Product sales revenues (gross sales minus amount paid to baker) are the largest source of funding for council programs. Most of the grants and some of the trust income and contributions are designated for specific purposes.
80% of product sale revenues are spent directly on programs while 20% are spent on the supporting services for those programs.
a. Our largest program is troop and service unit support that takes 28% ($3.4M) of the budget. This primarily funds the 33 MVPs (college graduate Girl Scout professionals) who support the troops and service units so that they can effectively deliver their programs.
There are an estimated 40,000 girls in 2,800 troops within 120 service units. About 30% of our 8,000 volunteer leaders are new every year. The job of the MVPs, their coordinators, the Director of Membership, and others in this department is to mentor and train leaders one-on-one, fill troop and service unit vacancies, and fill in service gaps when a service unit is in the rebuilding stage. Some service units are non-existent, so the assigned MVP must operate the service unit that is responsible for organizing troop activities within the service unit while recruiting volunteer leadership to step up and operate the service unit. This program area has been expanded because it so vital for the continuation of the Girl Scout movement. There are MVPs out every night visiting service unit events, visiting leaders, conducting community leadership team meetings (meetings of SU volunteers). There is very little grant funding of and no donations toward this critical function, so this is funded primarily by product sales programs.
b. Camp programs cost $1.6M and consume 14% of the budget. About a third of this cost is supported by camps fees, donations, and trust income designated for camp programs. The remaining subsidy is funded primarily through product sale programs.
c. Programs not at camp such as First Aid, Uniquely Me, StarLab, etc. cost about $1M per year (8% of annual budget) and receive about $500K in funding from fees and institutional grants. The remaining funding comes from revenue from product sale programs.
d. Payments to troops for participating in the product sale program are about $2M per year. Funding is a portion of the revenue from product sale programs.
e. $969 is spent by GSNEO within the product sale program area for girl rewards, product storage, product transportation, advertising, public relations, and for the staff who provide training, planning, administration, and logistical support to service units and troops. We receive about $60K from Little Brownie Baker to subsidize these costs in the form of per box allowances and fixed amounts. Most funding comes from revenue from product sale programs.
f. Council stores cost about $200K before considering occupancy, etc. and are supported by store revenues.
g. Volunteer training is generally provided to adult members free and this effort, along with volunteer management (background checks, etc.), cost about $392K per year with limited revenues and little grant support. Most funding comes from revenue from product sale programs.
h. Fund development costs $465K (4%)and brings in about $1.3M per year.
i. Administration (Executive, IT, Finance, Human Resources, External Communications, Governance, Operations) cost about $1.9M (16%) and receive no directed contributions and little institutional support so is funded by revenue from product sale programs.
j. The 20% total for fund development and administration is under United Way guideline of 25% for what constitutes an efficient non-organization.
Here is how the $3.50 received for each box of cookies is spent:
a. Money to baker - $0.91 per box (Cookies leave the factory and come directly to the council.)
b. Product sale department costs - $0.31 per box (The reason you cannot buy cookies for $0.91 in the store is because stores, chains, and distributors incur the same costs as the council and must price their product accordingly. We pay for the advertising, staffing, transportation, storage, etc. costs normally incurred by retailers.)
c. Support for troop directed programs (also called troop earnings) - $0.64 per box (Troops can earn more than this by participating in Early Bird registration, participating in the Fall sale, etc., but this is the average. Our per box support for troops is one of the highest in the nation among Girl Scout councils.
d. Volunteer development - $0.09 per box subsidy
e. Programs not at camp - $0.12 per box subsidy
f. Camp programs - $0.30 per box subsidy
g. Membership department - $0.76 per box subsidy
h. Administration - $0.37 per box subsidy