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Membership Fees: Where Does the Money Go?

Now that it’s time to renew your Girl Scout membership, you may be wondering: What does this money pay for? Where does it go?

There’s a really informative webinar that you can watch to get all the details. The presentation is only about 20 minutes long, but if you don’t have time to watch it, don’t worry! Here’s the information in a nutshell:

Every dollar of your $25 membership fee goes to Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). Some of the things GSUSA provides include:

  • Liability insurance for members, which protects our volunteers and girls during Girl Scout programs, meetings, activities, etc.
  • Programming for girls, like the Girls’ Choice badges.
  • Technology and innovations, like Digital Cookie and the Volunteer Toolkit.
  • Materials and support for Early Bird and fall recruitment efforts.
  • Research on the state of girls—and the impact of Girl Scouting—through the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI).
  • Support for local councils like GSWPA . When needed, GSUSA provides GSWPA with expert advisors and tools for staff to learn from other Girl Scout councils.

When any price increases—whether it’s your Girl Scout membership, a favorite magazine subscription, or your cable bill—it’s a good time to review the value you get versus the investment.

Girl Scouts remains an amazing value for girls and adults. Here’s why (from GSUSA’s membership FAQ):

Girl Scouts can earn badges, join a troop, hike, camp, and participate in the entrepreneurial skill-building Cookie Program, as well as explore careers in science and technology, travel the world, and take on projects that transform their community.

Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to:

  • Set ambitious goals and think about the future.
  • Be more financially literate and negotiate for themselves.
  • Advocate for herself and others.
  • Self-identify as leaders and take on leadership roles.
  • Practice empathy and emotional intelligence.
  • Care about (and take action against) social injustices.
  • Be more solution oriented and less likely to be a bystander.
  • Embrace new experiences and overcome failure.

How does Girl Scouts’ $25 membership fee compare to other activities? Here are a few examples:

  • Boy Scouts USA membership fee: $24/year
  • Boys and Girls Club: $50/year
  • Weekly music lessons in Erie: $72/month
  • Dance classes: $40-160/month
  • YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh: $15/year plus $16/month for teens
  •  Johnstown Tomahawks season pass for kids: $140/year
  • Beaver County 4-H membership: $30/year

Don’t forget, proceeds from MagNut and the Cookie Program can be used to pay for membership fees and financial assistance is available for girls who qualify. (We've made more financial assistance available for girl memberships to help offset the membership fee increase. Learn more.)