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By Maureen Graham

THANK YOU to all who are helping girls to reach their goals by running their very own cookie business.  Cupboard managers, community product sales managers, troop leaders, other volunteers, parents, and most especially cookie eaters all play an important role in helping girls learn and succeed have fun. Thanks again for all you do!

 

March ACH Debit

What is an ACH debit? It is a financial transaction where funds are electronically withdrawn from a bank account.  We have three ACH debits scheduled to occur during the 2015 Cookie Sale where we plan to withdraw funds electronically from troop bank accounts:

 

- Due March 4: 45% of initial order (or 45% of packages owned by February 17, if no initial order was placed.) March 4 ACH calculations include quantities of Initial order gluten free.  We added initial order packages for the traditional and gluten free cookies; figured amount due to council (excluding the extra $1 for gluten free.)   Example: in packages 144 (in Snap) + 12 (gluten free) = 156 X 3.40 – $530.40 x .45 = $238.68 amount of March 4 ACH.

- Due March 25: 50% of remaining balance troop owes.

- Due April 8: Remaining balance due.  The extra $1.00 for Gluten Free will be collected on the final ACH.

 

If your troop is having trouble collecting the amount which will be withdrawn, please contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist no later than the Friday before the ACH debit is to occur.

 

Controlling Inventory

Need more cookies? Have too many cookies? Controlling cookie inventory can be tricky.  Remember, the goal is to get to a zero inventory for your troop and our council by the end of the sale.  We want all cookies to be sold because leftover packages that are owned by the troop or council still must be paid for. 

 

How can you help?  The obvious – sell cookies while the demand is there; so help girls to sell early and often.  Next, if you need more cookies, place a planned order in Snap by Sunday night at 10:00 p.m. for exactly what your troop needs for the following week.  Our council relies heavily each week on reports that show where planned orders need to be filled throughout the council.  This information helps us determine where cookies are needed and when. So if your troop does not place a planned order, your local cupboard may not have the cookies on hand that you need.  PLEASE, help us help you by placing a planned order in Snap each week that you need cookies.  Finally, if your troop has too many or the wrong kind of cookies – reach out!  Contact families in your troop, other community troops, your Community Product Sales Manager and your Cupboard Manager and let them know what you have too much of.  Transfer cookies between girls or troops wherever possible. Remember that unopened, factory sealed cases can be exchanged for another variety at cupboards where additional inventory is available.  Need more tips on preventing left over cookies? See page 30 of the Answer Book for Troop Product Sales Managers.

 

Gluten Free

For any troop who would like more gluten free Trios; we have product available!  Troops are now able to take Trios in either ½ case or full case quantities.  Please know that the no return policy still applies.  If your troop hasn’t tried the gluten free please consider taking a ½ case (6 packages).  We are hearing that customers are asking about Trios at many cookie booths.  Remember that your troop can earn regular troop proceeds of .60 (for the recognition plan) or .65 (for the cash plan) per package, and packages will also count towards girl recognitions.  Please contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist on how to get Trios for your troop. 

 

5 for 5 Program

We have had a great number of entries in the Buy 5 Packages Win 5 Cases promotion and hope it is helping girls to sell even more cookies.  We are aware that customers putting in their entries continue to get an error message.  While we are currently trying to fix this issue, please let customers know that their entry is still getting through and that they should ignore the message.  If customers are told in advance that they may get an error message when putting in their entry, but that we will still receive it, this would be helpful.  Thank you!

 

Also, to answer a common question we have been getting about the 5 for 5, yes, girls need to give customers a unique code for each five packages which are purchased in a single transaction.  So if a customer purchases ten packages, they will then receive two unique codes from the girl.  Hope this makes things clearer. 

 

Bling Your Booth! 

Plain is boring! We have seen a few blinged booths and they have looked fabulous.  There’s still time to Bling Your Booth and win!  Remember to take a photo of your cookie booth and upload to the GSUSA Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GirlScoutCookieProgram by April 30, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Your troop has the potential to win $500 cash! See the Winter 2014 Connections for additional details. Good luck!

By Maureen Graham

Buy 5 Boxes for a chance to WIN Girl Scout Cookies for a Year! 

Girls can sell more cookies all at once by sharing information about the Buy 5 Promotion with each of their customers and by inviting them to buy five packages for a chance to win five cases of Girl Scout Cookies!  Four winning entries will be selected, one winner from each of our four regions.  Each winner will receive 5 cases of their favorite Girl Scout Cookies – cookies for a year! 

1.       Customer purchases five packages of Girl Scout Cookies in a single transaction between February 14 and March 22. (All transactions qualify whether direct from a girl, at a booth sale, or through COCOdirect.) 

2.       Customer receives a code from the Girl Scout.

3.       Customer enters their information by March 25 by clicking on the Buy 5 Boxes icon on the Lakes and Pines home page.

4.       Four winning entries selected week of March 30; winners notified by April 6, 2015

So, as a troop leader, you’re wondering, “What is this mysterious code that my girls will be sharing with their customers?”  It’s simple.  Please use the following formula to create unique codes for each customer. Use your troop number, followed by the girl’s initials, followed by the customer number.  So, for example, if you are from Troop 45321, and Maggie Lemonade is the name of the girl who has three customers who each purchased five packages of Girl Scout Cookies, the codes she will distribute to them will be as follows:  Customer #1 – 45321ML1, Customer #2 – 45321ML2, Customer #3 – 45321ML3.  Have two girls with the same initials in your troop? No problem.  Just add their middle initial or another letter to distinguish the two, for example MEL or MML.   

