Girl Scout troops are self-funded. Troops rely on fundraising to take trips, help the community and organize special events. Many troops rely on cookie sales for the vast majority of their funding, but there are many other ways to raise money as well. Let’s take a look at some Girl Scout fundraising ideas that are both fun and inexpensive.
Host a tea party for moms and daughters. Ideally, a local tea house or restaurant would be willing to donate space for your party. Get in touch with local bakers and ask if they would be willing to donate tea cakes or treats for the party. A local florist may be willing to donate some centerpieces, or your girls can try their hand at creating their own floral arrangements. You can charge an entrance fee for the party and even sell the centerpieces to raise even more money. Don’t forget to thank your sponsors during the event.
Girl Scout cookies are one of the biggest money makers for troops. Prizes are typically awarded to the girls that sell the most cookies. Have your girls work on their selling techniques. Make sure they are setting up booths outside local grocery stores to generate more sales.
Most local sports teams, community colleges and universities will allow you to sell concessions. Just make sure that you check with them first. You may also be able to set up a concession stand outside of a grocery store. This is an excellent way to raise money and can easily generate thousands of dollars for your troop each year.
Before cookie season starts, host a bake sale. Holiday-themed events are great, but you need to make sure that you choose a busy location. You may be able to generate more money by asking for a donation instead of placing a price tag on each cupcake or cookie.
For your bake sale, you can reach out to local bakeries and see if they would be willing to donate any cookies, cupcakes, etc. This is a great option for troops with busy families. Ideally, you would bake the goods yourself. However, if you can score a donation of baked goods, you can generate a higher profit.
Recycling drives not only help raise money, but also help clean up the environment. Have your troop visit local parks and collect as many cans as they can. You can also have them pick up trash as well. Cleaning up local parks may provide you with enough cans to turn a decent profit. At the same time, the girls learn the importance of not littering.
Have your troop design a 12 month calendar. Reach out to local businesses to secure sponsorships for each month. Some troops choose to sell ad space on their calendar. If you go the sponsorship route, businesses can then donate to your troop. The donation would be tax-deductible and beneficial to the business. See if you can find a local printing company that would be willing to donate or offer a discounted rate for printing your calendars. You should be able to sell them for $10 to $13 each.
Car washes are a fun way to raise money and are often quite successful. Car washes are relatively inexpensive too. All you need is a large space (e.g. a parking lot) and some basic supplies, like rags, soap, buckets and water. The girls can wash cars for free but donations are requested. Those who have their cars washed will feel obliged to donate and there is no limit to how much they can give.
Themed dinners can be a great way to raise money. Make sure that you choose a theme that will appeal to both the girls and the local community. Get in touch with local caterers or restaurants to see if any would be willing to donate food. Perhaps a local banquet hall or restaurant would be willing to donate some space. If you cannot find a local professional to donate food, you can always have the girls (or their parents) cook the meal(s).
Yard sales are another great way to raise money. This can be held at the troop leader’s home or one of the girls’ homes. Ideally, you want to choose a location that receives a lot of traffic. Have the girls and their families donate items to sell. You can even ask neighbors, friends and family members if they would be willing to donate some items. Place an advertisement in the paper and post signs for the yard sale. This will help you generate more foot traffic and help you raise more money. The more items you sell, the more money you will make. If possible, try and sell some big ticket items, like furniture pieces. These can be sold for more money than smaller items like clothing.