Girl Scouts of the USA and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have rules for how minors and nonprofits (or their related groups, such as a Girl Scout troop) can ask for and how they should report funds raised through donations or applying for grants.
Girl Scouts River Valleys is responsible for making sure its troops, service units, volunteer committees, and individual Girl Scouts are raising and reporting funds in appropriate and legal ways. This policy provides guidance for Girl Scouts conducting fundraising activities that are outside of the Fall Product and Cookie Programs.
- Girl Scout troops/Juliettes, girls pursuing their Silver or Gold Award, or other Girl Scout groups are allowed to approach small local businesses or organizations for in-kind donations of supplies, services, or volunteer time.
Asking for Donations:
- Girl Scouts may not ask for donations of money (including cash, checks, digital currency, or gift cards, except as allowed during River Valleys’ Fall Product and Cookie Programs (e.g., promoting and accepting money from customers to be used for the Cookie Care or Care to Share Programs).
Asking for Other Forms of Support:
- Girl Scouts are allowed to approach small local businesses or organizations for donations of supplies, services, or volunteer time. These kinds of donations are called “in-kind donations.”
- When approaching a small business or organization for an in-kind donation, the youth(s) must be present to speak about their goals and plans for what they are funding, but an adult must formally ask for the donation.
- Girl Scouts cannot approach large corporations (e.g., Target, Walmart, Cub Foods) for any type of donation, including in-kind.
- For in-kind donations or donated gift cards worth $250 or more, troops must submit a Donation Form to River Valleys, but do not need to submit the actual donation.
- There are some situations where Girl Scouts may accept a cash donation:
- A Girl Scout requests an in-kind donation from a business or organization, and the business or organization offers a cash donation instead.
- An unsolicited (not asked for) cash donation is offered.
- To ensure compliance with IRS guidelines, any single donation of money (including cash, checks, digital currency) in an amount of $250 or more must be processed through River Valleys’ finance department by submitting the Donation Form. Once processed, the full amount will be returned.
Asking for Support for Other Organizations:
- Girl Scouts may not ask for donations for or raise funds on behalf of another organization. See policy: Fundraising for Other Organizations
Applying for Grants
- Girl Scouts may apply for grants from other organizations, with a maximum allowed amount of $500.
- The person applying for the grant must request and receive approval from River Valleys prior to applying.
- To request approval, email email@example.com with grant information and a description of what the money will be used for.
- Submit the approval requests at least 30 days before the grant application due date to ensure adequate time for follow-up.
- River Valleys staff will follow up with the approval/denial decision and next steps.
- To ensure compliance with IRS guidelines, grant awards of $250 or more must be processed through River Valleys. Once processed, the full grant amount will be returned.
See also: Money-Earning Policy