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For Cookie Entrepreneurs

When you participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, you're doing more than just helping your customers stock up on delicious treats (and having lots of fun). You're doing it with a goal in mind. Whether that goal is a pizza party, a community project, or your first overnight trip with your troop, you know how many packages you need to make it happen.

Contents

About the Cookie Program

The Girl Scout Cookie Program® prepares girls with the business smarts they need to take on the world! Find out more about our cookies, how the cookie crumbles, cookie recipes, and more on our About Girl Scout Cookies page.

Top 100 Girl Scout Cookie Marketers
Congratulations to our Top 100 Girl Scout Cookie Marketers of 2022! An updated list celebrating our Top 100 entrepreneurs of 2023 will be updated at the close of the 2023 Girl Scout Cookie Program.
Top Ten OTM Superstars

Congratulations to our Top 10 OTM Superstars of 2022! An updated list celebrating our Top 10 OTM Superstars of 2023 will be updated at the close of the 2023 Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Key Program Dates

The Girl Scout Cookie Program officially starts Sunday, Jan. 29. Review other key program dates and submit the online participation agreement below to ensure your Girl Scout is ready to go! Check back often for additional updates to this page.

December-January: Troop cookie managers train girls and parents/guardians

Wednesday, Dec. 14: Troop initial order due

January: Service unit cookie kickoffs

Saturday, Jan. 28: Delivery day

Sunday, Jan. 29: Cookie program publicly begins at 9 a.m.; Digital Cookie opens for Girl Scouts

Wednesday, Feb. 1: Cookie cupboards open

Friday, Feb. 10: Cookie booths begin.  Troop funds for first payment must be in troop bank account by end of business day.

Monday, Feb. 27: Direct ship begins; Raspberry Rally is now available for ordering.

Sunday, March 12:  Cookie program ends

Friday, March 17: Troop funds for final payment must be in troop bank account by end of day.

Forms and Resources

 

Additional troop resources can be found on the volunteer page.

How to Participate

Every girl and troop should participate at the level comfortable to them. Girls are on their honor not to begin public marketing of their cookies before Sunday, Jan. 29, 9 a.m. 

Cookies in hand: Customers pay girls and receive their cookies immediately.

Order card: Girls may take orders for packages they will deliver later.

Cookie pro tip: Always keep order cards in your purse, car, cookie wagon, etc. Running out of cookies or not being able to carry enough packages for all potential customers is never a problem for girls if they bring an order card along.

Girls may leave an order card in a visible spot at their caregiver’s workplace, accompanied by a note from them outlining their goal and plans for the proceeds. Even if an adult helps make the connection, it is the girl’s responsibility to fill all orders, oversee delivery, and thank her customers!

Digital Cookie: Girls receive orders through their personalized Digital Cookie website where options for shipping or girl delivery are available. Visit the Digital Cookie section for more information.

Tips and Techniques for Marketing Cookies

Family and friends marketing: Contact your friends and family via phone or in person to ask if they are interested in receiving Girl Scout Cookies or donating to Operation Thin Mint SM . Remember to review last year’s order card to reconnect with your reliable customers and practice networking.

Cookie House Party: Hit your goal faster with a Cookie House Party. Invite your friends, families, and all your favorite cookie customers to a party to share your cookie stories, package goals, and dreams. You can customize your pitch with a script and plan fun games and activities. Find instructions on how to host a Cookie House Party on the Little Brownie Bakers website.

COVID-19 consideration: Have a virtual party! Find updated safety information at sdgirlscouts.org/COVID or find information for Virtual Troop Meetings.

Standabouts: You may set up lemonade stand-style “standabouts” in front of your family’s private residence to market cookies to your neighborhood. During standabouts, girls learn how to manage change, cash flow, and cookie inventory in real time, just like other businesses.

Door-to-door: Visit any residential neighborhood in San Diego and Imperial counties. Accompanied by your caregiver, walk around neighborhoods knocking on doors and ringing doorbells to market cookies. You may leave door hangers or business cards with your unique Digital Cookie code at homes where there is no reply. Going door-to-door, you learn the benefits of casting a wide customer net and how to build relationships within your community.

