Cookie Inventory Delay Update, 5 Ways to Sell with Low Inventory, Transfers & Finances, Smart Booth Divider, Helpful Reports, Contactless Cookie Payment Option from Families, Troop Ship Only Link, Troop Toast-Yay Tuesday, Cookie Swap, Cub Booths, Cupboard Error Reports, Rally Kit Returns.
In this edition:
- Cookie Inventory Delay & Sale Extension
- 5 Ways to Sell with Low or No Inventory On-Hand
- Cookie Transfers & Finances
- Smart Booth Divider
- Helpful Smart Cookies Reports
- Troop Toast-YAY Tuesday, March 1
- Cookie Swap
- Cookie Booths at Cub
- Cookie Cupboard Error Reports
- Forward to Families
For Service Unit Cookie Managers:
Cookie Inventory Delay & Sale Extension
Our staff learned Wednesday late afternoon that the restock delivery we expected to receive today and tomorrow has been delayed until Tuesday, March 1. The delay is caused by an issue at the baker’s distribution center, not by bakery production. There is no shortage of cookies, we just need to get them here!
This weekend, February 25-27, Council Cupboards in the metro area, Rochester, and Mankato will have low or no inventory of some varieties and will be open until all inventory is exhausted. Regional cupboards are not affected. Be sure to check cupboard inventory updates before visiting a cupboard as inventory may be low or exhausted. Select your cupboard location’s icon on the map to open additional information including the cupboard addresses, operating dates & hours, drive-up directions, and links to the cupboard appointment forms. At this time, we expect to receive our restock orders on March 1 and that we can expect a normal cupboard experience next Wednesday-Sunday.
We realize that for some troops this delay in inventory may disrupt your weekend plans. To provide additional time for girls to meet their goals, we will extend the end of the sale by one weekend. The new end date will be April 3. The following key dates have been updated to coincide with the extension of the Cookie Program. These dates will be updated on Cookie Central soon.
|Cookie Sale Ends||April 3|
|Troop reward order due in Smart Cookies||April 8|
|Service unit reward order due in Smart Cookies||April 10|
|Final ACH withdrawal from troop account||May 4|
|Girl rewards ship to service units||Week of May 23|
Note: The first ACH withdrawal from the troop bank account will still occur on March 18.
If you have inventory to cover booths, definitely go ahead with your plans! You don’t need all cookie varieties to hold a booth. In fact, the top four cookie varieties make up nearly 70% of cookies sold each year. If you do not have enough inventory for your booth, please drop the booth and contact us. We will do our best to help you find a replacement opportunity. We are working with our council-secured booth partners to create additional opportunities for the weekend of April 2-3, if possible. If you would like to schedule troop-secured booths through April 3, please do so.
Other Cookie Cupboard Notes
For troops that use a Regional Cookie Cupboard, planned orders are due by 8:00 am on Monday, February 28. You can edit your planned order until this deadline. View the instructions in the Smart Cookies Guide for Volunteers under the planned orders section.
The Council Express Cupboards in Maplewood and Burnsville will be closed for the season after Friday, February 25. These cupboards are near an On Demand, By Appointment cupboard location for troops to pick up additional inventory. The Council Express Cupboard in Eden Prairie will remain open for the next two weeks. Planned Orders for the Eden Prairie Express Cupboard are due by 8:00 am on Monday, February 28.
Reminder: All volunteers/adults picking up cookies at a Council Cupboard location must wear a face mask. If another adult is picking up cookies on your behalf, you must make them aware of this requirement.
5 Ways to Sell Cookies with Low or No Inventory On-Hand
Your Girl Scouts can still get closer to their goals during this time. Check out these options for selling as your troop awaits replenishing your cookie inventory:
- Take orders ahead of delivery, just like many Girl Scouts did “back in the day.” Relish in the tradition of taking orders and coming back later to deliver their cookies. The best part about this: You get to see your friends, family, and neighbors twice instead of once!
