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cookie faqs


Q. How much are Girl Scout Cookies®?

A. $4 per box

Q. Is there tax on Girl Scout Cookies?

The Girl Scout cookie sale is a program activity that also helps fund the important work of Girl Scouting. Because the sale is substantially related to the Girl Scout mission, it is free of taxes in the state of Maryland.

Q. Are cookies tax deductible?

A. The answer is NO. “People who purchase Girl Scout Cookies® are not making a contribution to Girl Scouting. Rather, they are purchasing a product at a fair market value. For this reason, no part of the price of a box of cookies is tax deductible.” GSCM is not in a position to give advice related to this topic; all inquiries regarding deductible items should be done with your personal tax advisor.

Q. We don’t see many girls going door-to-door anymore. Why?
A. Girl Scouts certainly do sell Girl Scout Cookies® door-to-door. They also sell Girl Scout Cookies® through the increasing popular “cookie booths” and through phone calls to previous cookie customers. Girl Scout Cookie Booth Sales can be found using the Cookie Locator Website or the Girl Scouts Cookie Finder App.

Q. How does the general public find out about booth sale opportunities?
A. Girl Scout Cookie Booth Sales can be found using the Cookie Locator Website or the Girl Scouts Cookie Finder App
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Q. Can our group collect money when we take orders?

A. NO, money is collected from customers at the time of delivery.

Q. Do all girls sell cookies? Is it required?

A. Individual participation in this Girl Scout program activity is voluntary, however it is council policy that troops must participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program to be eligible to participate in other money-earning activities. Girls gain life skills such as teamwork, money management, and entrepreneurship through the Cookie Program. This activity also provides Girl Scout councils with revenue to support Girl Scouting in local communities, including a portion that goes back to the Girl Scout troop/group selling the cookies.

Q. Can individual girls (who are not members of a group) sell Girl Scout Cookies®?
A. Yes. Individual registered girls can sell Girl Scout cookies. GSCM encourages individually registered girls to participate in the Cookie Sale Program activity and sell cookies with a group or through a “Juliette” coordinator within their geographic area.

In no case does the income from group money-earning activities become the property of individual girl members. The girl is only eligible for the awards items earned. If the girl is of Junior, Cadette or Senior Girl Scout age and her sales are combined with that of an older girl group which decides to “opt” out of the awards for additional monies the girl is only eligible for the patch earned. Juliette coordinators will ensure earned funds for the girl or group of girls is divided evenly and used for GSCM program activities only.

Q. Must my group participate in the Cookie Sale in order to participate in other
fundraising activities?

A. Yes, refer to the GSCM Financial & Money Earning Policies for Troops/Groups.  Adult members are encouraged to promote and support fund-raising efforts of the council and the United Way. Groups eligible to participate in council-wide product sales are expected to do so. Prior approval is required for additional fund-raising activities.” Please review Safety Wise Guideline; regarding voluntary participation. Girl Scouts of Central Maryland in no way forces girls/groups to participate in the annual Cookie Sale, however, failure to do so results in the group’s inability to conduct other fund-raising activities.

Q. Can my group participate in other fundraising activities during the Cookie Sale?

A. NO. Since the United Way Campaign is conducted in the fall of each year Girl Scouts of Central Maryland obtains special permission to conduct our cookie sale. In accordance with United Way guidelines it is necessary for Girl Scouts of Central Maryland to support that agency and not allow our groups to conduct other fund-raising activities until after December 1st of each Girl Scout year.

Q. Will we receive bags for booth sales?

A. GSUSA will not allow councils to seek partners in the community to offset costs for fundraising events. You could have your girls decorate white 12lb bags for their customers.

Q. Can a community/group sign out a cookie costume for the whole time of the sale?

A. No, GSCM has a limited quantity that the bakery provides. Groups may contact the VRC at 410-358-9711, extension 201 or email the VRC at vrc@gscm.org to reserve costumes. Costumes may be purchased from the store. For more information about purchasing a costume, contact Erica Barnett at 410.358.9711 ext 202.

Q. Can I pick up cookies by the box from cupboards?
A. Several cupboard locations are offering Troop Cookie Managers the opportunity to pick up cookies by the box after a specific date. (Refer to the cupboard roster provided at training or visit our web site for more information.)

Q. What is the role of the parents, guardians and other family members in the cookie sale?

A. First of all, parents must give permission for their daughters to participate in the cookie sale program activity. Parents and other family members often help Girl Scouts during the cookie sale. They provide transportation, for example, or assist adult volunteers in conducting the sale. Girl Scouts of Central Maryland encourages parents to work in partnership with their daughters, supporting girls in their sales activities so they may take full advantage of the learning experiences offered. Visit our For Families page to learn how else you can help.

Q. When is the latest that a group can participate in the Cookie Sale?
A. Groups/girls are eligible to participate upon training anytime during the sale period. All groups and girls must be properly trained to participate, contact GSCM or the assigned Service Unit Cookie Manager for more information.