COVID-19 consideration: Conduct door-to-door with members of your household only.

Business and corporate asks:  Ask business owners or managers for permission to market cookies at the workplaces during a staff meeting or one-on-one meeting with upper level management. Companies may be interested in purchasing cookies as gifts or in making large charitable contributions to Operation Thin Mint SM.

Up Your Cookie Game

Know the cookie varieties. Use this knowledge to convince customer to order more. “Did you know Thin Mints are vegan? We have two cookie varieties with peanut butter: Tagalongs have chocolate, and Do-si-dos don’t.”

Say thank you. Pre-write thank you cards with your unique Digital Cookie link.  Customers can use the link to reorder later in the season.

Set a goal. Set small, achievable goals throughout the season to reach your big goal.  “Today, I will send three Digital Cookie emails and go door-to-door for one hour.”

Wear a Girl Scout vest. Show your Girl Scout spirit by wearing cookie swag and decorate the supplies.

Promote Operation Thin Mint SM . Offer to send customers a digital donation receipt for tax purposes. Keep notecards available and ask them if they’d like to send a message to the troops with their donation. COVID-19 consideration: Ask customers to mail their notecard directly to Girl Scouts San Diego (address printed on notecards).

2023 Rewards
 

Family Cookie Guide

The 2023 Family Cookie Guide is here! Your resource to keep and refer to throughout the cookie season

Getting Started

Give your Girl Scout permission to participate in the 2023 cookie program by completing the 2022-2023 Product Programs Participation Agreement, then send a copy to your troop cookie manager or leader. Troop leaders can find information on how to prepare your troop to participate in the cookie program at our Quick Start webpage

Participation Agreement

Parents: Use the 2022-2023 Product Program Participation Agreement button below to sign up your girl for both the cookie and fall product programs. Then forward the confirmation email to your troop cookie manager or troop leader to notify troop leadership that you have given your Girl Scout permission to participate.

Individually Registered Members (IRMs)

An IRM is a girl participating in Girl Scouts independently of a troop. Girls in troops may also participate in the cookie program as IRMs if their troop is not participating; it will not affect their membership status. IRMs must have a trained adult who is registered and background screened to oversee their participation.

IRM caregivers who have previously participated can find training on their gsLearn dashboard. Log in to MyGS with your Girl Scout email and password. Then, select My Account (top), and gsLearn (left). Once in gsLearn, select the IRM Troop Cookie Manager 2023 training from your dashboard to begin. Don't see the training? Contact training@sdgirlscouts.org.

Supporting Your Girl Scout

Encourage goal-setting. Guide your Girl Scout to set practical goals about what she hopes to learn and earn.

  • Ask about her troop’s goal, and help her set a personal goal.
  • Encourage her to share her goal with customers. They want to help her succeed!

Support her participation. Be by her side as she develops the confidence to ask people for their support.

  • Help her practice a marketing pitch.
  • Accompany her while she talks with customers and delivers cookies.
  • Help her network with family and friends. (Let her do the actual “ask” so she can learn that important business skill.)

Volunteer. Help the troop by chaperoning at cookie booths, picking up cookies, and sorting rewards.

 

Digital Cookie

Digital Cookie is the customizable order-taking website for Girl Scout Cookies. Girls personalize their individual pages with their goals and share their pages with potential customers. Customers can either pay for shipping or have the Girl Scouts they purchase from deliver their orders. After setting up their profiles from their web pages, girls can use the Digital Cookie mobile app to check their goal progress, access safety and selling tips, place new orders for customers, and share their site URLs via email.

Digital Cookie Features
  • Girls and caregivers are able to view their cookie inventory.
  • Girls are able to view rewards in Digital Cookie.
  • Girls earn additional rewards for using Digital Cookie.
  • Caregivers now have the ability to turn off the girl delivery option.
  • Girls can indicate if they are out of a particular variety.
  • Faster transactions! The Digital Cookie mobile app now features OCR scanning technology. It can be used for credit card payments easily during booths, door-to-door, or other in-person activities on a smartphone.
Online Safety

Girls may use the internet only to market the cookie program to friends and family. Before engaging in any online activities, caregivers should discuss and review the GSUSA Internet Safety Pledge and online/email marketing guidelines from GSUSA.

