Council Service Fee Information
From HelenRuth Burch, Board Chair and Jean Ann Hughes, CEO
At the September 14, 2013 Board Meeting the board approved the recommendation from the Finance Committee to add a $2.00 Council Service Fee to girls’ membership dues starting in the 2014-2015 membership year. This will make the registration fee for girls $17 and for adults $15. Scholarships for girls’ membership dues will include the Council Service Fee. This decision was based on the information and recommendations from the Council Service Fee Task Force and the 2012 Survey on the Council Service Fee.
Let us give you a little more information. $15 of the registration fee is sent to Girl Scouts of the USA and the $2 Service Fee will be kept by Virginia Skyline. It will be used in the general operating budget where it is needed most, to provide support for program for girls, training for leaders, support for troop leaders (telephone, internet, website, publications) and other items that impact girls and volunteers in the council. The estimated amount that the council will collect in this service fee is $13,696. How did we figure that amount? 7,848 girls is the membership goal. Approximately 1,000 girls will request scholarships–this number is based on historical data of how many girls request scholarships for membership each year. $2 X 6,848 girls is $13,696.
In the survey of parents, leaders and other adult volunteers that was done last year in preparation for this decision we learned quite a few important things about what people thought. Not all were positive, particularly about the support that volunteers felt that they receive from the council. This is something that is going to take work on the part of the staff and the volunteers. It means keeping the lines of communication open and offering solutions to problems that are occurring in all corners of our council.
Another concern was how the council spent its’ money. Each month on the website, you can find the YTD Budget Comparison (which is our Income and Expense Statement) so that you can see the broad categories in which money is spent. If you have questions about those statements please email Mike Hill, Chief Finance Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jean Ann Hughes, CEO (email@example.com) or HelenRuth Burch, Board Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We know Girl Scouting makes a major, positive effect on a girl’s life. We have been to many Gold Award Ceremonies, Events and Camps and see first-hand what the girls learn and accomplish. Volunteers who work directly with the girls make that happen mostly—but we all have a part—staff, board, committee members, GS Community volunteers, camp and event directors. It takes us all working together giving time and when we can money.
To end we want to share several quotes from the 2012 Survey on the Council Service Fee in answer to the question “Are the benefits you receive worth the money spent on Girl Scouts during the year?”
“The friends I have made and the girls I enable to enjoy the out of doors are worth every cent- it is important to girls.”
“Providing opportunities for girls in today’s world is worth what I spend and more.”
“Helping girls experience new things and grow up to be confident, caring young women is worth every penny.”
“The girls get to participate with many other girls/leaders and I feel it develops who they are as a person.”
Fall 2013 Skyline