial services for our Individually Registered Girls and the process is easy enough for her to complete all on her own. 

Juliette funds are available for individually registered Girl Scout members. With guidance from parents/guardians or her Service Unit, individually registered Girl Scouts can go to camp, participate in the cookie sale, earn badges, and attend programs just like any other Girl Scout. Funding for these activities comes from a separate Juliette Fund managed by GSSN. To request money from this account at any time, please submit the Juliette Fund Request Form. During the Cookie sale, the proper Service Unit product sales coordinator and/or GSSN will help to manage Juliette transactions.

 

Merging, Splitting, or Disbanding Troops

Merging, splitting, and disbanding troops is a common happening in the world of Girl Scouts. There are so many ways to run a troop and it’s important to grow girls of courage, confidence, and character in the way that works best for you!

When two troops merge together, the first step is to host a parent meeting to ensure that all parents/guardians and girls agree to the change. Next, the Disbanding Troop Report and End of Year Financials (accessed through the VTK Finance Tab) must be submitted for the troop that will no longer be active. Additionally, all the troop funds and supplies are to be pooled together.

When one troop decides to split into two troops, the process is similar to starting a new troop. First, a parent meeting must be hosted to ensure that all parents/guardians, and girls agree to the change. Then, GSSN will assign a new troop number and leaders can decide which members and supplies should be split between the two troops. We recommend that the total amount of troop funds is divided equally among the girls and each girls portion follows her to her home troop.

Before deciding to disband, it is recommended that the leaders host a parent meeting to identify why the troop might dissolve and attempt to remedy the situation. Here are some common reasons why troops disband and recommended solutions. 

-If a troop is disbanding because there is a lack of leadership then the parent meeting is a good opportunity to get parents/guardians step up as replacement leaders. GSSN can also help to identify other volunteer leaders.

-If a troop is disbanding because the girls have aged out or are no longer interested then this the parent meeting is a good opportunity to either tie up loose ends or re-vamp the troop plans, activities, and goals to get girls excited again.

-If a troop is disbanding because of little or no participation then the parent meeting is a good opportunity to either talk about re-placing everyone into other troops better suited to their needs/desires or re-vamp the troop plans, activities, and goals to get everyone excited and involved again. 

Disbanding troops are required to submit both their End of Year Financials and the Disbanding Troop Report within 30 days of notifying GSSN that the troop is disbanding. The bank account must be closed and a final closing statement included in the disbanding report. The remaining balance of troop funds is to be either spent on activities for the girls or sent to GSSN to be used as start-up funds for new troops. If some girls are planning to continue in Girl Scouts then the total balance of funds should be divided equally among the girls and each girls portion follows her to her new home troop or Juliette fund.

 

Ways to Get Your Girls Involved with Money Management

Get girls learning by earning! Strong money management skills help set up girls for success throughout their lives.

Whether it’s saving to go to college, starting an investment portfolio, or buying their first car – being a savvy spender and saver helps girls feel more confidence regarding financial decisions. But girls need YOUR help!

Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy, a new study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, reported that only 12% of girls feel “very confident” making financial decisions.

So, how do we come together to build a brighter financial future for our girls?

By giving them the opportunity to learn and practice money management skills that help them achieve their dreams -- while having a ton of fun! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
 

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Girls can participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program and the Fall Product Sale to learn the 5 Skills: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics. They’ll also have the opportunity to learn about product marketing and entrepreneurship. 


Don’t forget that all money-earning activities outside of the Girl Scout Cookie Program and Fall Product Sale need to be approved by GSSN. Do your girls have an exciting idea for raising additional funds? Fill out and submit the Application for Troop Money-Earning!
 

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At the beginning of the year, create a troop budget. Using goal-setting skills, set a financial goal for your troop and then plan out financial costs for events, trips, pizza parties, and service projects.
 

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Review troop bank statements together and decide as a group how to spend and save troop funds.
 

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Make it fun! Find new and creative ways to get girls interested and show the real life impacts of their new and impressive financial skills. 
 

Step-by-Step Guides, Useful Documents, and More

We are here to help! Below you will find all the most important resources to set yourself up for success. You can find additional forms and documents on our forms webpage. And if you can’t find what you need then please contact us by phone or email and we’ll get right on it!

 

Guides and Trainings

Forms and Documents

 

End-of-Year Financials Step-by-Step Guide

Self-study Finance Training

Volunteer Essentials

Troop Budget Example

 

 

Bank Letter/Startup Fund Request

ACH & Bank Account Info. Update Form

Application for Troop Money Earning

Troop End of Year Financials

Request for Financial Assistance

Juliette Fund Request Form

Disbanding Troop Report