- Hold a virtual booth event, with a pickup scheduled for next week. Help pave the way for the future of cookie selling by holding a live event on social media, or a text campaign with a link for your customers to order. Schedule an event for a week or two out to have everyone come pick up their cookies. Watch a helpful video on how to set it up in Smart Cookies.
- Reach out to businesses for a business-to-business (B2B) sale, offering to deliver their order later in the program. This can be a great way to make a large sale even without the cookies on-hand.
- Sell cookies for direct ship. Share your troop’s or girl’s direct ship link anywhere and everywhere. This is easy and low effort for you!
- Reach out to your adults’ coworkers to complete your workplace sales. Schedule a day in the future to bring all the orders in once you are re-stocked.
Cookie Transfers & Finances
Now that the sale is in full swing, it’s time to transfer cookies to Girl Scouts in Smart Cookies. Girl Scouts only receive credit towards their rewards for cookies that are transferred to them. Check out the Cookie Transfers section of the Smart Cookies Guide for detailed instructions on how to transfer cookies in Smart Cookies.
- Troop to Girl (T2G): If you are crediting a Girl Scout with cookie sales (This transfer is commonly referred to as “allocating packages to girls.”)
- Girl-to-Troop (G2T): If a girl is returning cookies to the troop inventory
- Troop-to-Troop (T2T): If you are transferring cookies to another troop
Girl Scouts and families will start to turn in money to you from their sales. Keep track of money turned in from each Girl Scout in Smart Cookies.
- Select Manage Financial Transactions from the Finances tab.
- Select Girl Transactions
- Scroll to the bottom of the page to Add Girl Transaction and follow the prompts.
Once the families have received their initial cookie order, you must collect at least 50% of the money due before releasing more cookies to them. We have approved the following contactless payment options for troops to use when collecting money owed from families for sold cookies: Venmo, PayPal Friends & Family, and Cash App. Our How Cookie Money Works article walks you through a timeline and tips for handling money. Remember to deposit any cookie money weekly in your troop bank account. Use the Troop Finance Tracker, an Excel spreadsheet, or Google Doc to track your cookie deposits. Remember to keep all deposit tickets in your troop files through December 31, 2022.
Smart Booth Divider
The Smart Booth Divider is an easy way to distribute credit for booth packages sold to multiple Girl Scouts quickly and evenly. Keep a tally of the packages sold and money collected on your Cookie Booth Tally Sheet.
Note: Girl Scouts are not financially responsible for packages sold through the Smart Booth Divider, but they will get credit towards their rewards. The Smart Cookies Guide has your step-by-step instructions along with handy videos. Track the deposits of booth money using your preferred tracking option.
Helpful Smart Cookies Reports
The Reports tab in Smart Cookies features a collection of helpful reports. Some of your soon-to-be favorites include:
- Troop On-Hand Inventory Report: Tells you the total amount of cookies that are in your troop’s inventory that have not been allocated to girls.
- Girl Cookie Totals Summary Report: Tells you how much inventory Girl Scouts have been allocated or sold so far in the sale.
- Troop Balance Summary Report: Tells you how much inventory has been allocated to the troop, how much money has been collected in total by Girl Scouts, and the troop per-girl average (PGA).
- Girl Balance Summary: Tells you how many cookies each Girl Scout sold both individually and at cookie booths. You can also see how much money each Girl Scout still owes the troop. Girls are not financially responsible for cookies sold at booths, so this report will only see how much money each girl owes to the troop from her individual sales.
Contactless Cookie Payment Options from Families: Tax Law Update
Under new tax laws, effective January 1, 2022, payment apps such as Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal (referred to as payment applications) are required to send IRS Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third-Party Network Transactions, for payments received of $600 or more for goods or services during the calendar year. This only applies to payments received for sales of goods and services and DOES NOT apply to friends and family payments.
How does this impact our Girl Scout troop?
It shouldn’t. The above payment applications listed above were approved to transfer money between families and the troop. The approval did not include using Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal Friends & Family to collect money from customers for cookie purchases. Please share this information with all your participating families.
