Step 4: Open/Update a Troop Bank Account

Prepare for two account owners/signers

We all want to know your troop’s hard-earned money is in safe hands. Typically, one bank account owner is the Troop Leader and the other is the Troop Cookie Manager, the Assistant Troop Leader, or the Troop Treasurer. Identify another trusted adult to have joint access to the account.

  • Are they registered Girl Scout members with a role in your troop?
  • Have they completed a background check?
  • Are they related to you? If so, stop! The two signers cannot be related, married, or partnered.
Choose a bank

What’s a convenient bank or credit union for you and your co-leaders to use? Council staff will also make recommendations of banks that work well with Girl Scouts. Search for no-fee banking. Many banks will waive fees if you sign up for online banking and discontinue paper statements. 

Before you open an account, know this: troop accounts are nonprofit (not personal or business) accounts jointly owned by your troop and GSNWGL. Therefore:

  • An IRS W9 form is not required to open the account.
  • Do NOT put your social security number on the account. However, some banks may ask for your social security number for identification purposes.
  • It’s helpful to bring all account owners/signers to the bank when you open the account. And everyone should bring a valid photo ID.
Open an account and document it properly
  • Give the banker the Federal ID number and contact info (below), and the corporate resolution document (below or in the Troop Start-Up Workbook).
  • Your account must be titled like this: Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes – Troop ####
  • Use your home address for the mailing address and your email for the email contact for the account, so that monthly statements and other bank communication go directly to you—not the Girl Scout office.
  • Get a debit card.
  • Decide if you want to purchase checks. Keep the information on your checks short and simple; do NOT include your name, address, or the council’s address. Here’s an example:
    • Line 1: Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes
    • Line 2: Troop ####
  • Ask the banker for an account verification letter (see the example below or in the Troop Start-Up Workbook) to confirm the account title, account type, account number, routing number, and the account owners/signers on the account. Request it be faxed to the council’s finance department (see contact info below).
The information you need to open a troop or service area bank account is:
• Corporate resolution
• Bank letter verification example
• Council Federal ID: 39-1016314
• Council’s controlling account owner: Colleen Bennett, Chief Financial Officer

Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes
ATTN: Finance/ACH
4693 N. Lynndale Drive, Appleton, WI 54913
Fax: 920-734-1304
Complete the ACH authorization form and mail it or fax it (do not email) to GSNWGL

For our non-profit tax status and audit needs, you must submit your troop bank account information to keep on file at the council office.

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. It’s an electronic network for financial transactions. The council can use ACH to pull money from your troop account for product sales or payment for a property rental. It is also used for deposits to refund your troop or to pay for financial assistance that is requested. The council will rarely send you a check, to save you a trip to the bank! 

IMPORTANT! Whenever the account information changes (for example, when volunteers are added or removed as signers, or if you move the account to a different bank), you must submit an updated ACH authorization form with a voided check or account verification letter from the bank (see example below or in the Troop Start-Up Workbook). Email is NOT a secure way to send account data due to potential internet security risks, so send it via fax or stamped mail.