The Girl Scouts of Central Indiana are, in a sense, reinventing themselves, with a new “community-centric” business model, placing its staff in remote, coworking locations around the state instead of the organization’s headquarters on the west side of Indianapolis.
The two dozen coworking spaces are part of a network that spawned from the success of the Launch Fishers coworking space and the state’s emerging technology ecosystem.
The youth organization says the move to remote locations will say more than $300,000 annually, which can be reinvested into programming and services across its 45-county footprint.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana Chief Executive Officer Danielle Shockey explained one of the reasons for the change.
“We serve 45 central Indiana counties, which is around 21,000 Girl Scouts and 10,000 volunteers. That’s a lot of square footage to cover as well as miles and urban and rural locations,” said Shockey.
Shockey says the organization has seven facilities, including retail locations, located in standalone buildings and strip malls.
As the organization analyzed the facility-use over the past year, it determined the number of customers who were utilizing those spaces was very low.
“And our membership didn’t only live in those seven communities,” said Shockey. The organization plans to close the under-performing locations while opening 120 pop-up shops to better serve its membership.
While the organization reduces the brick and mortar locations, it will utilize co-working spaces, such as Launch Fishers.
John Wechsler, who founded Launch Fishers and the Indiana IoT lab if Fishers, says the move will also help the organization to be on the cutting edge of innovative thinking.
“It’s going to bring them much closer to those they serve. But also, it will cross-pollinate them with the innovation and entrepreneurship communities in every location around the state,” said Wechsler. “When you look at the excitement that I see building in the many locations that will be hosting the Girl Scouts in their communities, you’re going to have opportunities to partner up on guest speakers and in workshops and all sorts of entrepreneurial and innovative programming opportunities.”