Girls under the age of 13 may use the emails in Digital Cookie to market to friends, family, and customers. They are also permitted to use social media sites and email as long as they use the accounts of a caregiver.

Girls 13 and older are permitted to use their own online accounts with adult supervision.

If your Girl Scout sales link is posted on a public-facing site, be aware that the link is now searchable by anyone and could potentially appear anywhere on the internet.

Girl Scout Digital Cookie links cannot be posted on any online resale sites (such as Craigslist, Ebay, or Facebook Marketplace).

Girls and their caregivers must follow through on accepted girl delivery orders and caregivers must supervise all communications and product delivery logistics with any customers girls don’t personally know; girls should never deliver product alone.

Program links may not be shared with any news outlet (this includes online and traditional news media, such as radio, television, or magazines).

Should any online marketing activities be identified in violation of above guidelines, Girl Scouts San Diego reserves the right to request removal of posts.

Tips for Online Advertising

Advertise your site via emails to family and friends. Once on the Digital Cookie dashboard, click the “Customers” tab to add or import customer contacts, bring up information about customer orders, and send marketing emails.

Aim to send “open for business” emails within the first day or two of Digital Cookie opening. This will give potential customers time to place an order and to follow up if they have any questions. Send “There’s still time to order cookies” emails later in the season.

Let family and friends know to expect an email through Digital Cookie to welcome them to your personalized site. (Some people don’t check their emails often or have strong email spam filters.) Communicating with customers through different methods at different times leads to more cookie orders.

Send emails to 18 different people to earn the Digital Cookie patch!

Sharing Your Digital Cookie Link

Email potential customers a link to your personal Digital Cookie website, or post the link to social media. Find your link on the Digital Cookie homepage as “[Your name] cookie site URL.”

Use digital marketing to expand your network and grow your people skills. Use the following strategies when you create a marketing video or post on social media:

  • Create a sense of urgency. Girl Scout Cookie season only comes around once a year! A countdown to the last date to order is a great motivator. Use language that encourages potential customers to order from you right now.
  • Make an impression. Use clear, eye-catching photos of the cookie varieties, yourself in your Girl Scout uniform, or something tied to your goal.
  • Highlight special features or products. Share the most-ordered cookies in your lineup. Let customers know about gluten-free Toffee-tastic and that Thin Mints® are made with vegan ingredients, for example.
  • Use a clear and prominent call to action. Share your goal and exactly what your customer can do to help you achieve it.
  • Research! Check out the websites and social media accounts of your favorite brands. How do to create a relationship with their customers on Facebook or Instagram? What can you do to safely build a relationship with your online customers?
  • Use marketing to inspire, educate, entertain, and entice your prospective customers. Share how you’ll use your cookie proceeds, let people know about all the skills you’re learning through the cookie program, and have fun while you’re at it! Get creative in your communications—consider writing a poem or recording a video to educate and convince potential customers to order cookies from you.
  • Show off customer testimonials. Collect and highlight enthusiastic testimonials from your customers through social media. This shows potential customers that ordering cookies from you is a great investment. Make sure to ask if you can share their words!
  • Say thank you! Impress customers with a custom thank-you message via email or social media. As your customer base expands beyond friends and family, find ways to maintain personalization while following Girl Scouts’ Safety Activity Checkpoints for Computer and Internet Use.
How Customers Purchase Cookies

Direct shipping: When customers order their cookies to be shipped directly from the warehouse to their home or work, girls get credit without handling delivery. This is a great option for out-of-town family, those who work odd schedules, or anyone willing to pay a little extra for shipping. 

Girl delivery:  Provide excellent customer service, since happy customers order again and spread the news to other potential customers! 

