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Where Does My Girl Scout Cookies Money Go? Here's What Consumers Need To Know

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It's Girl Scout cookie season again, and if you love Girl Scout cookies as much as I do you're probably pretty damn excited about it. Simultaneously, if you're anything like me, you're also a tad worried about your finances and how much money you're planning on spending on these sweet little treats. I mean, where does my Girl Scout cookie money go? They can be a smudge expensive, and since you are probably buying them — at least in part — to support a good cause, it's natural to want to know how much of the proceeds from each box actually benefits the girl standing on your doorstep and hanging outside the doors of your local supermarket.

It turns out that in addition to being tasty, Girl Scout cookies help girls in a big way. According to the official Girl Scout cookie program page, 100 percent of the net profits from Girl Scout cookie sales, or about 65 - 75 percent of the cost of each box, stays in your local community. According to a recent report via Time, an average a box of cookies costs a whopping $5. That means $3.25 - $3.75 per box supports local programs. If you have heard that cookie sales benefit other organizations, like Planned Parenthood, you should know that Snopes reported that there is no absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is more than just a rumor. Instead, according to Girl Scouts of the USA, all of the money stays with the Girl Scouts council where the sale was made, in an effort to continuously support education programs, experiences, and girl-led community projects.

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To find out where all that cookie money goes, Romper consulted the national Girl Scout organization — Girl Scouts of the USA. According to their official cookie program website, 100 percent of the net proceeds, after the cost of the cookies, packaging, and shipping, goes to the community where the cookies were sold. This works out to about 65 – 75 percent of the local retail price of each box of cookies going to the council, and about 10 – 20 percent going to the troop that made the sale. It definitely adds up, bringing in close to $800 million in total sales over the course of a cookie season, which means almost $600 million of Girl Scout cookie money supports girls in local communities.

According to the Girls Scouts of the USA, it's up to each area council to determine how much to charge for each box and how much of the proceeds goes to each troop that participates in cookie sales. Time reports that many Girl Scout councils raised their cookie prices from $4.00 to $5.00 per box in 2017, which seems like a lot, but when you consider where the money goes you might actually be willing to pay more.  

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According to Girl Scouts of the USA, the benefit of cookie sales can't only be measured in dollars and cents. The girls standing at the cookie booth or neighborhood doorstep benefit from the real-life experience of setting goals, interacting with customers, and making sales. Also, the proceeds help fund everything from trips to our nation's capital to science and technology-focused programs, which are pretty important when you consider that these girls will, one day, be the country's future scientists, CEOs, and Senators.

As Snopes reported, for the last few years conservative groups have organized so-called "cookiecotts," claiming that some of the annual Girl Scout cookie sale's proceeds go to support Planned Parenthood and asking people not to buy them. The Girls Scouts of the USA website confirms that this is just a rumor, stating: "One hundred percent of the net proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales is retained by the originating council and troop to power amazing experiences for girls and impactful girl-led community projects."

In other words, there's absolutely no reason for people to boycott cookie sales for political reasons.

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So, now that we know how much money from cookie sales goes to support Girl Scouts in your local community, you can move on to more important questions, like, where can you get some Thin Mints or Caramel Delights? Because, seriously, they are so addictive, and IMO, it's totally for a great cause.

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Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherlode, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

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