For those of you looking for extra money with which to fund your troop program, whether it be for a long trip or a special event, the following are ideas that were compiled from various sources.
Please remember that you must submit a request to your local Council to hold a fund-raising event and that different Council's have different interpretations including, but not limited to:
Let's not forget that all-important Cookie Program as a great way to fund your troop activities. This program generally does not require special permission. Across the US there are two companies that supply Girl Scout Cookies to councils. Each council makes its own decision on which cookie company to use. Each company sells different (but similar) varieties of cookies. You can check out their website below to determine which cookie company your council uses:
For innovative ideas on selling cookies try the following:
Here are some additional cookie selling tips and ideas from the December 1997/January 1998 edition of the JGL Newsletter:
Some Don'ts for Cookie Booths courtesy of the Dec.'97/Jan.'98 JGL Newsletter:
Each week, have girls bring in their plastic soda bottles and aluminum cans. They will be surprised at how fast the profits accumulate. Many councils do not require special permission to institute a recycling program since it is also a good way to begin to teach the girls about "saving our planet".
Due to the restrictions of the Health Departments in many states, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hold a traditional bake sale. Why not try a "No-Bake, Bake Sale"! Assemble all of the non-perishable ingredients of a favorite cookie or cake recipe into a canning jar, add the recipe, decorate the jar, and voila, you have a great item to sell at local grocery stores, bazaars, craft sales etc. Sample recipes may be found at Gifts in a Jar.
Remind girls each week to bring in their leftover pennies from around the house. Have them ask mom and dad to help save the pennies. One troop reported earning $200 in 5 meetings with 12 girls!
You can ask businesses or individuals to sponsor you for so much a car. You MUST advertise! Have a list of your donors at the event to advertise their support. Keep good records of who comes (take down license plate numbers, for example).
Advertise your car wash as a Free Car Wash. Put up a sign at the event stating what your goal is (trip to....) and that donations are gladly accepted. BUT, make sure that all customers (whether they choose to leave a donation or not) are treated equally. You could even have a No-Bake, Bake Sale in conjunction.
Some tips and safety ideas on car washes may be found on the Girl Scout Resource Center's Car Wash page.
This can be a troop event or an individual event. As a troop event, use troop meetings to make marketable crafts. Some good ideas are scrunchies, pot holders, Beadie Critters, and anything else that is popular with the crowd you will be selling to. You could even organize a Girl Scout Craft Boutique for other troops and advertise to the public. If family members have hidden talents (tole painting, stitching, etc.), an individual craft sale is great. Family members make the products and the girls sell them at an advertised craft boutique.
Girls and their fathers bake a cake. Cakes are judged in different categories and given prizes. The cakes are then auctioned off. You could even open this up to the entire Service Unit (and have an entry fee for the cakes).
If your troop does a lot of cooking and has favorite recipes, cookbooks are always in demand. Outdoor cookbooks sell well within the Girl Scout community. Collect the recipes, recruit someone to assemble and input them into the computer, print them out (or have them printed), have them bound, advertise and SELL! One example of a troop cookbook can be found at Outdoor Odyssey.Another can be found at Troop 669 on Cooking Chow.
This is especially successful during the busy Christmas holiday season (from Thanksgiving to Christmas). Many places will provide you with paper, tape, scissors, etc. and you supply the labor. Put a sign on a nicely decorated box or basket indicating who you are and what the donations will be used for. Make sure girls are well versed in how to wrap a package properly.
If your council allows this, this can be an excellent fund-raiser for older girls, especially if they have Program Aide training and are experienced at working with the younger girls. Events can range from Badge or Try-It workshops to camping events and more. Try to pick events that do not have a lot of expenses. Make sure that the fee you charge is reasonable and not overly expensive. You can visit my Troop site to find outlines of programs already developed. The Rescue 911 event was used as a fund-raiser in 1997 and was very successful.
If your council holds events that serve food (such as Annual Meeting or any type of Awards Luncheon), check with them to see if you can cater that food. Remember that you need to abide by local Health Department regulations when preparing any food. Obtain donations from local merchants for the items needed to keep your costs down (remember that many councils require you to clear any sponsorship/donation requests with them first). Negotiate a price for the meal. Recruit parents to help in the food preparation and girls can help prepare and then serve the meal. Don't forget the clean-up!
Purchase pizza fixings at a local food distributor (or obtain donations if possible and if approved by your Council). Have girls take orders for different varieties of pizzas before hand. On the scheduled day, make the pizzas and have the girls deliver their orders.
Many areas have local sports complexes for large sporting events. Arrange with the concessions of these sports complexes to sell souvenirs or food at a local sporting event.
At local festivals, often times concession booths are offered for free to non-profit organizations. Arrange to man such a booth at your local festival.