Jody Hudson poses with members of Girl Scouts of Central California South. Photo via Girl Scouts Facebook page.
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
A new sales method for the local chapter of the Girl Scouts is propelling them to the forefront of the nation.
According to Jody Hudson, director of development for Girl Scouts of Central California South, the organization’s world-famous cookie sales — which typically run from Super Bowl Weekend until March 15 — saw the girls take on an aggressive goal of 1 million packages sold. In order to meet that goal, their five-county chapter had to think outside the (cookie) box.
Their solution has been the “Cookie Donor Buyout,” program, in which participating businesses can buy out a booth with a pledge of $500 or more. In turn, the buyers can then give these packages to clients and employees, or to local charities. It also lets the girls reach out to the Valley business community in Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties.
“We are blowing out our numbers right now,” Hudson said. “We are No. 1 in the country with our cookie sales as well as our membership growth, so exciting things are happening for our girls.”
One participant in the buyer program was the Me-N-Ed’s, which pitched in $1,500 for their cookies, donating them to the Poverello House.
According to Chief Operating Officer Tom Ferdinandi, it was their way of thanking a region that’s been good them.
“We’ve been very blessed here in our Valley to have such wonderful customers and patrons of our restaurants,” he said. “This is just another way for us to give back and help a group of girls who are poised to do wonderful things.”
Another participant was Fresno magazine CVLUX, which made a $500 buyout, donating the cookies back to the girls.
“We are longtime fans of what they do and how it builds self esteem with young ladies and teaches them to get out there, talk to people and set goals,” said Donna Kaczmarski, CVLUZ co-owner. “We thought that would be a good use of our money.”
As of last week, the Girl Scouts of Central California South have met and exceeded their 1-million-package goal, raising upwards of $18,000 from the Cookie Donor Buyout program alone. Hudson said their branch is an anomaly for sales and growth. In fact, it may be going a little too well.
“Our biggest problem right now is supply and demand,” Hudson mused. “Like do we have the bakers to keep up with the cookie sales here? I might be putting on my own apron and baking some cookies.”
Other donors include (but are not limited to):
* Ernest Packaging Solutions
* Crown Jewels Produce
* Peelz Mandarins
* Grapevine MSP Technology Services
* Manco Abbott
* Precision Civil Engineering, Inc.