The world’s preeminent leadership development organization for girls, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) helps girls develop the courage, confidence and character to become leaders today as well as tomorrow. Founded 100 years ago in Savannah, Georgia, Girl Scouts’ membership has grown from 18 in 1912 to 3.2 million girls and adults throughout the United States, and 10 million girls and adults in 145 countries worldwide.
While Girls Scouts nationwide has successfully sold Girl Scout cookies for many years, the organization had not developed a strong culture of philanthropy at the national level or among many local Councils. As a result, it did not enjoy the level of individual, corporate and foundation support that its powerful mission and demonstrable impact on millions of girls and their adult leaders deserves.
On the advice of AKA, GSUSA decided to mount a $1 billion Girl Scout Centennial Campaign that joined the National Office and all of the local Councils in a coordinated, collegial effort.
Working closely with the National Board and executive leadership of GSUSA, AKA helped GSUSA think through the central characteristics of the campaign, including its principal program objectives; the key messages/signals about the Girl Scouts that the campaign would seek to communicate; and a clear, compelling statement of the rationale for launching the initiative.
AKA also helped clarify the roles of the National Board, National Office and local Councils in the campaign; identify major funding needs and opportunities; identify and involve key volunteer leadership; determine necessary staff and infrastructure capabilities; and establish time frames for each phase of the campaign.
AKA guided a 21-member Campaign Coordinating Group comprised of Council and National Office staff responsible for detailed operational planning. The firm helped the Coordinating Group develop a protocol that specifies the roles of the Councils with respect to national prospects; establish Campaign reporting and tracking mechanisms; coordinate Campaign communications with a new Girl Scout branding initiative; ensure effective internal communications throughout the Girl Scout movement about the planning and preparations for the Campaign; and prepare for the public launch of the Campaign.
Publicly launched in February 2012, the Centennial Campaign is helping the Girl Scouts raise an unprecedented level of funds both locally and nationally. Already, the Campaign has generated new awareness of the role and importance of the Girl Scout movement; developed significant new philanthropic support for key strategic and programmatic goals; and begun to develop a strong culture of fundraising through the movement. Because it is the largest ever development initiative by women for young women, one possible outcome of the Campaign will be to greatly strengthen the role of women in philanthropy.