Q. What happens if a group still owes from a prior sale? Can they sell?

A. Yes, the group may still participate in the current sale; however, if the group leader or Troop Cookie Manager is responsible for the debt that individual may not handle money for the group. Another Troop Cookie Manager must be appointed. Girls are never penalized for adult actions. Therefore, if the debt is due because of a parent, that child can still sell but it is recommended that the child only participate in booth sales.

Q. How do I find out the boundaries for my Service Unit and the surrounding areas?
A. Contact your Membership Specialist or the Volunteer Resource Center for a map. GSCM offers maps for each community based on community profiles developed. For the purpose of Cookie Sale ONLY GSCM identifies booth sale locations by zip code area. Refer to guidelines in the Volunteer Guide and Booth Sale workbooks. It is strongly recommended that each Service Unit recruit a Booth Sale Coordinator to avoid issues in the Service Unit. Groups may only sell at locations within their own Service Unit unless permission is obtained from the other Service Unit to sell. If you feel there is a discrepancy, alert your Membership Specialist for clarification.

Q. How do I obtain assistance via email?

A. GSCM has a general cookie mailbox: cookies@gscm.org. Terry Mercer will respond to all inquiries. To contact Terry Mercer personally email herat tmercer@gscm.org.

Q. How much money goes to the local groups?
A. Troops/Groups in Central Maryland retained an average of 0.56 per box sold. Funds are held in the Troop/Group treasury; groups and girls set goals and determine how to spend the money. Therefore, girls benefit from the Cookie Sale Program activity not only by participating in council-sponsored activities, but by earning money for group projects.

Q. How does the cookie sale program activity benefit the community?

A. In addition to the direct benefits realized by girls selling the cookies, such as increased self-confidence and skill development, the growth and satisfaction of its girls and women derive the benefits to the greater community. Buying cookies is the community’s way of showing support for its children and their abilities as future leaders of the community. Many girls and Troop/Groups collect and donate cookies to numerous charitable organizations during the Gift of Caring Program activity. This benefits many local non-profit community based organizations.

Q. What do girls learn from selling cookies?

A. For many girls, the cookie sale is their first experience in setting goals and working with others in a team. Girls learn to meet and greet people, keep accurate financial records, and follow through on a promise to deliver the cookies people ordered. Girls have fun while building self-confidence and learning important life skills.

Q. How do girls feel about participating in the cookie sale?
A. Most girls look forward to the annual Cookie Sale Program activity. They know that proceeds from the sale will help support their activities during the rest of the year. Each girl is challenged to do the best she can do to achieve a sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing she contributed to her group and her council. Girls, however, are not required to sell.

Q. Why are there awards for girls to sell?
A. Awards play a role in recognizing efforts and in encouraging girls individually and in-groups. Some councils offer awards in the form of credit to be applied to Girl Scout program fees or Girl Scout equipment purchases. In this way, girls benefit twice – once from the learning experiences of cookie selling and again by earning credit toward more program activities. See your group leader for GSCM’s Earned Awards Program.

Q. Does each girl receive a Gift of Caring Patch?

A. No, only girls participating in the program earns the patch. Refer to the Volunteer Guide or GSCM’s web site for additional information about this program.

Q. Are the Cookie Sale Activity Pins free?

A. Each year GSUSA provides an activity sheet for the cookie sale program activity. The activity pins are purchased through the GSCM Store, and cost $1.10 each. Check with the GSCM Store for availability of prior year pins.

Q. If a girl leaves the group before the cookie profit is spent, does she get the money?

A. No, in no case does the income from product sales become the property of the individual girl members.

Q. How can I verify registration of groups, girls, Troop Cookie Managers and Group Leaders?

A. Contact your Membership Specialist or assigned Community Registrar for a complete roster of registered members. If you need assistance contacting the assigned Membership Specialist for your area contact GSCM at 410.358.9711 or toll free 800.492.2521.
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Q. What if a Troop Cookie Manager (TCM) refuses to take training but wants the materials?
A. All TCMs are required to attend training. Training may be conducted by the council or the Service Unit Cookie Volunteers. A job description must be signed at training to receive sales materials. These position descriptions are forwarded to GSCM for record keeping.

Q. What if a group does not inform the Service Unit Cookie Manager of a group transfer?
A. With our online ordering and reporting system, Service Unit Cookie Managers can adjust the reports accordingly. Troops will be encouraged to mail in completed (T-4/CC-2) transfer forms to council with their validated deposit slips.

Q. What does the Troop Cookie Manager (TCM) sign at the cookie depot (this is the location where TCMs pick up the group’s initial cookie order) to indicate they received the cookies?

A. The TCM signs the Service Unit Cookie Managers NS-1, Service Unit Cookie Manager Order Form. In turn, the Service Unit Cookie Manager signs the TCMs T1-A.

