Whether it’s a walk-a-thon, Girl Scout cookies, gala tickets, silent auctions, or sub sandwiches, it always seems to be “that time of year” for the important causes in our lives and families.
If you’re collecting donations, pledges, RSVP’s or volunteer commitments, however, there’s no question that SMS is the modern way to do it. But it’s unwieldy—and noisy—to do on your personal phone line.
Here’s one way to automate fundraising and sales efforts—use a smart phone number app like Burner to build an automated order line. Not only can a 5-minute setup help make fundraising fun again, but you’ll be able reach a whole new audience online, automate some repetitive tasks…and maybe even have some techno-fun in the process.
Automate Sales with Burner’s Smart Phone Number Platform
When we say an automated order line, we mean a smart phone number with autoresponders and direct integrations to popular apps like Google Sheets.
This simple setup with help you move beyond a simply “autoresponder” into something more intelligent and useful. With a few tweaks, this can quickly become a new direct sales channel that works even when you’re not.
Burner’s smart phone number platform has been designed to make it easy to create your own order line. Using the Burner app, you can:
- Create a new disposable phone number that conceals your personal number
- Set up simple autoresponder text messages
- Customize your voicemail greeting, notifications, and other settings (so you can unplug or be very involved, depending on your preference)
- Integrate with apps like Google Sheets, Slack, Dropbox, etc.
- Manage everything right from your smartphone
The Girl Scout Cookie Line
To illustrate this example, we’re going to show you how one of our founders used Burner to help his daughter succeed in one of the most popular fundraising movements in the country: Girl Scout Cookie sales.
Selling the nearly irresistible Girl Scout Cookies is one of the primary methods that local Girl Scout Troops use to raise funds for their activities, while also providing a great opportunity to teach girls about business, goal setting, ethics, and more. Traditionally, cookie season means Scouts go door to door, relying on Thin Mint-vs.-Samoa rivalries and the hankerings of their parents, friends, and neighbors, or set up tables in front of the local grocery store. The visit to Mom or Dad’s office with a well-rehearsed spiel and an order form in hand is also a time-tested tactic.
Girl Scout cookies being no more immune to change than anything else, the digital realm is now part of the playing field for modern young entrepreneurs, too. And what better way to reach friends, aunts, and uncles—while teaching tomorrow’s CEOs about marketing and technology—than by SMS?
Of course you could use your parental cell phone, but Burner enables girls make their own custom phone lines that will maintain their privacy (an important concern for any kid) and help them gather and organize incoming orders using tools like text auto-replies and integrations with Google Sheets.
More tools and more methods mean more sales, and that will lead to more funds for the Troop.
Here’s how it works.
How to Create a Simple Automated Ordering Line
With a few easy steps, you too can have your very own automated Girl Scout Cookie Line to take requests or reservations for cookie sales. Note that with a few tweaks this can also be used for school fundraisers (kids selling coupon books or wrapping paper), or direct sales of any kind.
When it’s set up, you simply post the number online to reach a larger audience, take requests from a phone or computer, and delete the number when you’re done—all the while protecting your privacy and personal phone number.
Here’s the process:
- Create a Burner line
- Name it “Cookie Line 🍪” or something else that you’ll remember
- Set up an auto-reply for texts that shows what inventory you currently have on hand
- Connect Google Sheets to collect all the requests and keep them in one place
- (Optional) Connect Slack so you can reply from the desktop computer.
- Post the number to Facebook, Twitter, or directly message it to your friends
Once the reservations/requests start rolling in, simply show up with cookies and make the sale. This is a great time-saver because you can schedule the sales, and find people with real intent to buy rather than knocking on doors and crossing your fingers, or waiting outside department stores in the hot sun all day long.
As a parent, you’ll be happy because it’s more efficient. As a Girl Scout, you’ll be happy because it will lead to more sales.
With Burner, you can create as many automated order lines as you need, for any venture. Whether you’re selling clients, dictionaries, or girl scout cookies, this method could help expand your sales efforts into new territories.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. Put the technology to work for you, and you’ll leapfrog ahead of the competition.
Good luck with the fundraiser!