Financial assistance guidelines
While all troops strive to be self-sustaining, at times individual members may need additional assistance. Our financial assistance program, the Opportunity Fund, addresses this need and helps ensure that all girls can participate in Girl Scouting regardless of socioeconomic status.
- Opportunity Funds are available to individual girls and adults, not to troops
- Our goal is for troops/groups to be financially self sustaining
- Opportunity Funds supplement existing troop/group resources. Funds will not cover 100 percent of any request and should not be used in place of solid budget planning and money-earning projects.
- Applications are reviewed by committee. The amount of funds granted will vary based upon need and available funds.
The new Opportunity Fund Application, Philosophy and Guidelines (English) (Espanol) and the new member Opportunity Fund Application form (English) (Espanol) are available on the forms page and in the resource centers.
Frequently asked questions
What are Opportunity Funds?
Opportunity Funds provide confidential, needs-based financial assistance to individual girl and adult Girl Scout members. Girl Scouts San Diego is committed to ensuring that all girls can participate in Girl Scouting, regardless of socioeconomic status. Financial assistance is a part of our council's continuing investment in leadership experiences for girls.
A team of volunteers has created the Opportunity Fund guidelines to ensure that the greatest number of members who need assistance will receive it.
What do the funds cover?
Funds help cover future expenses associated with basic supplies and activities/events, including:
- First-year Girl Scouts registration fees or start-up fee
- Handbook/journey book
- Uniform pieces
- Activities that provide substantial Girl Scout Leadership Experience program value for the girls who participate
Opportunity Funds do not cover 100 percent of any request; they are meant to supplement funds that troops and groups have saved or generated from money-earning projects. If a troop carefully plans, budgets and adjusts activities or timetables and some help is still needed for a small percentage of girls, Opportunity Funds may be used to help cover expenses.
How do I apply for Opportunity Fund assistance?
Leaders and parents should review, complete and sign the Opportunity Fund Philosophy and Guidelines and Opportunity Fund Application together. New members who are requesting assistance with just the first-year registration fees need to submit only one form, the Opportunity Fund Application for New Member Registration.
If families are uncomfortable disclosing financial information to the leader, they can fill out the Applicant's Financial Status portion of the form after the leader completes the rest, then sign and mail it directly to council.
All forms should be submitted at least 30 days before the requested materials or funds are needed.
Who qualifies for assistance?
Applicants must be registered (or registering) members and have a current troop or group annual finance report on file. Activities and events for which funding is requested must contain Girl Scout Leadership Experience program values. Families and troops should have exhausted existing resources, including those generated from additional money-earning activities.
Our council reserves the right to determine who qualifies based on need. Applications will be reviewed by committee. The amount of funds granted will vary based upon need and available funds.
What happens after the request is approved?
Checks, vouchers or requested materials will be mailed to the troop or group leader. To minimize shipping costs, vouchers for use at council stores may be issued in lieu of actual materials.
When assistance is granted for council-sponsored events, the amount granted will be credited to any balance pending; no check will be issued.