If you chose to use one of the above payment applications to collect money from families, please have families indicate “reimbursements” in the Girl Scout-related transaction description and keep separate records to verify these amounts, should you be issued a 1099-K.
Troops and families should use Smart Cookies if they wish to accept credit cards as payment for cookies. Credit card payments can be accepted on any laptop or mobile device with internet connectivity. Training video’s on taking credit card payments for girl orders or at cookie booths are available under the Safety and Training section of Smart Cookies.
Benefits of Using Smart Cookies for Processing Credit Card Payments
- Girl Scouts River Valleys covers all Smart Cookies credit card processing fees (other payment applications charge a transaction fee and percentage of the total sales).
- No money handling or depositing of money is required.
- The girl and troop’s financials and packages sold are automatically updated in Smart Cookies.
- This also provides protection to the troop if a transaction is disputed by the customer.
Cookie Cupboard Error Reports
If you picked up cookies from a cupboard and noticed an error between the transaction in Smart Cookies and the number of cases or packages you physically received, you can report the error using the Cookie Cupboard Error Report Form. Please allow up to three business days for the transaction to be corrected in Smart Cookies.
Troop Ship Only Link
Each troop has a Troop Ship Only Link for direct-ship only sales. You’ll find this link in Smart Cookies.
- Select Troop Information from the My Troop tab.
- Scroll down to find the Troop Ship Only Link.
This link can be used to invite customers to place direct-ship orders through social media, email, or text. You can also use the link for creating a QR code to place on a poster at a business that wants to support your troop but may not be able to host a cookie booth.
Note: If you click on Print Handout, a QR code and a tiny URL (that’s a shorter version of the web link) will be created for you to also share with customers.
You can view any sales from this link that are credited to your troop in Smart Cookies by selecting Troop Direct Ship Orders from the Orders tab. If your troop receives sales through the Girl Scout Cookie Finder, they will also appear in this location. We’ll provide you with the details on how to distribute these sales in a future post.
Troop Toast-YAY Tuesday, March 1
The next Troop Toast-YAY Tuesday session in Zoom will be held on March 1 from 7:00 – 7:45 pm. In this finance-focused session, we’ll be joined by our Troop Finance Specialist, Becky Rettler, who will guide you through how to deal with cookie money. Register before noon on February 28 and we’ll email you the link to the Zoom session.
The Girl Scouts River Valleys Cookie Swap is open and is a great resource to connect troops that need cookies with troops that have extra cookies. It’s especially helpful on days the cookie cupboards are not open. You’ll need the invitation code
Cookies2022 for setting up your account. Check out the Cookie Swap Instructions for more details.
Cookie Booths at Cub
There has been some inconsistency with the location of Cub cookie booths. Many managers have enjoyed having us inside their store for many years and didn’t realize the location had changed. You should be prepared for your Cub cookie booth to be outside. If you arrive at an inside booth, you may ask the manager to please move outside.
Forward to Families
Here’s the latest information to copy and paste, then forward to the families in your troop:
- A reminder that all Girl Scouts must be at least 50% paid for your current cookie inventory before we are able to provide additional cookies.
- Take on new adventures with your Girl Scout’s cookie sales this year with the Cookie Adventure Bingo patch program and earn a special patch for playing along!
Cookie Rally Reward Kit Returns
If a cookie reward sample kit was part of your cookie rally order, this is your friendly reminder to return your sample kit Please return the reward kit by mail to:
Girl Scouts River Valleys
5601 Brooklyn Blvd
Brooklyn Center, MN, 55429
Remember to include a note with your name and your Service Unit name or number. The deadline to return these kits is March 1.
Assisting Troops with Smart Cookies
Now that troops have cookies and are completing transfers in Smart Cookies, volunteers (especially new volunteers) may need your expert support. Share your tips and tricks for navigating the system and point them towards helpful resources including The Smart Cookies Guide for Families, Smart Cookies Guide for Volunteers, training videos in the Smart Cookies Safety & Training tab, and the just-in-time reminders in The Cookie Press. You can even hold Smart Cookies “office hours” in Zoom where troops can drop in with their questions.