The Importance of Girl Scout Cookies
I was talking to my nine-year-old granddaughter the other day. Soon, she will be a new Girl Scout. I immediately wondered how much grandpa will have to pay annually to purchase her Girl Scout Cookies. I always associate cookies with the Girl Scouts.
In fact, Girl Scout cookies generate about $800 million in sales each year. Three quarters of the proceeds go to Girl Scouts councils that oversee troops in a region, while 10 to 20% go to the local troops who sell the cookies.
According to Wikipedia, Girl Scout Cookies are cookies sold by Girl Scouts to raise funds to support Girl Scout councils and individual troops. The program is intended to raise money and improve the financial literacy of girls.
Mashed provides information on what to know before you buy Girl Scout cookies this year. Here’s what it says:
- Different locations have entirely different versions of the same cookie.
- Girl scouts’ contract with two different bakeries for their cookies.
- In 2014, according to CBS Minnesota, a box of cookies sold for $4. Of the $4, about $1 went into making, packaging and shipping the cookies. Seventy-six cents went towards the Girl Scouts volunteer program, and the rest stayed within the Girl Scouts for distribution.
Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia. The first troop had a membership of 18 girls. CBS News notes that Girl Scout cookies are more important than ever, partly due to the growing nationwide discussion about women in leadership roles.
In 2018, the Girl Scouts faced ongoing enrollment challenges that made the annual cookie sale essential to fund troop activities and programs. The Girl Scouts said cookie sales help girls set goals and develop public speaking skills at a time when the number of members and volunteers are declining. Today, there are 2.5 million people involved with Girl Scouts (1.7 million girl members and 750,000 adult volunteers). The peak of total membership was 3.8 million in 2003.
In October of 2018, the Boy Scouts said it would admit girls into Cub Scouts. It is too early to tell if there will be a long-term impact on the Girl Scouts. Stewart Goodbody, senior director of communications for the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., noted that there is a new national focus on female leadership, and that is great because the Girl Scouts promote girls’ leadership at an early age.
Philanthropy comes in many shapes and sizes. I applaud the Girl Scouts for having a revenue model that has been sustained for more than 100 years. You always want to remember a charity immediately for something that is top of mind. If you think of Girl Scouts, it is always Girl Scout Cookies.
I look forward to watching my granddaughter learn and develop positively over time through her upcoming Girl Scout experience. One thing is for sure — grandpa will buy several boxes of cookies each year to support an important cause and perpetuate a century old tradition. I must wait a few months to engage in that experience.
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.