Q. Since the Service Unit Cookie Manager is financially responsible for cookies until TCMs pick up the cookies, is there a disaster allowance for fire or flood?

A. No, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland is also financially responsible for all cookies received. Most locations will require that you obtain a Certificate of Insurance to release them from any responsibility in the event of a disaster. Check with your own insurance company to see if they indeed will cover such incidents. IF something should occur, contact Maria Johnson, Vice President of Advancement, at 410.358.9711, ext. 247 or email mjohnson@gscm.org immediately for assistance and direction.

Q. If the TCM does not deposit all of the money does the group ever see the group profit?
A. GSCM’s policy is that groups pay the council first. TCMs are required to deposit or turn over all group proceeds earned by the group per the Group Leaders instructions. Should the TCM fail to pay GSCM or the group in full, GSCM will seek reimbursement from the responsible party up to and including legal action as necessary. GSCM reserves the right to charge interest and a penalty fee on outstanding balances. It is strongly recommended that in any outstanding debt situation that the delinquent Account Procedures and form provided in the Volunteer’s Guide to a Successful Cookie Season be followed. Also, each debt is reviewed by the Senior Vice President of Membership and Program and handled on a case by case basis. No claims will be accepted after March 15th for parent debts. The TCM will be held responsible for any unsold cookies. Refer to the Volunteer’s Guide to a Successful Cookie Season for more information.

Q. What does a TCM do if deposit slips are lost?
A. Contact David Smith, Chief Financial Officer for Girl Scouts of Central Maryland by e-mail at dsmith@gscm.org or call 410-358-9711, ext.  208. He will need to know the exact amount and date of the transaction to order a copy. There will be a $5.00 – $10.00 fee per transaction that the TCM or Troop/Group must pay.
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Q. Can I email my NS-1 form to GSCM to verify my community pre-orders?
A. Yes, email the form to tmercer@gscm.org or fax the form to 410.358.9918. An online method to place cookie orders will be available for Troops and Service Unit Cookie Managers, refer to the Service Unit Cookie Manager Workbook for more details.

Q. Is it necessary to have permission from parents for girls to participate in booth sales since we obtain a G-1, Parent Permission Slip?
A. Yes, you must obtain parental permission for all activities outside the group meeting setting. The G-1 is permission for the girl to participate in the Cookie Sale Program activity but does not cover booth sale locations/dates. Refer to Safety Wise. The general permission form may be requested from the Volunteer Resource Center.

Q. What is the T-1B for on the T-1A form?

A. GSCM does not use that portion of the form, discard it.

Q. What is my “association” number on the T-1A form?

A. GSCM does not use that portion. Our organization is broken up into Areas / Service Units, not Associations. For example, Howard County is the area and 654 is a Service Unit within that area.

Q. Is it mandatory to use the M-3, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Parent/Guardian Receipt?

A. Yes. Should a dispute develop between the group and the parent for an outstanding debt it is necessary that the TCM/Group Leader provide record of payment. The T1-A and M-3allow adequate documentation to support payments received from parents. In the event a TCM/Group Leader do not use this form and a parent insists they have paid the TCM/Group Leader will be held financially responsible. Help us protect you by insisting that this form be used at all times.
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Q. How does the Cookie Sale relate to the Girl Scout program?

A. The cookie sale is part of the Girl Scout program. It helps girls develop self-confidence and teaches them important skills such as goal setting, money management, and teamwork. The sale is a Girl Scout program activity that’s integral to the Girl Scout program, which helps girls form all segments of society realize their full potential and become resourceful citizens. In Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, proceeds from the Cookie Sale are used to provide Girl Scouting to 30,000 girls and to provide training and support services to 10,000 adult volunteers. In addition, the Cookie Sale program activity helps to fund membership outreach, which helps GSCM to bring Girl Scouting to Every Girl Everywhere.

Q. Who decides how the Girl Scout Cookie Sale money is spent and how the sale is run?

A. Each council is responsible for funding the Girl Scout program in its jurisdiction. Councils get support from many community sources, including individual donors and federated funders such as United Way. The Cookie Sale Program Activity produces program-related revenue that is also an important source of income for each council. Within the council, a volunteer committee recommends the cookie sale procedures and retail price. The volunteer board of directors accepts or modifies these recommendations. The board then delegates to the executive director of the council the responsibility for managing a successful cookie sale, which she does with the assistance of council volunteers and staff.

Q. Why does some of the income from the Girl Scout cookie sale program activity go to the council?
A. Girl Scout councils use cookie sale program activity proceeds to provide property upkeep, essential services to groups and individual girls. All of the program resources, adult development materials, and communication support that a group receives come through the council structure. The council underwrites program scholarships, wider opportunities, and special events throughout the year. This keeps fees for girls and volunteers to a minimum and ensures high-quality, safe experiences for all.