Oct 2, 2020

How Pitching Memberships Instead of Sponsorships Helped Girl Scouts of Central CA


Girl Scouts launch annual cookie sale in Pennsylvania | News | indianagazette.comThe Girl Scouts of Central California South was honored and involved with an Inspiring Girls Awards Dinner, memberships instead of sponsorships, and our favorite – a gratitude scavenger hunt. These unique fundraising tactics enabled the Girl Scouts of Central California South to continue to raise funds, despite the pandemic. Jody Hudson and Tiffany Rodriguez tell us how they pulled it off.

The following is a transcript of our Q&A conversation from our #OutsideTheRoom Fundraising Success Series – Episode 3. Watch the full episode here.

Can you expand on how you incorporate the award winners in your fundraiser around the award events? 

Tiffany Rodriguez: So the way we incorporate them is right from the get-go. We actually ask our honourees for a list of about 20 people who they feel should be there who they think could be good connections for us, good donors who would be all about our message and support us. And then we make sure we do the ask on their behalf and it always work out really well. When you say that you’re there for someone that they look up to or that they support and you’re asking them to sponsor that table in honor of that honoree. I mean it always workout really well. We always have a packed house and then we really take those honourees. And after the event is over, we meet with them separately and just ask how they see their future with us. And how they see staying with us and then we go from there whether it’s supporting program or whether we’ve had one of our past honourees actually fundraise for us with an endowment a medical endowment. And so, that is huge that she went out and secured that for our girls. So really giving your honourees the power to guide you actually in your fundraising efforts. I hope that answered the question.  

Jody, multi-part question was giving Tuesday now successful. Did you hit your goal? And any tips around what you would improve or what helped you succeed on that campaign. So overall tell us about your giving Tuesday.

Jody Hudson: Yes, absolutely. As I had told you earlier, I just came on board with Girl Scouts in December. So historically, we have not had a very good giving Tuesday It’s kind of fallen flat. So we really sat down and tried figure out how we could you know again do like a one-two punch sort of thing. So we looked at different messaging. We did a social media message. We did a video message to all of our donors and I think it’s super important to make sure that you’re hitting up donors different ways. Not that the same old letter or phone call. You got to be creative. So we did a really great video to our donors from everybody on our team. You know encouraging them to give to giving Tuesday now that Girl Scouts has always been there for them and they need to now to be there for our girls. And we also did a text to give campaign. So basically, there is no way that they could not see our campaign, right? 

Tiffany Rodriguez: And we did well. We did about five thousand dollars. So I mean our CEO and they were like dang that’s great we’ve never done that well before. So we did a recap from it and you know there are definitely things that we can build on for next year. But I believe just that whole creativity and making sure you hit every single angle in your messaging that really worked well for us.

Perfect. Fast and furious here ladies. So tiffany or Jodi, but the gratitude scavenger hunt was it sent to donors? Or girls can you tell us more about how that worked and how it was promoted? 

Jody Hudson:  Tiffany I’ll let you take that one.

Tiffany Rodriguez: Okay. So it was actually done for our leaders. Like I mentioned before it was just you know negative times with everything that was going on. So we really wanted to lighten everyone’s mood and but it was something that actually took off. So we share it on our Facebook so our donors do see it. They see that we are working hard towards positive change right now towards pushing forward and just really trying to get everyone to be happy again.

Patrick, question for you. Should we run silent auction today? Do they work still?

Patrick Clore: Yes. I think I will avoid entering it with numbers which is my tendency but definitely are still performing well. Overall I think it is a nice mix up where you know there is so many things now. There is donation campaign so I think people being creative and coupling a few auction items into to mix it up or things like that. Given everything that is happening, I would stay away from things that are sporting events or kind of live events in general just because that’s in a state of flux and it might be hard to secure and different things like that. But I think things that are supporting the community I think more than ever is those kinds of items. And we’ve always seen kind of date night packages or things of that nature that combine a few different things. So I think especially I live in the Chicago land area and I am very excited like the lakefront opens up for the first time in three months. And so I’m going to go visit my coffee shop that I haven’t been able to go to and I think there’s probably a lot of people who you know within the community can do it. And I think that it also brings people together it might be a good chance to interact with some of these organizations that have supported you in the past. But overall definitely still performing and just I think it gives an opportunity to look at it maybe a little bit differently. 

Jody or Tiffany, what kind of fundraising elements do you use in the awards events, raffles, auctions what’s worked? 

Tiffany Rodriguez: In the past we have done silent auctions and that has worked really well. We generally try to get around 30 to 50 items. That’s not something we’re doing right now though but in the past before all the chaos happened it did work really well for us. So silent auctions and we would just reach out to our community. Get the pieces donated and it was kind of a win-win because we would let those companies know your company is going to be promoted at this event. So through the silent auction and so people were more than willing to donate to us given the free promo chance.  

Fabulous. Thanks for that tie. Suzzane, a follow-up question. Any instant buy items that are working right now in current conditions?

Susannah Crawford: Yeah, absolutely! A lot of different stuff and what I would encourage you first to do is really think about what makes you guys unique and what you could sell. So, different things is like merchandise so people taking like what would be a school or shirts, T-shirts, bumpers, stickers and putting it online. Another thing that is going on is just creating a raffle, so just one-time thing that people can purchase a game of chance. Another one is virtual sign up parties. So if you’re a museum, if you have different stuff that you could show or even if you just want a bunch of kids to come together and play for a half an hour. A sign up party is a different type of option. There’s also stuff instead of doing a silent auction and putting stuff up for bidding, just kind of taking items and putting them for sale. I’ve actually seen one recently that was kind of like a garage sale type of thing and it actually turned out really well. So I would think about who are your constituents, what are they interested in purchasing, are they going outside now or are they just sitting at home. What are those items that they could use now while they’re at home? 

Perfect. Thanks Suzanna. And alright so how does Girl Scout keep the fundraising momentum going through throughout the summer? And is that something new for this year or have you traditionally worked to fundraise all around all year round? 

Jody Hudson: Well I think we traditionally have worked to fundraise all year long with our wings signature events. But like I said earlier we really have reimagined our fundraising efforts and pivoted to campaigns more meaningful campaign. So we’ve got the membership going on right now. Next month we are going to be in partnership with another organization out in the west side in the rural area. So we’re going to start a campaign based upon that opening ceremony and reach out to our target market of our ad based donors. And then continue that into September with a grenade event going after individuals in the Ag business and other areas to support that. So really we’ve of taking the mindset off of the traditional fundraising efforts and going more for the meaningful ROI is with our donors through these membership ad campaigns. 

Cool. Thank you. And then a question on what platform do you use for your video messages to donors?

For the video messages we use Network for good.

Perfect. Okay then with that, Patrick anything to add here before we close?

Patrick Clore: No. I think just them in another massive amount of kudos to Tiffany and Jody and their team for further work they’ve done and hopefully for everybody else it sparks a few ideas.



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