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Family Giving FAQ's


Often times, friends of Girl Scouting have questions about family giving and how it relates to them and their involvement with the Girl Scout organization. We have tried to answer some of these frequently asked questions below.

Q: I/we paid $15 for my/our daughter to join Girl Scouting. Where does this money go?
A: The Girl Scout membership fee that is paid at registration is sent directly to the national Girl Scouts of the USA headquarters in New York to cover the cost of insurance, program development and other services of the national organization. The money is not retained by our council, and no part of your registration helps pay for the direct service your daughter receives.

Q: What does my contribution do for my daughter?
A: Financial support from the community for Girl Scouting is very important and benefits all girls who participate. Your contribution, along with those from other individual adults, organizations and foundations, provides materials, activities, training and support for your daughter and her troop leader. Your contribution shows that you care about the healthy development of young girls and that you value the Girl Scout Leadership Experience your daughter will enjoy as a Girl Scout. Your contribution is also a good example for your daughter and reinforces the concept that when one receives a benefit, one should give back.

Q: Since Girl Scouts sell so many cookies, doesn't the council already have a reliable funding source?
A: Although the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program is one successful part of our funding, we cannot rely on cookie sale revenue alone to ensure that Girl Scouting continues to meet the needs of girls in Southeastern Wisconsin. The annual cookie program only accounts for about 60 percent of the money it takes to deliver our program each year. Our goal is to generate the remaining support our program needs through multiple, diverse revenue streams that help to ensure that girls today and tomorrow receive the best Girl Scouting has to offer. We depend on those who benefit directly from participation in Girl Scouts to close the gap between cookie revenues and what it truly costs to serve our girls.

Q: My/our daughter pays troop dues. Why should I/we give money to the Girl Scout council?
A: The troop decides what the dues will be, and the funds pay only for the girls’ troop activities. It costs the council on average $244 per girl to provide services such as training and supporting troop leaders, camping opportunities and council-wide activities for all age levels. Your daughter benefited from that support, too, and will continue to do so as she matures in Girl Scouts. Please consider making a family donation to cover the costs of these additional services.

Q: My/our daughter paid $5 to participate in a council event. Doesn’t that help pay for these services?
A: No. The $5 your daughter paid covers some of the direct costs of that individual event – costs like food, activity supplies and non-Girl Scout-owned site rental fees. It does not cover the other expenses of running the event.

Q: I give to the United Way. Isn’t Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast affiliated with United Way?
A: Thank you for giving to the United Way. Yes, the council receives funding from several community-based United Way or community fund drives. While we appreciate this source of funding, in recent years our allocations have reached a plateau or even decreased. A contribution to the Girl Scout council is a direct contribution to the program and services that mean so much to you and your daughter.

Q: Don’t corporations and foundations give money?
A: Yes, they do and we appreciate this support from the community. Our largest groups of donors are the family and friends of Girl Scouting – we need your support. When you support the Girl Scout council, corporations and foundations are more likely to support our council. They take notice of the percentage of our membership families and friends that also donate to the council.

Q: How does making a donation on behalf of the girls of Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast benefit me?
A: You benefit in three important ways – you get a feeling of satisfaction in helping the Girl Scouts remain a vital force within our community, so that girls – all girls – may take advantage of the benefits and opportunities offered by Girl Scouting, and because Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast is a non-profit corporation under section 501 (C)(3) of the Internal Revenue code, your donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Moreover, you will be publicly acknowledged yearly in the Annual Report.

Q: I already give my time as a troop leader. Why should I be expected to donate money, too?
A: Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast’s most valuable asset is the volunteer time you and others give as leaders. However, any additional support you give to Girl Scouts will ensure that the program is financially secure and will continue to be there for every girl who wants to be a Girl Scout, even after your Girl Scouts are grown.

Q: My company has a Corporate Matching Gift (or volunteer hours) Program. Will that help?
A: Yes! Employer Matching Gift Programs are an excellent way to increase your contribution to Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. Contact your company’s personnel department to determine whether such programs are offered and if so, how you can participate on behalf of the council.