Running Lean Is Good, But It’s Not the Whole Story

Three Girl ScoutsWhile Girl Scouts River Valleys runs with low overhead costs (20.4% of budget compared to an industry average of 36.9%*), this statistic isn’t the best way to determine the council’s success.

Success should be evaluated by the girl who made lasting friendships in her troop when it was otherwise difficult for her to make social connections, or by the girl who was timid about her math abilities but decided to study engineering in college after completing robotics camp.

To evaluate River Valleys’ impact, you have to look to the girls. We are proud to bring Girl Scouts to more than 40,000 members each year, providing unique opportunities for girls to learn, build relationships and become confident young women.

Charity Navigator, GuideStar and BBB Wise Giving Alliance collectively released an open letter encouraging donors to evaluate nonprofits on overall impact rather than just overhead cost percentages when deciding whether to contribute. This letter marks a shift in the philanthropic community, but it supports a message that has always been at the heart of how River Valleys operates.

River Valleys is committed to being a good steward of every gift we receive from our partners. We will always invest in our girls. Providing an extraordinary Girl Scout experience for every girl requires a significant amount of resources and we will continue to maintain a healthy but impactful cost structure.