The Girl Scout Model
Posted February 21, 2012on:
One of the ideas we have been exploring is incorporating aspects of the girl scout model into our business plan. This year is the 100th year that the girl scouts organization has been around, and, since its inception, there have been 50 million girl scouts.
Girls seem to be really excited about earning merit badges and using them to compare where they are to where their friends are. When we visited the Children’s Creativity Museum, even though the girls were not that excited by the badges in the beginning, by the end they were begging us for the badges and very excited that they had leveled up to be a “STEM Star” despite there being no actual value in being a “STEM Star” besides leveling up.
What we have found over the course of testing is that girls have a great time building our cars when there are other girls around and/or when Alice, Bettina, Miguel, or I are around to help them. This is a key part of the Girl Scouts model in which they focus on community.
Girl Scouts are funded by a small fee from each scout. Past this they make money from donations. Additionally, the girls raise money for their own troop by having cookie sales. Having a small fee to participate and then charging for other things, kits, badges, etc is an interesting model to consider.
The girl scouts are a very highly structured organization. There is a national council with 109 regional councils. Each regional council is divided into several service units aka neighborhoods and each of those has several troops. In 2004, Girl Scouts of the USA hired Professor Willie Pietersen, an instructor at Columbia Business School, to use his expertise in business metrics “to help Girl Scouts develop a strategy to ensure our future success and growth.”1