Our volunteers are a critical component to the success of our programs. As a volunteer, you are an ambassador for Girl Scouts – representing GSNorCal every time you enthusiastically share your volunteer experience with others. We already know you’re passionate about the Girl Scouts mission, otherwise you wouldn’t be spending your time helping us build girl leaders. And your time is valuable – truly priceless, so if you’re looking to take your volunteering to the next level, here are three ways you can maximize your impact with little to no additional time on your part:
1. Ask your employer if they offer dollars for hours, or will donate to your charity of choice
Many companies will offer “Dollars for Doers”, “Good Cards” programs, or something similar. Basically, these are programs where corporations encourage their employees to volunteer in the communities where they live and work. Sometimes there is a minimum number of hours you have to volunteer or you have to volunteer regularly to be eligible. To find out if your company offers this, inquire with your Human Resources department. Here is a just a short list of many companies who offer this kind of financial support.
2. Your story has power, so share it
This is where being a Girl Scout representative really comes into play. By sharing your volunteer experience with those in your network, your impact grows exponentially.
- You may end up talking with someone who wants to make a donation to Girl Scouts because they were inspired by your story. Well, that’s perfect! Have them visit www.gsnorcal.org/donate.
- You may connect with someone who also wants to volunteer. Quality role models are always in demand for Girl Scouts! If someone you know wants to become a volunteer, have them visit: http://www.gsnorcal.org/en/join-us/become-a-volunteer.html. There’s something for every kind of volunteer at Girl Scouts.
- By sharing your experience with others, especially your co-workers, you might be able to organize a volunteer work day for your company. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you and your colleagues could spend a weekend getting one of our camp properties ready for girls?
Psst–If you already have a group of volunteers in mind, contact our Property Development Director, Priscilla McKenny, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Or, if your company wants to engage on an ongoing basis with girls in our afterschool STEM programs, contact our Program Director, Brenda Gabel at email@example.com.
3. Be a champion in your company to help Girl Scouts get a sponsored grant
Our grants team works hard to identify funders who can support Girl Scout programs and activities, and sometimes we need a champion in the company who can sponsor our application and help open the doors. If you work for a company that provides grants to nonprofit organizations, let us know! More often than not, you don’t even have to be an executive or a supervisor to be our champion.
And just one more thing – being an ambassador also means that you have your 30 second elevator speech about Girl Scouts down pat. Practice it so you are comfortable and it becomes second nature. A good elevator speech showcases what’s unique about Girl Scouts, uses active language, and leaves your listener wanting to know more. This is also a great activity to help your troop prepare for cookie season! Your pitch might sound something like this:
“Hi, my name is ____ and I volunteer for the Girl Scouts of Northern California. I’m so excited about the work we do to build girl leaders who are confident and courageous and who make the world a better place, starting in their troops and their communities. Did you know many troops use the funds they raise through cookie sales to support once in a lifetime travel adventures or even to fund a service project in their community? [Feel free to plug in your own story or experience you are passionate about here, but keep it short, sweet, and to the point!] Being a Girl Scout volunteer has been such a rewarding experience, and one that has helped me grow my strengths, passions, and talents as well!”
Whether you just started as a volunteer or you have been volunteering for 10 years, whether you work directly with girls or serve a more background support role, you make an impact on girls every day and for that we are forever grateful. Now I challenge you to take your volunteering to the next level. Are you up for it? Go out and be amazing volunteers and powerful Girl Scout Ambassadors!
Samantha Seals-Martin—Samantha is the Director of Annual Giving for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she spends her days raising funds to support Girl Scouts programs and services. When she’s not thinking of creative ways to make donors feel engaged and appreciated, you will probably find her enjoying local trails with her family, taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Bay Area, or relaxing with a good book. Samantha says the best part about working for Girl Scouts is that “everyone really does embody the mission of building girls (and women) of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place!”