Tip Sheets
Cookie Finder

Support your local Girl Scouts with a cookie purchase. The best way to buy cookies is to order them directly from a local Girl Scout. If you don’t know a Girl Scout, you can email our customer care team, and they will connect you with a local troop. Or use the Cookie Finder to search for a booth near you. Girl Scouts San Diego booths begin Friday, Feb. 10. Girl Scout Cookies are also available to ship nationwide through local Girl Scouts beginning Monday, Feb. 27.

 

Safety

Your customers are looking forward to enjoying Girl Scout cookies just as much as ever. Girl Scout entrepreneurs are reminded to follow the layered precautions outlined on our COVID safety page. Guidance on this page is subject to change based on state and local regulations. This page will be kept up-to-date and any significant change will be announced by email.

Find out how you can reduce risk during standabouts, door-to-door, and booth marketing:

  • Practice social distancing to the extent possible at all locations. Set standabouts and booths up for success by using barriers, or arranging tables to increase distance.
  • Wear properly-fitting masks indoors and outdoors when marketing cookies in person.
  • Host booth locations with a maximum of 2 girls and 2 adults per door. Most booth locations have one door; find details in the eBudde notes.  
  • Let caregivers determine if their Girl Scout is comfortable participating in booths. If a girl or family does not feel a situation is safe, honor that.
  • Let girls lead booth planning in an age-appropriate way.  Girl Scouts should discuss and understand safety requirements that will enable the troop to stay as safe as possible.
  • Encourage digital payment.
  • Have hand sanitizer available at booths. Ensure it is used after all cash transactions.
  • Post signage asking booth customers to wear a mask. A Girl Scout-created reminder poster is a great motivator!
  • Consider using painter’s tape to make social distancing markers that discourage congestion in high-traffic booth locations.
  • Empower booth volunteers and caregivers to step in if customers object to safety measures.

 

Money Matters for Caregivers

A brief overview of what caregivers need to know about the cookie program. For a full list, review your copy of your signed participation agreement.

Rights

Caregivers have the right to:                                

  • Determine how many cookies you will accept responsibility for. While cookies may not be returned to Girl Scouts San Diego, your troop might accept returns if they can be used at cookie booths or for another girl’s inventory. Ask your TCM for details.
  • Participate at a level that is comfortable for you and your Girl Scout, regardless of the council recommendation or troop goal.

Note: Troop proceeds belong to the troop, not individual girls, and while there is no pre-payment for cookies, troops may require payments owed before giving additional cookies

Responsibilities

Caregivers are responsible for:

  • Every cookie package picked up and signed for (by completing a receipt with your TCM).
  • All customer payments collected, until turned in to the TCM and receipt for money turned in is received.
  • Signing and retaining a receipt for each exchange of money/product between you and the TCM.
  • Following through on girl delivery purchases accepted through Digital Cookie and coordinating with TCM if additional inventory is needed.
Requirements

Caregivers should:

  • Safeguard all money collected immediately and do not send money to school with girls.
  • Submit payments to the troop in their original form within five to seven days of receipt. If a customer pays $20 in cash, the same $20 must be given to the troop cookie manager. Do not write a check to the troop or use a third-party app like Venmo to send $20 to the troop.
  • Not accept payment from a customer using personal credit card readers or any third-party apps like Venmo, Paypal, or Zelle.
  • Not deposit any funds into personal bank accounts (this includes using personal credit card readers); cookie funds deposited in personal accounts can be viewed as taxable income by the IRS.

COVID-19 consideration: Each troop has its own policies for money and package drop-offs, pick-ups, and exchanges. Connect with your troop cookie manger to see if families can make troop bank deposits directly, or if they’ve chosen to give caregivers access to pick up cookies at cupboards (access must be given by troop cookie manager only).

 

Service Unit Cookie Kickoffs

Start the cookie season off at a service unit cookie kickoff! These virtual celebrations are a great way to kick off the cookie program. Through different activities, girls will get excited about the cookie program and learn how to develop the 5 Skills essential to leadership, success, and life: goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.


Little Brownie Baker photoshoot

Check out photos from our Little Brownie Bakers 2018 marketing campaign photoshoot.

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