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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 25, 2013

Girl Scouts of America further integrate mobile into Cookie Fundraising program

After the successful integration of mobile technology with the Girl Scouts of America Cookie Fundraising program last year, the movement has this year introduced a Cookie Finder app to make sure no-one has to go without a Mint Thin.

by Helen Leggatt

girl_scouts.gifOn March 12, 1912, the first Girl Scouts of America troop was organized in Savannah, Georgia, by Juliette Gordon Low.

One hundred years later, in March, 2012, Girl Scouts across 23 States began to take mobile payments for their annual cookie fundraising program in partnership with mobile payments platform provider Sage North America.

"Using Sage Mobile Payments is a great way for our girls to use technology to sell additional boxes of cookies," said Carol Smith, a leader of Girl Scout Troop 24 in Solon, Ohio. "This is an example of something we teach our girls; using technology is a way to empower themselves."

Nearly 40,000 Girl Scouts were able to accept mobile payments for cookie purchases and the results, released in June last year, showed a marked increase in average sales transactions.

In Fresno, California, troops saw average sales transactions increase from about $20 in 2011 to $80 in 2012. 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.

The 2013 Girl Scouts Cookie Sale will see an increased role for mobile technology. A new Cookie Finder app has been released, for both the iPhone and Android devices. The app will go a long way to helping those who don't usually stumble across a Girl Guide selling Cookies to find one.

"We don't go to every single retailer, so there were a lot of people who just wanted to know where they could go," said Girl Scout volunteer Melda Carter.

The Girl Scout Cookie Finder App allows users to find the nearest Cookie booth, and also provides tips on how to interact with the Girl Scouts.

Some of the tips are amusing. "Please don't call me cute," one tip says. "We're learning how to run a business. We want you to buy Cookies because you want them and respect what we're learning, not because of our nice haircut or uniform."

Tags: Girl Scouts, mobile app, mobile payments, mobile technology

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