F.B.I. How to have congregations and clergy begging you for Girl Scout Troops!
Whose goals are these? Membership Retention Trained Volunteers Program Money
Questions : Why do you work for the Girl Scouts? Why do parents sign their girls up for Girl Scouting? #1 Reason is VALUES
What two segments of society are interested in values development? Religious organizations Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. We should work together!
Why Collaborate? What’s in it for Families? What’s in it for Congregations? What’s in it for Councils?
Why Collaborate? “You can have everything in life you want if you'll just help enough other people to get what they want!” – Zig Ziglar
What’s in it for families? Youth benefit! The number one reason parents sign up their children in Girl Scouts is VALUES.
What’s in it for families? Youth will have less at-risk behaviors Youth will have less at-risk behaviors Search Institute, The Troubled Journey CIVICFAMILY SCHOOLSFAITH
Why Collaborate? What’s in it for Congregations?
Question: What are the five most stated items in any strategic plan of a local congregation?
What’s in it for Congregations? Answer: Membership Retention Faith formation Volunteers / Leadership Money
Religious Organizations Benefit: Membership Congregations need: YOUNG FAMILIES
Traditional Ideas for a Congregation to Increase Membership “They ought to come.” “They really ought to come.” “They really really ought to come.”
Traditional Ideas for a Congregation to Increase Membership Serve coffee Serve more coffee Serve better coffee Serve more better coffee
Religious Organizations Benefit Common Goals Girl Scouts have high brand recognition Proven youth program: citizenship training, character development, fitness Enrich current program Outdoor resources (local and national facilities)
Religious Organizations Benefit: Membership The average size of a Troop is 12 50 to 60% of girls in a Troop do not currently have a current faith home These parents are pre-qualified as looking for values for their children 6 pre-qualified families already in your building without a faith home
Religious Organizations Benefit: Membership If the congregation offers a religious emblem class to the girls in their Troops If the congregation offers a religious emblem class to the whole service unit The congregation expands its membership potential in close geographic area
Religious Organizations Benefit: Faith Formation Congregations focus on Religious growth Values
Religious Organizations Benefit: Faith Formation Religious Emblems Programs: Can supplement a congregation’s own religious growth programs Are age specific Are developed by the national religious organizations, not GSUSA
Religious Organizations Benefit Trained Leaders Provides leadership training skills Scouting renews memories in adults New leaders (adults may volunteer to be leaders because they see it as service to their religious organization) Religious organizations select the leadership that reflects their values
Religious Organizations Benefit Provide an outreach to the community Help people Community service projects Help Congregations build assets with youth
Religious Organizations Benefit Handout: “Does your congregation need Girl Scouting?”
Congregation’s Response We don’t have any children. What will it cost? We’ve never done it before!
Question: What are your council’s top four goals?
What’s in it for Councils? Answer: Membership Retention Leadership Program Money
What’s in it for Councils: Membership Youth membership Parents are looking for values Religious organizations share common goals Adult leaders Improve retention of leaders Religiously based individuals are more likely to volunteer Target underserved populations
What’s in it for Councils: Program Religious organizations can teach the religious emblems programs Religious awards reinforce Girl Scout Values
What’s in it for Councils: Program It’s strategic: More girls and troops More volunteers Improve relations with sponsors Balanced Growth
What’s in it for Councils: Program More girls, more troops, more families, more money
BSA Research on Faith-Based Units Unit Retention better by 10% Rank Advancement 10 to 30% better 66% of units Chartered to Faith based organizations 70% of Chartered Partners only have 1 Unit or one Member of the Scouting family
Religious Emblems: Value Added Programs for Membership
Religious Emblems as a Membership Tool Created by religious organizations Help connect Girl Scouts and faith based organizations Explain how they can be used as an outreach tool Opportunity for intergenerational experiences continued
Religious Emblems as a Membership Tool Help target diverse memberships Provide first exposure of religious organization membership to Girls Scouts Increase adult tenure
Religious Awards as a Membership Tool Created by religious organizations Help connect Girl Scouting and faith based organizations Explain how they can be used as an outreach tool Opportunity for intergenerational experiences Help target diverse memberships Provide first exposure of religious organization membership to Girl Scouts Increase adult tenure
Strategies for Growth: 15% + 10% + 70% + 98% = +10% Strategy #1: Shore up drop rate Strategy #2: Sell more products to existing customers Strategy #3: Target similar customers Strategy #4: Target under served populations
First Call LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! Listen for the needs of the congregation.
What are the aims and goals of religious organizations? Membership Retention Program Religious training Leadership Money 98% = the number of clergy who are unaware that these religious emblems even exist!
You must involve the congregation with the troop Ask clergy for names of potential leaders Explain that you will provide training, etc. Give congregation sense of ownership and if they are gaining members, they will want to continue supporting Girl Scouts
Remember: When approaching a congregation Find the decision makers Explain how Girl Scouting and the Religious Awards can help provide solutions to their needs: More young families Leader training Added program More people leads to more money
10% national drop rate 15% of all Troops are in religious organizations 1.5% Troops dropped are in religious organizations 10% drop rate x 15% = 1.5% loss Eliminate the drop rate and save 1.5% How can religious emblems shore up the drop rate?
Why do girls drop out? Who ultimately decides? The children The parents Unless they see that Girl Scouting is providing values
Why are Troops dropped? Leaders resign – Religious Awards can help retain leaders.
Why are Troops dropped? Religious Organizations get upset – Make an appointment every year to sign a sponsoring agreement. During this visit, bring along sample copies of religious emblems booklets and walk the leadership through the material or suggest that they do this with their clergy.
Why are Troops dropped? 1. Remind congregations of members gained 2. 6 potential families in basement 3. Which side do you want your windows broken from? Result: Shore up the 10% drop rate of Troops in religious organizations = 1.5% increase
Strategy #2: Sell more products to existing customers (build more capacity by increasing Troops in existing sponsors
Is your membership problem one of getting the girls or finding leadership and meeting places? Who is the easiest person to sell to?
70% of sponsors only have 1 Troop At your sponsoring visit talk about adding a Troop and discuss religious emblems programs for that level. 6 pre-qualified families in basement Result: 70% x 15% = 10.5% growth 10.5% - 8.5% = 2% growth
Sell to similar or like-minded customers i.e. religious organizations Most respected organizations in any community are the faith groups Ask your staff and volunteers if anyone is of the selected faiths Ask current sponsors for contacts Use religious emblems as a tool
Select a target population or under served area Develop a list of religious organizations in the area Ask your fellow staff and volunteers if anyone is of that faith Ask current chartered partners for contacts Use religious emblems as a tool
Five Year Plan Year 1 Target Current Religious sponsors – Re-visit sponsors – Add a Troop While talking with current customers ask if they know other clergy who would benefit from having a Troop. Ask them to open that door. Identify underserved populations and start looking for cultural informants
Five Year Plan Year 2 Target last year’s no’s among the 54% Target new Religious Organizations by asking current sponsors, staff, and volunteers Work with the cultural informants and start gaining visibility in their religious communities in your underserved populations.
Five Year Plan Year 3 Revisit first sponsor and add that 3rd Troop At sponsoring visit, ask for help in underserved populations from staff and volunteers Work hard to establish Troops in underserved populations in Religious Organizations
Five Year Plan Year 4 Visit year 2 new starts and look to add a troop Continue working in underserved populations