Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI)
The council’s fund development department works with board members, individuals, alumnae, volunteers, family foundations, corporations, foundations, government entities, organizations and United Way partners to raise funds and awareness for Girl Scouts locally.
Funding sources include, but are not limited to, Family Partnership gifts, public and private gifts and grants, United Way allocations, product program revenue and program fees. Council funding provides council-wide programs, training, support, facilities, maintenance and efficiently run Girl Scout activities.
GSGCNWI is a non-profit entity recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt charitable organization. As a charitable organization, our council can accept tax-deductible donations made to the council and provide donors with the necessary donor acknowledgment.
While a troop is a part of the council, a troop or service unit does not qualify as a non-profit organization with a unique charitable identification number.
Troop dues are a main source of income for the troop treasury. Each troop sets its own timeline for collection based on its needs and plans for the year. Earnings from the Girl Scout Cookie and fall product programs, as well as troop money-earning activities, help the treasury grow.
Money belongs to the troop as a whole; it is not distributed to individual girls. Money is held in a troop bank account. Troop money supports activities planned by Girl Scouts in partnership with trained adult leaders. The money is often used for service project materials, field trips, badge work, craft supplies, and recognition.
Troop and Service Unit Procedures
- Solicited Cash Contributions: Per GSUSA’s Blue Book of Basic Documents, girl members may not engage in any direct solicitation for money. Adult members in their Girl Scout capacities may not solicit financial contributions for purposes other than Girl Scouting. Adults may engage in combined fundraising efforts authorized by the Girl Scout council and in which the local council is a beneficiary.
- Unsolicited Cash Contributions: When a troop, group or service unit receives an unsolicited cash contribution, the gift should be directed to the council for deposit and acknowledgment. In a given membership year, GSGCNWI will return 100% of all gifts directed to a troop, up to a maximum of $100 per girl member. In a given membership year, GSGCNWI will return 100% of all gifts directed to a service unit, up to $1,000. Gifts beyond these maximums will be handled on a case-by-case basis with the individual donor.
- Solicited In-Kind Contributions: If a troop, group or service unit is intending to solicit an in-kind donation with an estimated value of $500 or more, they must secure approval from the council prior to soliciting the contribution. Please contact our fund development department at 312-912-6345 or by sending an email to funddevelopment@girlscoutsGSGCNWI.org.
- Matching Contributions Based on Volunteer Hours: GSGCNWI will return 100% of the matching volunteer hour donation to the designated troop and/or service unit.
To ensure appropriate distribution and acknowledgement of contributions directed to a troop or service unit, check memo lines and descriptive information must include "Disburse to Troop [XYZ] or SU [XYZ]." Once the funds are verified as received, a request will be made for the appropriate funds be disbursed to the troop leader.
Please allow up to four weeks of processing time after council receives the funds and the request is submitted. Note that many companies do not distribute funds immediately and can take up to three months to send the funds to council.
Please contact the GSGCNWI fund development at 312-912-6345 or by email if you or someone you know plans to participate, or has participated, in an employee-hour matching program or is expecting unsolicited cash contributions. Additional troop and/or service unit funding issues, specific to our council, will be handled on an individual basis.