Helping girls earn and manage money is an integral part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Your Girl Scout group is responsible for planning and financing its own activities, with your guidance. This puts girls in charge, giving them the opportunity (with your oversight) to cooperatively set goals, manage a budget, spend responsibly, maintain records, earn social skills and develop good marketing, entrepreneurial, math and financial skills.
Girl Scouting should not be expensive for girls. As girls participate in money earning activities, they learn key skills including goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
Girls earn money in two distinct ways:
- Council-sponsored product sales are councilwide sales of Girl Scout–authorized products (such as Girl Scout Cookies, calendars, magazines or nuts and candy) in which members participate as part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
- Group money-earning refers to activities organized by the group (not by the council) that are planned and carried out by girls (in partnership with adults) and that earn money for the group. These activities must be approved by the council in writing.
Helping Girls Reach Their Financial Goals
One of your opportunities as a volunteer is to facilitate girl-led financial planning, which may include the following steps for the girls:
- Set goals for money-earning activities.
- Create a budget.
- Determine how much the group needs to earn.
- Make a plan.
- Write it out.
Money-Earning Progression by Grade Level
Girl Scout Daisies should not be handling money or the budget directly. However, they should be making decisions about the activities they are doing as a troop, and learning that those activities cost money. As a result, they should also help make decisions about how they will earn money to do the activities they have chosen. A good approach is for leaders to narrow down a few money-earning options for the girls to vote on.
Girl Scout Brownies will want to make decisions about the activities they are doing as a troop, and how they will earn the money to do those activities. They want to be able to finish everything they start, but will be slow to do so. Leaders should offer up money-earning ideas that they know the girls are capable of doing so they will be able to complete the task and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Girl Scout Juniors should be able to come up with some of their own money-earning project ideas. Help them brainstorm some ideas and have them vote as a group. Girl Scout Juniors should also begin to learn the basics of a budget. Teach them the basics of setting up a budget for the activities that they want to do for the year and how to earn money to accomplish those activities.
Girl Scout Cadettes should be able to put together a general budget for activities and money-earning projects with guidance from leaders. They should also be able to plan and carry out the money-earning projects that they decide on as a group. Girls at this age will need support and guidance from leaders to stay focused on the task at hand.
Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors should be able to organize a budget, put together the troop itinerary and assist in record keeping. They should also be able to plan and carry out the money-earning projects that they decide on as a group. Girls at this grade level will need minimal guidance. Leaders will act more like advisors during this time.
Additional Group Money-Earning
Girl Scout Product Sales are a great way to earn the funds necessary for girls to travel. If income from the product sales isn’t enough, however, girls have more options available to them. Some ways of earning additional troop money include:
- Providing services (babysitting, car washes, spaghetti dinners, gift wrapping, etc.)
- Small grants
Financial assistance is provided to individual applicants, based on specific financial need and the applicant’s compliance with the financial assistance philosophy.
Girl Scout events and activities will result from realistic girl-adult planning that allows Girl Scouts adequate time to prepare troop or group money-earning projects that will support the girls’ choice of activities. Financial assistance is granted to individual applicants who have a specific and distinct financial need. All applicants are to contribute some portion to the activity cost.