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What The Best Girl Scout Fundraisers Do Differently

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Fundraising for the Girl Scouts has stellar benefits all their own.

It’s easy for other fundraisers to feel jealous when they see how many women are Girl Scouts and their positive sentiments for the organization.

  • One in every two adult women has been a member of Girl Scouts.
  • More than half (52%) of women in business are Girl Scout alumnae.
  • Nearly one in five alumnae (19%) have reconnected with the Girl Scouts as a volunteer or troop leader. Of those who haven’t reconnected, 21 percent express a strong interest in reconnecting with Girl Scouts in the future. Source: Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study

Who wouldn’t want the chance to fundraise with such a vast pool of benevolent alumnae? Girl Scouts have their cookies, songs, salutes, ceremonies, camps, awards, and celebrations—all translating to tons of treasured memories.

Here are five fundraising strategies great Girl Scout fundraisers use:

1. Get personal and conduct great discovery

The greatest gift we can give our donors is being known by us. Anything a donor chooses to share with you—their values, hopes, hardships, wishes, hobbies, or an important milestone in their life—offers you an opportunity to deepen your relationship by honoring that.

The best way to have a meaningful relationship with a donor is to be meaningful to them.

Every moment with your donor is a chance to conduct great discovery. Three of my favorite discovery questions are:

  • What’s the most satisfying philanthropic gift you’ve ever made and why?
  • Of all the great agencies you support, which does the best job of keeping you involved? How?
  • What legacy do you most want your giving to have in the world?

Grab my guide to rapport-building discovery questions for more!

2. Reflect on their Girl Scout memories

Only a few fundraisers have a pool of constituents as wide and deep as the Girl Scouts, much less a group with their own cookies, traditions, songs, ceremonies, awards, and celebrations!

The best Girl Scout fundraisers get their donors and prospects talking—about their favorite cookie, their favorite memory from selling cookies, their favorite thing about summer camp, the friends they made in Girl Scouts, and their favorite moments in Girl Scouts.

You have a rare opportunity that most fundraisers lack—you can prime their personal identity as a Girl Scout to make them feel pride. Is helping girls an essential part of their identity? By connecting them to you, you can grow their giving and their sense of well-being.

Reflecting on any of those positive memories is a powerful way to prime their personal identity as a Girl Scout.

3. Show up in a way that engages donors

Video email is one of my favorite tools for standing out in a crowded inbox. Today, many vendors offer video email, including Gratavid—which provides seamless integration with Bloomerang.

Video email makes it easy to build personal relationships through email.

My go-to tool for video email is Bomb Bomb video email, which integrates with your Gmail or Outlook account so you can record videos natively. I literally click a button in Gmail, and poof! I’ve created a video using my webcam directly in Gmail.

Video email lets you send your donor an authentic, heartfelt message—with no writer’s block! There’s nothing better than being face-to-face with the people who matter most to your organization, and that’s exactly what it lets you do.

It’s a sure-fire win to stand out. Think about it—how often do you receive a video email, much less a personalized video email?

My favorite part about video email is the notification. Without the recipient’s knowing, you can see if they opened your email. You can even set it to notify you each time your recipient opens your email and watches your video.

C’mon, who doesn’t want to know if their message is getting through to their donors?

(And not in that creepy “read-receipt” kind of way).

I had the pleasure of doing a training at the Girl Scout National Convention in 2017 and introduced a roomful of Girl Scout fundraisers to the tool. One of the fundraisers who signed up for the free trial shared the impact it had on her getting a visit with a hard-to-reach donor who wasn’t returning her phone calls.

Girl Scout fundraisers

Grab more technology tools to help you cut through the noise in my virtual guide to donor cultivation.

4. Do your homework before a donor meeting

Never go into a donor meeting without having done some research on your donor to get to know them better and reveal interesting conversation points you want to bring up,

You aren’t being creepy by Googling them or researching them on LinkedIn before a meeting. Search for any shared values, connections, or linkages between them, you, the organization, and your board members.

Whatever you discover, just be tactful: “How’d you go from an English major to CEO?” “Did you always know you wanted to be … (in politics / in technology / an entrepreneur/ in media)?”

5. Always be ready to have a conversation about legacy giving

Every great fundraiser must be prepared to discuss the possibility of a donor making a legacy gift. Girl Scout fundraisers especially have a unique opportunity to help their donors leave a magnificent legacy to a well-loved leader for girls and women.

It could be sparked by a discussion about the future, by them losing someone close to them, or by a conversation about ensuring one’s heirs’ future, or a million other potential prompts.

Here are a few planned giving discovery questions you might ask:

  • How important is it to you to impact the future through your philanthropy?
  • How do you hope to achieve that?
  • What role does your estate plan play?

On top of fundraising for a great cause—supporting the next generation of girls and women leaders—Girl Scout fundraisers have the unique opportunity to fundraise with a well-loved household brand among what may be one of the largest and most successful networks of alums in the world.

So, in the words of Dr. Suess,

“You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting,

So … get on your way!”

Here’s to investing in deeper relationships with your donors and changing the world for girls!

Are you a fundraiser for a Girl Scout council? We’d love to hear your experiences and strategies—please share your thoughts in the comments section below!  

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