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Money-Earning Guidelines for Girls
Girl Scout groups are financed by dues, money-earning activities, and a share of money earned through council-sponsored product sale activities. Specifically, "group money earning" refers to activities following a planned budget and carried out by girls and adults, in partnership, to earn money for the group treasury. It is a subject that has raised some questions. To clarify, here are frequently asked questions and answers about this activity.
Can we raise money for a great cause—for example, walkathons, auctions, etc.?
As a member of Girl Scouts, you cannot raise money for other organizations. Period. Groups can decide to give donations of funds already earned, or goods purchased from group funds, to a cause. For example, a Girl Scout group might donate money to a scholarship fund as a memorial to someone, purchase groceries for a shelter at Thanksgiving or "adopt" an animal at the zoo. Groups can also volunteer at events. They can give out water bottles for example, or cheer on runners. Just be sure that your presence does not give the perception of endorsing a product, political cause or candidate. Avoid projects or events that use girls as a form of free labor, i.e., to do something that someone would normally be hiring others to do.
Can Juliettes, or individually registered girls, fundraise as Girl Scouts?
Girls are not allowed to earn money for themselves, whether they are in a group or participating as individually registered members. However, any registered Girl Scout above Daisy Girl Scout level, can take part in product sales and other council-approved activities.
Some councils help individual girls participate in the cookie program as a "group" with a responsible adult overseeing each girl's participation. Girls might sign up to work at a cookie booth or team up with another girl who is selling cookies. Individuals can earn "cookie credits" toward camp fees or events, if the council has such programs.
The money they earn must go into a specific "Juliette" fund administered by the council or service unit. The fund might provide mini-grants for individual travel or other program activities that benefit Juliettes. A representative group decides how the funds are spent, not the individual girl. Not all councils are set up to administer such funds, so check with your local council for guidelines.
Can an individual girl or troop solicit a local club for money for her/their Girl Scout Gold Award project?
Girl Scouts of any age cannot solicit money. It is the job of the adult to do the "ask," but the girl can give a presentation about the project. If any group or individual is to be approached, it must be cleared with the local Girl Scout council to avoid duplication or conflicts. (Your council might be going after a much larger donation for a fundraising campaign!)
Can a troop do money-earning activities beyond the council product sales?
Money earning should never be an end unto itself. Council product sales are a program activity for girls to learn specific skills, including goal setting, sales and project management. Additional money-earning projects must be part of a plan for a specific activity. Always get council approval for any money-earning projects beyond council product sales.
Answers to other questions about group finances can be found in Girl Scouts of the USA's Blue Book of Basic Documents (PDF) and the Safety Activity Checkpoints. Local councils may have additional guidelines.