Our subscriptions process
Girlguiding is a membership organisation. Our members – volunteers and girls – pay subscriptions, or subs, each year to cover the costs of local and UK guiding.
Our subscription – known as subs – has been helping fund guiding since 1948.
Each year, every active member of Girlguiding pays their subscription fee. And the money goes towards running guiding nationally and in local areas.
How much are subs?
The amount you need to pay can vary depending on where you do your guiding.
This is because the total amount is made up of two costs:
- The annual subscription amount set by HQ. This goes towards running Girlguiding nationally. In 2024 this will be £31 per member.
- Amounts, known as levies, set by the district, division, county and country or region. This helps with local running costs. As it’s set locally, this amount will be different for different units and levels.
Each member pays a total of these two amounts as their annual subs.
Find out how we use the annual subscription at a national level. Your local commissioner can tell you how levies collected in your area have been used to support local guiding.
Why are subs increasing?
Two thirds of our income come from our amazing members. Without you there would be no Girlguiding! In the past few years, the Girlguiding membership has reduced by a about a quarter, from around 500,000 to nearer 370,000. We need to increase subs due to this decrease in membership and increased costs in essential areas like risk and safeguarding. We must continue to meet the regulatory demands to safeguard our young people.
As our income and membership numbers have dropped, these costs have become more important as we’re a large organisation working with thousands of children every week. Girlguiding HQ covers all these costs for the rest of the organisation. Find out what subs are spent on.
The subs increase is needed to make sure Girlguiding can continue in the future, and it’s still great value for money compared to other out-of-school activities for children. To help all guiding areas and volunteers budget for the future, our trustees have agreed that we’ll announce the annual HQ subscription price in a two-year cycle from this year onwards.
Reviewing the annual subscriptions process
The current annual subscription process has been running for a while. In 2022, we set up a subscriptions working group made up of volunteers and staff. As well as overseeing the running of the annual process, this group is looking at the subscriptions model and how it can be improved. In September this year, all members including volunteers and members will be asked their opinion about subscriptions through a survey. We’re looking to develop a sustainable mode which is easy to administer, and avoids putting unnecessary pressure on members. We’ll make sure we include volunteers at every step of the consultation.
Adding a levy
All districts, divisions and counties that plan to charge a levy will add the amount into the subscriptions system. This means it gets included on subs invoices.
The total subs amount is paid to HQ, and we repay the levies directly to each district, division, county and country or region using the bank details provided on the subscriptions system.
Subscriptions should not be collected outside of this process.
We use the information on GO – our membership database – to work out the total number of members at each level.
From this, we create a subscription invoice for every active unit, district, division, county and country or region. This shows the amount the level needs to pay, based on how many volunteers have their main guiding role based there and how many young members do their guiding there.
We know lots of our members volunteer in several different roles, so we use the main role of each member to work out these invoices, so no one pays more than once. If you have more than one role, your main role is recorded on your personal record on GO.
To make sure your subs invoice is correct, regularly check the membership information for your area on GO and keep it up to date.
What happens if your unit, district or division has closed
If your unit or level has closed, make sure you have followed the right administration process on GO so you don’t receive an invoice.
The GO help zone ‘updating units, districts and divisions’ explains the process. The level and members must be made inactive before 7pm on 19 February 2024 or they will need to pay.
Pay by card
You can now use a debit card for your unit to make it easier to pay for subs. So, when it’s time to pay you’ll have more options, whether that’s to pay by cheque or directly to Girlguiding by debit card.
Who can I ask for help?
- Your local commissioner can give you help with membership systems or if your unit’s worried about paying the official invoice on time.
- Your county's GO coordinator can help if you have a question about the subscriptions process. Find their contact details in GO using the directory.
- Check our advice on grants and fundraising for subs if you’re concerned about how your unit can pay.
- For further questions please email [email protected]