A message to our generous donors:
Girl Scouts of Colorado takes very seriously its role as a fiscally responsible steward of a budget dedicated to our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. We are proud that we consistently spend more on programs and activities for girls (84%) and less on management and fundraising (17%) than many other non-profit organizations.
We are working to lower our ratio of fundraising expenses to contributions as we continue to build a high-capacity statewide organization following our merger of previously independent Girl Scout councils throughout Colorado. In 2007, we brought together five Girl Scout councils and eight counties that were being served by other states. We had more than five organizational structures, systems and cultures to realign into one high-capacity statewide council. As part of this initiative, our resource development department has invested in statewide staffing to focus on much more than fund raising.
The resource development team has held as top priorities building community relationships, local visibility, volunteer recruitment and bringing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to more girls in every community of the state. As we work to make effective use of our resources and strengthen our statewide infrastructure and outreach, the resource development staff will shift more emphasis to fund raising to increase our contributions and lower this ratio.
One of our ongoing challenges is that when people buy Girl Scout cookies, they feel they are making their contribution to Girl Scouts. These contributions underwrite only a portion of what it costs to provide a girl with the full Girl Scout experience. Therefore, while cookie purchasers are supporting our organization and receiving a quality product at a fair price, the cookie sale purchase makes fund raising to provide the balance of what we need to serve the girls a challenge for all Girl Scout councils.
We continue to make significant investments in serving a growing membership of over 30,000 girls statewide. We unveiled a new leadership development program for our girls, and we increased the number of grants we provide so girls in need can go to camp and earn badges. We’ve developed statewide technology solutions that will now start paying off in an experience that is easy, meaningful and fun for girls and volunteers around Colorado. We have developed cutting-edge programs that serve the needs of girls today to supplement our traditional bedrock programming of cookie sales, camping and crafts. Today’s girls acquire financial literacy and leadership skills while learning how to resist negative social behaviors such as bullying.
Our donors can be assured that we are true Girl Scouts and we use Girl Scout resources wisely.
Stephanie A. Foote
President and CEO
According to GuideStar, a leading voice on evaluating non-profit giving, “GuideStar advises that ratios are helpful:
• When you are comparing organizations of similar size and age, that are located in the same area or similar locales, and that have similar missions and programs.
• When you are tracking an individual nonprofit's progress over time.
Without this contextual information, we believe that ratios can be misleading and even destructive.
Even in these situations, we urge caution in using ratios. Accounting practices among nonprofits vary widely, so that what appear to be discrepancies in the ratios for different organizations might merely reflect divergent accounting methods.
Special circumstances can also affect a nonprofit's ratios.”