Lessons From The Girl Scout Philanthropy Roundtable: Building Impactful, Personalized Experiences For Donors At Scale

A group of four Girl Scouts saying their pledge with the Girl Scout hand sign

As nonprofit leaders, it’s our responsibility to recognize the shifts in the world of fundraising and development as it evolves. We have to adapt in ways that keep our organizations top of mind for our donors and supporters.

When you think about Girl Scout fundraising, your mind might go straight to cookies, but philanthropy for scouting organizations is much more than that. In our recent roundtable discussion, we brought together Girl Scouts fundraising leaders to discuss the key ways their councils have created meaningful relationships with their donors to build sustainable giving, and empower more girls everywhere.

Our Panelists:

  • Meghan Lopez, Chief Development Officer, Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast
  • Nina Wilson Jones, Director of Development, Girl Scouts of Citrus Council

Watch the Discussion:

Here’s What We Learned:

1. Become Nimble and Strategic

“With great challenges come great opportunities, and that’s exciting for our movement. As we continue on both a council and national level to fine-tune what our strategy looks like and how we can best meet the girls where they’re at and bring in the necessary resources and funding opportunities has challenged us to be strategically nimble,” said Meghan Lopez, Chief Development Officer of the Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast.

We live in a fast-paced world and change is rapid. The plans that your organization may have had six months ago may be completely different than the strategy you currently need.

Being nimble allows you to:

  • Stay in front of your potential donors in a relevant way
  • Adapt to challenging situations
  • Shift your strategic goals

2. Share Your Story with Visibility, Transparency, and Vulnerability

Communication with your donor base is crucial to building trust. When you are having honest conversations with your donors about challenges you are facing at your organization, you are opening the door to donors feeling more connected, more involved, and more invested in your organization.

Don’t be afraid to be transparent and vulnerable about challenges around programming or funding that your organization may be facing. This allows the donor to feel empowered and connected to your mission in ways they never were before, and may naturally open doors for donors to become major givers.

3. Utilize Segmentation In Your Communication Strategies

How do your supporters want to hear from you? Do some of them always pick up the phone, while others never open an email? People have preferences when it comes to communication, so o understanding how your donors want information is crucial.

Segmentation allows you to:

  • Personalize communication-based on your donor’s behaviors
  • Respond to your donor’s unique passions
  • Communicate with your donors more efficiently and effectively

4. Peer-to-Peer Is Powerful

Don’t be afraid to utilize the power of peer-to-peer fundraising. There is something powerful about someone sharing a personal story or experience with their friends and family. Word of mouth has power, but when someone shares a compelling story, it can truly make a difference.

The power your board members have to share their why and commitment to your organization speaks volumes. These stories are more powerful than sitting behind creating a strategy because the mission of your organization speaks for itself. A peer-to-peer campaign may be a great way for your board to actively fundraise on your behalf.

 

Check Out A Girl Scouts Case Study

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts uses Virtuous to power their fundraising. Read their story here to see how increasing their data visibility and insight helped them fundraise in new ways.

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