Results tagged “cookie sales” from GSSA Leader Blog: The Virtual Volunteer

CookiesRock1.jpgDid you know a girl is a allowed to "reallocate" her cookie money to her troop for a troop trip? If there are girls in your troop who would like to do that, please complete the Cookie Money Troop Trip Form and the Girl Earned Cookie Money Form and send to Chris Shavers for processing.  If you have any questions about this process, please contact Chris at extension 2202.

You can download the forms directly by clicking on the links above. Or, if you would like to find the forms later, they are located on the Forms & Resources page of our website under the Cookie Forms section.  They are the last two forms on the list. 
Our Annual Cookie Sale gets the attention of cookie lovers AND the media!  Here are some recent articles:

From FoodProcessing.com
"This year, for the first time, the Girl Scouts are...testing the new, greener package for Thanks-A-Lot cookies. By eliminating the carton, the switch will reduce the use of paperboard by 150 tons, enough to fill 14 garbage trucks.

"The reason ABC is trying this out is because girls were asking for it," says Molly Smart, director of public relations and marketing with the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, Mobile, Ala. "And they've certainly been excited about it."

From the Wall Street Journal online
This article relates different company policies regarding sales and charitable donations -- some don't allow it, some think Girl Scout cookie booths encourage sales at their own businesses.  There's a photo of girls from our council, and one of our local businesses is highlighted.  Have you ever had a booth sale at My Kids Attic?

"Some small-business owners say they welcome the opportunity to support members of their local community through cookie sales, and even encourage the Girl Scouts to do the selling themselves."

It's only right that Girl Scout cookies are newsworthy: Thin Mints are the best-selling cookies in the USA!





liz_brent.jpgI was out with some Daisy Girl Scouts last weekend who were selling cookies.   They were squealing with delight, surrounded by a group of people eager to purchase cookies, while I spent some time chatting with the leader, discussing where our cookie funds go.  

 

As a reminder, your Girl Scout registration of $12 each year goes directly to GSUSA to fund their operations.   That means that almost all of our council's funds are derived from the cookie program, which accounts for 75% of our council budget.   It covers camp properties, staff salaries, utility bills, insurance and other operational expenses.   Approximately 23% of the council budget is derived from United Way agencies within our council boundaries.  

 

A Girl Scouts of the USA All Abouts cookie wit...

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So, as you are standing outside the Wal-Mart, wondering where the money goes, know that the cookie program funds most of what we do.   And it is making a difference.  For example, as we looked at the data, so far this year, the program team has provided 55% more council-wide programs than last year.   Hopefully, it all feels worthwhile as you watch girls learn to be entrepreneurs, which is what I saw a group of Daisy Girl Scouts do.   Thank you for your hard work.
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liz_brent.jpgI was online with SNAP the other day, looking at the cookie sale thermometer, and it is looking very pretty.   You and your girls have done lots of work!  Today there were two tractor-trucks and a smaller truck at the Mobile office, unloading cookies.   We budget the cookie sale below that of the year before to be on the safe side.   So keep up the good work!   And make that cookie sale thermometer soar!

liz_brent.jpgWhen I logged on to my computer this morning, I had a report from Cindy Connell Schafer, our ABC cookie representative, with an initial summary report of where we are with the cookie sale this morning.   Along with it was a question asking whether our volunteers received the services they needed.   Also, how could we all improve training, so we can correct any issues going forward?   I know there were a number of instances where Cindy was directly involved with our volunteers trying to get the cookie system to work.   She also noted she was going back through all our data to be sure our girls received the incentives they had earned.

