God Bless Our Troops

Mar 13, 2024

I was a Brownie long before I became a Brown. I was in 3rd grade when I joined the Girl Scout Brownie Troop. I remember it well because 3rd grade was when I had Mrs. Hall. She was a hoot. It was also the year my friend, Lee, gave me a core memory.

But before I tell you this tale, promise me that you’ll remember that I was in 3rd grade a loooooong time ago—things were different way back then. Like really different! You see, Lee was a tattletale. Of course, none of the kids liked that one fact about Lee, but Mrs. Hall really didn’t like it. She was there to teach, not referee. So, she did what any creative elementary school teacher in the ‘70s might have done; she crafted an original, long-term (and long) solution. She knitted a tail.

Tiger Tail Illustration 11662490 PNG

Mrs. Hall literally took some of her own time and money and knitted a tattle tail. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. One day she came to school, waited for Lee to tattle, and unveiled a 2-foot-long tail. The class fell into a hushed silence as it was revealed. Then she pulled out a safety pin and pinned it to the back of his jeans. Giggles galore! He became the official mascot for minding your own business. It was like The Scarlet Letter, 3rd grade edition.

The directions were clear. She said if Lee didn’t tattle for an hour, he could remove it. But if he tattled again, she’d keep pinning the tail on his Sears, Robuck and Co. Toughskins until he learned his lesson. Clearly, Lee learned a lot about tattling that year. But we all did. That rumor spread like wildfire from class to class and all the way down the elementary corridor. A 2-foot-long tale existed…in our school. There was every reason to believe that if Lee didn’t need the tail any longer that Mrs. Hall would readily lend it to any teacher that might need it. Problem solved in all of Westview Elementary School. No one wanted to wear the tattletale tail.

Vintage mujeres 1970 Sears Roebuck Co Toughskins Perma-Prest | Etsy

And just so you know, while this may or may not be a core memory for Lee, too, it clearly didn’t traumatize him. He was a happy-go-lucky kid that later became a happy-go-lucky elementary school teacher and he’s really great at it! I run into him all the time and adore his wife! But the moral of the story here is that word of mouth is powerful.

And that, friends, is also how Girl Scout Cookies are sold. Word of mouth will get you text messages telling you that they’re selling cookies in the lobby of Texas Roadhouse until 8 tonight. Word of mouth is why you see Facebook alerts letting you know that there’s a table of colorful confections set up inside of Lowe’s Home Improvement. Word of mouth is why your family group text blows up when someone located an adorable Girl Scout inside the grocery store and they’re willing to pick up cookies for anyone who texts back. Word. Of. Mouth. Is. Powerful.

Best Girl Scout Cookie Memes 2024 To Sell Cookies With

Only word of mouth advertising this influential would so successfully end New Year’s Resolutions all in the name of philanthropy. Word of mouth is what has me wearing long sleeves in March and eating long sleeves of Samoas at the same time. It’s formidable.

So, what are you doing to create word of mouth buzz about your mission? Albeit it’s tough to complete with professional Girl Scouts in their pressed uniforms slinging sleeves of sugary delights—but it’s not impossible.

For every project, program, fund, or grant you have there’s a story. And when you tell that story, it gets repeated. And that repetition creates a wave. Suddenly, your Board Member or best donor retell that story at a dinner party or a wedding reception. That’s right, they’re talking about you! And when your story gets retold from someone besides you-that’s remarkable.

The Power of Word of Mouth | BYK Digital Marketing

But no stories are retold if you don’t tell the original story to begin with. I’d start this way:

  1. Don’t let your Board get bored. At every Board Meeting you have, tell your volunteers a story that powerfully shows how your mission is vital and the work you do is impactful. Then challenge them to tell two other people before the next meeting as a way to show them why they serve such a vital organization.
  2. Use your social media to tell your stories. Sure, sometimes you might have to change names to maintain privacy, but that’s ok. Then, ask them to hit the Share button if they support the work you do.
  3. Write a blog like I do. I write this blog, of course, but I also write a monthly blog for my CoFo. This is a great place to talk about what you do and highlight it with an exceptional story. When you can connect a story with a fund you have or a grant you made or received, both the problem and solution are revealed—it’s magic.
  4. Layer your communication methods. Take the same story and do all three things above. When people start to hear a story more than once, they remember it. If they remember it, they can re-tell it, too.

The ONLY Four Things That Matter When You Sell Your Home - Charlton ...

The idea here is that you’re creating a secondary marketing department. Before you know it, you’re not the only one broadcasting how important your work is. And since your donors all have varied circles of influence, the more circles hearing the story from someone they trust, the better.

So, unlike Mrs. Hall, we’re trying to create tattletales—philanthropic tattlers. We love it when we hear others telling our fabulous game-changing stories. But you must intentionally put those stories out there. If Lee had never heard a tale, he would never have tattled. If I hadn’t gotten a text, I wouldn’t have known to take the bypass home just to support my local Girl Scouts. There’s nothing wrong with some good old-fashioned charitable chatter. In fact, we could use a little more if it. After all, it’s working for the Girl Scouts. God bless our troops.

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,

[email protected]
dawn brown creative, llc. 

P.S. Fundraising is hard, even though you make it look
oh-so easy! ♥

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