 

A good way for your troop to prepare to implement this promotion would be to have business cards or slips of paper printed up with the website link, then a line for each girl to write her individual code – adding a 1, 2, 3, etc., at the end of her code for each customer that she has that purchases five packages.  Girls can give a slip to each customer that qualifies. 

 

Questions?  Contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist.   

 

Service Unit Finance Reports DUE February 15.

 

Just a friendly reminder that your Service Unit Financial Report is due to your Product Sales and Finance Specialist by February 15.  You can find the form here:  http://gslakesandpines.org/pages/FinanceForms.  The instructions are there as to how to use this writable form, otherwise you can print it out and fill it in before sending.  Thank you!

 

By Maureen Graham

·         REMEMBER: ~On your Honor~ Girls can begin taking cookie orders on Monday, February 9th.  No cookies will be available for delivery to customers until February 14thPlease be a sister to every Girl Scout by adhering to these dates and keeping it fair for all.  Thank you.

·         New Council Cookie Cupboard Locations:

DULUTH - 500 S 59th Ave West, Duluth

WAITE PARK - 230 2nd Ave S, Waite Park

Complete list of cookie cupboard locations coming soon.

·         Cookie Booth Updates:

Due to the Cub Foods Booth Sales agreement, booth sales will be allowed throughout the council beginning on February 19th instead of February 20thGo for it! :)

When entering booths in Snap, please do not enter your troop for the Cub Foods locations, as a Requested Cookie Booth.  These are part of the Cookie Booth Lottery.  Lottery details have been sent through Snap email to troops in areas which have the lottery. 

For troops in areas which are not part of the lottery or for booths not included in the lottery, please schedule cookie booths on your own.  Once you have your booths scheduled, please help us help your troop by entering all of your booths in Snap so we can upload them to the Cookie Finder.  This helps to drive additional customers to your booth sale. Remember, they won’t find you if they don’t know about your sale.

·         Cookie Delivery throughout the council begins February 9th.  Shipping schedules have been sent to Community Product Sales Managers.  For troops that placed an Initial Order, please be in touch with your Community Product Sales Manager to find out when your cookies will arrive. 

·         The Girl Upload is coming to Snap!  On February 9th we will upload girl data from our membership system into Snap.  This year we need for girls to be listed exactly the same in our membership system, Snap, and COCO.  The girl data must be in sync in these systems in order for girls who use COCOdirect to get credit for the cookies that they sell.   If you have not entered your girls into the system, please wait for the upload and then check to make sure that everything is correct.  If you have already entered your girl information, then please check Snap after the upload to make sure there are not duplicates. 

Girls should use their first and last names in COCO.  If the girl’s name in COCO is not aligned to her name in Snap, please have her change it to match what is in Snap.  See the troop Answer Book on page 12 for more details. If you have trouble or see any discrepancies in Snap, please let us know.

·         Gluten Free Cookies still available to qualifying troops.  If you are interested, please contact your Product Sales & Finance Specialist.  If after the sale starts you run out and need more, please let us know.They are available on a first come first serve basis.

·         Buy 5 Get 5 Promotion:  Your customer will qualify to have their name placed in a drawing if they purchase five packages of cookies in a single transaction.  We have just a few details to work out yet so that this promotion will run smoothly for all.  Please watch the blog for full details prior to the sale start date.  Thanks for your patience!

·        The USDA, Nutrition & Smart Snack Standards: Selling Girl Scout Cookies at School:  The USDA recently released a document regarding fundraisers at school of items which do not meet their Smart Snack Standards.  This, alas, does include Girl Scout cookies and they are specifically named in the document.  Please read on for more information. 

By Allison Hand

The Girl Scouts from Service Unit 28 would like to invite you to their annual cookie kick off! Join them for a fun filled evening where girls will learn about selling cookies, and goal setting. They will move from one station to the next, collecting cookie charms for their bracelet. The event is FREE to currently registered Girl Scouts and only $15 (registration fee) for new girls.  This is all happening on Friday February 6th, from 6:30 to 8:00pm.  The event will be held at St. Francis-Xavier School in Sartell.  For more information or to register, check out the flyer!

By Maureen Graham

Welcome!

·         We have a new Product Sales and Finance Specialist for Regions 1 & 2!  April Rasmussen is now officially on board and working at the Duluth office.  Please take a moment to welcome her. We are excited to have her here in time for the 2015 Cookie Sale!

Cookie Sale –

·         SNAP ARCHIVE REPORTS.  ABC is currently working to fix an issue with their Snap Archive Reports.  If you need to see a copy of your troop’s Initial Order Report from last year prior to placing this year’s initial order, please contact your Product Sales and Finance Specialist and we will get a copy to you.  Hopefully they will get this fixed quickly!

·         Cookie Cupboard Locations/Help Needed.  The council is currently looking to secure locations for council cookie cupboards in Duluth and Waite Park/St. Cloud.  If you are aware of the perfect location, let us know! We are also looking to hire temporary cookie cupboard employees at both council cupboard locations.  Flexible hours optional. Please contact Vickie Strobel (320-247-4568) if you can assist us with either a cupboard location or would like to apply to work during the cookie sale.  THANK YOU!

 Keep reading for more important Cookie Sale updates!




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Dreams to Reality

Plan to Join us at...
River's Edge Convention Center | St. Cloud, MN
March 12, 2015 | 5:30 - 8:30pm 

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Click logo above for more information and to purchase tickets!   



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