Don't we love quality customer service?   I know that, behind the scenes, staff are scrambling around trying to get booth locations (as many of you are), making certain parts of the system we service are working adequately and responding to a litany of questions.   Be assured we are working hard to make the hard work you do with your girls easier as the cookies arrive and the booth sales commence.   The power of girls is simply astonishing!   Thanks for all you do to make amazing things happen!

liz_brent.jpgOne of my favorite signs that I found in someone's office when I started here was A GIRL IS WATCHING.   We should all remember that all day every day.   I chatted with our staff about that this week; we always need to think in that context.   When I arrived I heard horror stories about the chaos of cookies.   It is hard to describe to someone who hasn't seen it done, especially from the delivery side of the program.   What I was more surprised at was a call I received about volunteers throwing cookies at each other because of the door they wanted at a Wal-mart.    This didn't happen on just one weekend, but two weekends in a row.   We had some discussion about why this happened; how we could correct it.   But the most important part of that challenge for me is to remind everyone, when it comes to the cookie program A GIRL IS WATCHING.   As we struggle with how to best shape the future generation, we can't be complacent about how our behaviors impact those of the children around us.

liz_brent.jpgIt's COOKIE TIME!   I was talking to some friends over the holidays about the cookie sale.   Actually, when you aren't in the middle of it, it is truly amazing.   It is one of the world's most successful entrepreneurial programs and actually was a precursor to most of what they call entrepreneurship in today's college classrooms.   Aren't there some things we could teach them?

Our goal this year is to exceed last year's cookie sale, which was excellent.   We have about 100 more girls involved, so that should help.   Last year, because of the success of the sale, we were able to buy more equipment for our camp properties, repair and replace a few roofs, correct the roads at Camp Scoutshire Woods and add program materials for girls to use and learn from.

So far, the sale is going well.   The press reps have done an OUTSTANDING job getting the media kits to the media.   It was amazing how many articles and television spots we have had so far!   Thank you to those girls and their families for EXCELLENT work getting the word out often and early.

We are trying to put more people behind the scenes to assist in making this as smooth a sale as possible.   But, if you have good ideas on ways it can be increased and enhanced, let us know.


liz_brent.jpgWe always try to estimate our finances from one year to the next, which is not an easy thing to do when about 75% of our budget is predicated on the cookie sale.   Last year the cookie sale was OUTSTANDING!   We were able to pay the bills, fix some of the things that were broken and buy some new equipment for the girls to use.   

We are always hopeful that we will do as well this year as we did last year.   We changed cookie bakers, and have more confidence in this baker than our previous one.   The attention they have paid to us has been excellent.   They are responsive and eager to build our sale, since our success is their success.   We did three times more cookie training sessions all around the council, so if you are not computer literate, we can make you feel comfortable working with the SNAP cookie software.   

With tough economic times, the Gulf oil spill and other challenges, selling cookies might not be as easy for many, but we want your girls to have every opportunity to maximize their time with this entrepreneurial program.    Hopefully, we can continue to build on the success of last year.

All Service Unit Cookie Chairs, Troop Cookie Chairs, and Troop Leaders are invited to attend one of the Cookie Training Conferences listed below.  Get all of the details on the Program and Events calendar.

 

 

·         Sunday, November 7 at 1 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Montgomery

·         Sunday, November 7 at 3 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Montgomery

·         Monday, November 8 at 12 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Montgomery

·         Monday, November 8 at 6 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Montgomery

·         Tuesday, November 9 at 6 p.m.

Enterprise

·         Wednesday, November 10 at 10 a.m.

Dothan

·         Thursday, November 11 at 6 p.m.

Town Hall, Grove Hill

·         Friday, November 12 at 12 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Mobile

·         Friday, November 12 at 6 p.m.

Loxley United Methodist Church, Loxley

·         Saturday, November 13 at 10 a.m.

Volunteer Center, Mobile

liz_brent.jpg2010 was a tremendous cookie sale.   And that was in spite of the fact the cookie baker never delivered our initial cookie order.    It is amazing how good the cookie sale was with that impediment.    We had enough funds after the cookie sale and paying the bills this year to do the following:

Camp Humming Hills: spraying and replanting

Camp Sid Edmonds: purchased 4 jon boats with oars, easier for the girls to use, purchased 10 used aluminum canoes to increase boats available

Camp Scoutshire Woods: negotiating to lay crushed limestone on some of the roads, installed ceiling fans and electrical outlets in Gypsy Glen, replaced ranger's lawn tractor

Kamp Kiwanis: replaced dining hall roof, moving from shingles to metal for longer durability, purchased 4 person towable for pontoon boat, replaced ranger's truck, purchased 4x4 Big Red for ranger's use

Mariner's program: purchased Boston Whaler chase boat that can be used at Kamp Kiwanis and on Perdido Bay, purchased zodiac to serve as a smaller rescue boat

 

Thanks for all the hard work, and hopefully, your girls will enjoy all the new equipment purchased for their use.

