Girl Scouts of the USA announced that MacKenzie Scott donated $84.5 million—their largest gift ever from one person. The generous grant will help make up for the absence of funds raised from cookie sales and membership during the pandemic. The donation, awarded to GSUSA and 29 local councils including $4.2 million to the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys and $4.9 million to Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles.
The donation will accelerate GSUSA’s initiatives that give girls the tools to become the next generation of powerful women leaders. The group says the grant will also foster an expanded focus on career readiness and mental wellness. The money will also bolster staff and volunteer training and future-proof its facilities, including the iconic Girl Scout camp properties, including expanding both accessibility and high adventure elements at camp.
“We are so appreciative of MacKenzie Scott’s gift to Girl Scouts. This is a great accelerator for our ongoing efforts to help girls cultivate the skills and connections needed to lead in their own communities and globally,” said Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sofia Chang. “The support from all our donors, including this generous donation from Ms. Scott, is critical in delivering on our work of reimagination and transformation. We’re excited to prove how Ms. Scott’s investment in girls will change the world—because when one girl succeeds, we all succeed.”
Since the pandemic began, the youth organization’s membership has dropped by 30%: It was a little more than 1 million in 2021-2022, down from roughly 1.4 million in 2019-2020, according to figures the group released last year. Philanthropic contributions are increasingly important, as many people incorrectly assume the Girl Scouts raise enough money to fund itself from cookie sales alone but the organization says the majority of those proceeds stays with local councils and troops.