Annual subscription procedure
How to apply our annual subscriptions policy
Last reviewed: September 2023
We recently made updates to this procedure. Find out what's changed and why.
This procedure is for commissioners and those who hold the role of main contact in a level – by level we mean unit, district, division, county or countries and regions. It explains the steps you need to take to apply our annual subscriptions policy.
If you’re not sure who the main contact is for your level, please check the ‘my units, my district or my division’ page on GO. You’ll need to login to GO to find this.
Have a look at our subscriptions page for more information on how our annual subscriptions process runs locally and nationally.
All levels of Girlguiding, including national, country and region, county, division and district, rely heavily on our membership subscriptions to deliver every aspect of guiding for our members. Levies can be added to support the work they do, and because of this it’s essential that subscription payments are made for all members.
These are the different stages of the annual subscriptions procedure. This tells you everything you need to know at each stage:
How we tell you how much it’ll be each year:
- The board of trustees agrees the national subscription amount in advance and advises .
- Girlguiding publishes the national subscription amount on the website. We also email it to level main contacts and include it in the monthly essential updates for volunteers email.
- Girlguiding publishes the official key dates of the process on the subscriptions webpage. Girlguiding emails all level main contacts with information about key dates for the coming year, including a reminder to update volunteer membership and add levies.
- Before the process is opened to volunteers the subscription system is tested for security and performance.
How we advise on and expect these to be collected:
- Girlguiding gives guidance to commissioners and country and region managers about the central collection of all levies. This includes instructions to add the amount to be collected from each member and to check the bank details for their district, division, county, country or region are entered correctly in the subscription system by the published date. Guidance is sent by email and through the essential updates for volunteers email.
- Girlguiding and your local level remind leaders that all data must be kept up to date by email and in the essential updates for volunteers email. Commissioners are responsible for checking that details of the main contact and other main roles for the level are correct.
- Level main contacts will be told by email that the trial invoice is available to view on the subscription system. Information will also be available in the essential updates for volunteers email and on our website.
- The leadership team are encouraged to check level trial invoices and look at the number of members included on the invoice. The leadership team are responsible for checking and updating the membership for girls in their unit. The leadership team are expected to make all amendments by the published deadline. The leadership team must also tell their commissioner about any changes to volunteer roles.
- Commissioners and their team are responsible for checking and updating the membership for volunteers in their area. Any amendments made in GO will show on the trial invoices from 10am the next day.
- Commissioners and their team must make sure that trial invoices for all units in their areas are viewed and downloaded ahead of the published deadline. They should also offer support where needed. Remember, those with an active membership status of ‘member’ pay the annual subscription, but those with a status of ‘recognised volunteer’ don’t.
- The level main contact will be sent a reminder to view their trial invoice before the published deadline if they haven’t done it yet. This reminder will be sent 2 weeks before the trial invoice deadline.
The subscription system will close at the published date and time, until the final invoices are available. GO will also be unavailable during the published time.
The final dates for payment are emailed, ahead of the trial invoice period. They’ll also be published in the annual subscription section of our website.
How to find the final invoices:
- Information from GO will be uploaded to the subscriptions system. The level main contact is notified once the subscription system is live and the invoices are available for payment by card or cheque. The live invoice page on the subscriptions site will have information about how and when to pay the invoice.
- The level main contact will be told by Girlguiding that invoices are payable by the publicised date. They’ll be told by email, on the subscriptions webpage . Make sure your team knows their responsibilities and tell them who will be making the level invoice payment in full. This prevents confusion locally and centrally.
- At Girlguiding association level will have their invoices sent to them by the national subscriptions team by email or post.
The annual subscription invoice can be paid by card or cheque. All payments must be received for the full amount invoiced. Cheques will need to be received by the published date, so remember to take postage time into account.
Units paying by cheque who don’t have computer, internet or printer access can request a copy of their invoice from their commissioner. Any payments received after the deadline won’t be banked. If this is a cheque payment, it’ll be destroyed by the finance team.
Before making the payment, please make sure that you have enough money in your account to avoid the payment bouncing or being declined.
How we give you a record of your payment:
- The subscription system will show the status of your invoice and payment.
- Payment must be for the exact amount invoiced.
- The finance team will record on the subscription system the payments they receive each day. The subscription system will update the invoice payment status and show it the next working day.
- The finance team will process payments and the subscription system will show reports for district, division, county and country and region levels to access.
- Around 2 weeks before the publicised deadline, level main contacts for units which haven’t yet paid their invoice will get a reminder email asking for payment.
- Commissioners and their team are responsible for monitoring the units which have and haven’t paid and will send reminders to relevant units. Any difficulties in paying invoices should be raised with local commissioners at the earliest possible opportunity.
- Once an invoice is shown as paid in full, levels are encouraged to download and save their invoice as a receipt for their accounts.
If your payment is received after this date, it won’t be processed in the national collection process.
Instead, the subscription system will show the invoice as unpaid and as the level main contact, you’ll be emailed and advised to contact your county commissioner to arrange to send a replacement payment directly to the county.
Each county will be responsible for collecting unpaid subscriptions. Countries, regions and counties will follow their own procedures to recover unpaid subscriptions.
The finance team process all payments received by the published payment deadline. The country or region and its counties, divisions and districts will be distributed their levy amounts, based on the payments received and cleared in the published timeframes.
All outstanding national subscription amounts will be deducted from the levy owed to counties or countries and regions, and financial details will be shown on the reports in the system.
Country and region commissioners can also view summary reports giving details of these payments on the system.
Payments will show in all level bank accounts by the published date. If bank details are incomplete or incorrect this’ll result in a delay to the repayment.
Important terminology on the subscription system
- ‘Payment being processed’ means payment received.
- ‘Paid in full’ means payment processed by the bank, and funds cleared.
- ‘Error in payment’ means there has been a problem with the payment.