Guiding shouldn't leave you out of pocket. Here's everything you need to know about claiming expenses

You might spend some of your own money on expenses when volunteering. It’s important you claim it back

These expenses are anything you’ve paid for with your own money when carrying out your volunteering role. It could be the cost of training materials, or the money you spend on petrol. Any expenses relevant to unit activities or events should be budgeted for and paid from unit funds. And expenses should be claimed in line with the Finance policy.

How do I claim expenses?

To claim expenses, you need to keep all relevant receipts, travel tickets, invoices and bills. You can’t claim expenses from a credit or debit card receipt, because it does not itemise the items bought.

Our tips for claiming expenses:

  • When you start your role, check the procedure for claiming expenses with your local commissioner.
  • Try to claim your expenses as soon as possible. It’s helpful for you and your unit if you do it once a term.
  • It’s good practice to claim all expenses in the same year that they are incurred. This way your unit will have budgeted for all expenses.
  • If you are claiming petrol costs for using your own car, you should make a note of your mileage after the trip. Or work it out by putting your start and end points into a tool like Google Maps.
  • Another adult volunteer, like a member of the leadership team, needs to authorise all expenses, check that all receipts are included, and the claim is correctly added up. This will help when completing your end of year accounts.
  • Your expenses must not be authorised by a volunteer you are related to.

 Download an example expense claim form (Word)

If an adult member decides not to claim their expenses, ask them to claim the expenses with the relevant receipts, and then donate their expenses back to the unit. If they are a tax payer ask them to complete a Gift Aid declaration. This also allows Gift Aid to be claimed by the unit.

If the time it takes to get your expenses paid back could impact on your personal financial situation, speak to your local commissioner. You should never be out of pocket because of your volunteering role.

Can I claim expenses in advance?

It may be possible to do this, so speak to your commissioner for more information. Being a Girlguiding volunteer should not impact on your personal finances. In some areas, the county or country/region office may also be able to pay on your behalf.

Grants for advisers and coordinators

Some counties, countries and regions have grant schemes to help advisers and coordinators with general costs during the year. Check with your commissioner to see if a grant scheme exists in your area. If your only guiding role is as an adviser or coordinator, your membership of Girlguiding may be paid for you by your division/county/region as appropriate.