All Service Unit team members, troop leaders and troop product sales chairs are invited!

Trophy Nut will hold their Fall Product training. You will also have the chance to get to know our new baker, and get a sneak peek into the upcoming cookie program.

 

Where: Park Memorial United Methodist Church, Troy

When: Saturday, August 14, 10:30 a.m.  - 1:30 p.m.

RSVP by August 1 to Cheryl Miller, extension 2302

 

Where: Daphne United Methodist Church

When: Sunday, August 15, 2 - 5 p.m.

RSVP by August 1 To Teri Eversole, extension 1302

Help!  Girls, we want to know what you want for your 2011 Cookie Sale Recognitions!  Make your voice heard by visiting www.abcsmartcookies.com/recognitionvote/girlscoutssa, select your  grade level, and vote for your favorite 2011 Cookie Sale Recognitions.  Adults are welcome to vote, just select "Other" as your grade level. 

 

Thank you for your time and help,

 

Your Cookie Sale Team

Please check out the terrific story about the new Girl Scout Cookie Campaign in this week's issue of The NonProfit Times

 

GSUSA Marketing and Communications team members were interviewed, as were the external creative team of Chris Moore and Andre Basso, who created the "What a Cookie Can Do" video.

 

We love the new video, and we're excited everyone else does, too!

Dear Colleagues,

I know how hard you have been working to make the 2010 cookie sale a success!   I have heard numerous stories about new ways to sell cookies.   We have many more girls involved in the cookie sale this year, and are poised for a very successful "cookie season."

This year, we have worked to make the sale even easier for you, our volunteers. We piloted a new drive-through delivery system trial in the Montgomery area and worked to make the online booth sale scheduler easier for volunteers to use.   We also provided the cookie program books earlier, so leaders could work with girls on the program and integrate it into the girl activities.  We worked hard to provide cookie bucks and other improved incentives for girl participation. There is considerable work and communication that transpires before the sale ever start, and the staff felt very positive about the prospects of the sale this year.

In spite of all of our best efforts, this has, however, been a frustrating cookie season in many ways.  We work with the cookie baker in advance of the sale and do estimates of our beginning inventories for warehouses and cupboards.  Last year, the cookie baker made too many Girl Scout cookies, so they put them in a landfill at the end of the sale.   Because of the national decline in sales, the cookie baker is much more conscious of the number of cookies they are producing for the sale, which has translated into you not having enough cookies to fill your orders.  

We were told we would have 10 percent more cookies in our warehouse than our initial order in 2009.   That didn't happen.   From the first day of deliveries, we did not have that amount of cookies.   The cookie team has been on the phone continually talking to those we work with at the bakery to get more cookies to you.   We all want this sale to be a success.   To that end, we told the cookie baker last Thursday our cookie supplies were depleted; yet, we did not receive any shipment of cookies for 8 days.   And when the shipment came in, it still didn't have all of the types of cookies we ordered.   We have not had Trefoils for most of the sale, which is a top-selling cookie in this council.

I have been on the phone and sending e-mails trying to get your girls more cookies.   We know here is nothing worse than having cookies sold with no product to deliver, and many of you have shared your understandable frustration.     Know that those of us who work for you and your girls have been and are doing everything we possibly can to get cookies to you as quickly as we possibly can.   Quality customer service is one of those issues that come into play when selecting a cookie baker.   We will be scrutinizing responsiveness, quality of incentives and product going forward.

We thank you and appreciate all you do to make this a great council.   We appreciate all your year-round hard work.   Thank you for all you do that helps to build girls of courage, confidence and character.

 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth M. Brent, Ph.D.

CEO

The initial orders are in, and it's time to start booth sales.  Are your girls working booth sales to go for the top prizes? They definitely don't want to miss out. Top three sellers can win either an iPod, Nintendo DSi, Wii or Xbox. Other top prizes also include money toward a destination.  Remind your girls, working hard at booth sales may be just what they need to reach the top! All of the recognitions can be found in the cookie manual.

 

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