Mackenzie Scott Donates Over $85 Million To The Girl Scouts

The 110-year-old organization, Girl Scouts of the USA, announced Tuesday that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott gave $84.5 million to it and 29 of its local branches, calling it a vote of confidence.

In an interview, the CEO of GSUSA, Sofia Chang, stated that “her support of our organization means honestly just as much as the donation.”

Since the Girl Scouts were established in 1912, this is the most significant individual gift they have gotten, according to the spokesperson. The money will assist the group in overcoming the pandemic’s adverse effects, which resulted in a decline in membership.

The Girl Scouts want to make their units more accessible by providing assistance for volunteers and staff, improving science and technology education for young members, making camp facilities more resilient to the effects of climate change, and developing diversity and inclusion programs.

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According to CEO Kristen Garcia-Hernandez, the Southern Arizona Girl Scout council chose to spend the $1.4 million Scott gave it to enhance the work they are already doing rather than launch a new program or initiative.

“Since we are a small council, we are not located in a significant metropolitan area. Therefore, for us, presents of this scale don’t happen very frequently, “said Garcia-Hernandez.

The donation expedites their goal of hiring more personnel to give programming all year long and get to the majority of locations in the seven counties they serve in under one hour.

Mackenzie Scott
Mackenzie Scott

The council will also finish converting a van into a mobile science and technology classroom, a project they’ve been trying to fund for a year and a half. She claimed that many local supporters believe the Girl Scouts’ cookie sales will cover their expenses.

While the cookie program helps to maintain us and is excellent because the girls are involved, Garcia-Hernandez said, “we need more from the community.”

According to a study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, less than 2% of donations are made to organizations that explicitly support women and girls. The institute discovered that the proportion did not change considerably between the study’s tracking years of 2012 and 2019.

According to Tessa Skidmore, a research associate at the institute, significant donations from female philanthropists like Melinda French Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, and Scott may serve as an example for other donors.

These are the kinds of things. She continued, “that may change that figure.”

The institute collaborated with Pivotal Ventures, the investment company formed by French Gates, and other organizations to promote giving to women and girls on October 11, which is designated International Day of the Girl.

In addition, it disseminates its giving information with the aim that contributors or scholars may utilize it as one method of assessing the gender equity of donations.

Scott doesn’t talk much about her donating, reaching $12 billion since 2019. Although her gifts have focused on racial fairness, she has made sizable, unrestricted grants to various diverse organizations.

Scott also gave a record-breaking $275 million donation to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates this year.

Dan Jewett, Scott’s second spouse, whose biography was similarly taken down from the website of The Giving Pledge, a nonprofit that pushes millionaires to give more than half their fortune away in their lifetimes, was the subject of a divorce petition that was filed in September.

Last year, the ex-couple announced on the website that they intended to donate Scott’s riches, mainly from her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to charity.

The Girl Scouts’ membership among young people declined precipitously during the pandemic, falling by over 30% from roughly 1.4 million in 2019–2020 to slightly over 1 million in 2021–2022.

Despite acknowledging the decline, Chang argued that the organization’s activities constantly assist girls in gaining confidence and tackling issues in their local community.

Because troops couldn’t interact in person during the pandemic, Chang said, “our traditional approach of helping girls was completely upended.” Therefore, to rebuild more potent than we ever had, we are listening to our Girl Scouts, their families, and our volunteers to guarantee that what comes next for us is genuinely effective at this moment.

Last Lines

MacKenzie Scott donated to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 local chapters. The donation is the greatest from a single individual in GSUSA’s history. The 52-year-old divorced Seattle teacher Dan Jewett weeks before.

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