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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : June 27, 2012

Mobile payments for cookie fundraising huge success for Girl Scouts

Earlier this year, selected Girl Scout troops in the U.S. began using mobile payment technology for cookie purchases. If recent sales figures are anything to go by, mobile payments will soon be adopted by more troops across the nation.

by Helen Leggatt

girl_scouts.gifGirl Scouts enjoy experiencing a huge range of skills from cookery to forensics, and their existence relies on their various fundraising techniques. Earlier this year it was announced that mobile technology was to be used in 23 States in time for their annual cookie fundraising program.

The $760 million Girl Scout Cookie Program supports the girls' chosen activities for the year and funds community service and leadership programs, summer camp attendance, travel expenses and community events.

In partnership with mobile payments platform provider Sage North America, nearly 40,000 Girl Scouts were able to accept mobile payments for cookie purchases. Early results were encouraging. Girl Scouts of North East Ohio troops using mobile payments technology at cookie booths saw a 13% or more increases in their sales. Troops not using mobile technology experienced flat sales.

New figures have now been released that show the extent to which mobile payments have increased cookie sales.

In Fresno, California, troops saw average sales transactions increase from about $20 last year to $80 in 2012.

"As the girls learn about the world of business, they experience first-hand the advantages of evolving technologies like these," said Hezron Gurley, chief financial officer of Fresno, Calif.-based Girl Scouts of Central California South. "They enable more spontaneous purchases, and provide a more secure - virtually cash-free - sales environment."

Similarly, in Macedonia, Ohio, cookie sales rose 27% and the per-girl-average increased from 154 boxes to 176, a 14% increase. In Raleigh, North Carolina, too, cookie sales increased and feedback to the payment method, such as 'fabulous and very easy' and 'very convenient, was very favorable.

There's little doubt that next year's cookie fundraising will see more Girl Scout troops adopt mobile payment technology.

Tags: fundraising, Girl Scouts, mobile marketing, mobile payments, mobile transaction, U.S.

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