Girl Scouts Get $84.5 Million From MacKenzie Scott
More Scott Gifts Expected, Adding To Recent $205.5 Million

The MacKenzie Scott transformational gift donations continued with the announcement of a $84.5 million donation to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 local councils selected by Scott. It is not Scott’s largest donation, having given $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International and 84 of its U.S. affiliates this past March.

The gift, the largest from an individual in the organization’s 110-year history, will enable Girl Scouts to expand existing leadership, career and wellness programs for girls and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice initiatives in underserved communities, the organization said in a statement.

“We are so appreciative of MacKenzie Scott’s gift to Girl Scouts,” said CEO Sofia Chang. “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.”

Girl Scouts’ total revenue for fiscal year 2021 was $1.006 billion, of which about 13% ($133 million) was from public support and half ($509.5 million) from program and service fees, according to its federal Form 990 and financial statements.

The gift brings to more than $13 billion that Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has given away since she signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, according to calculations by The NonProfit Times. The pledge is a campaign to encourage billionaires to give away most of their wealth to charitable causes before or when they die.

“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,” said Chang.

The selection criteria for the 29 local councils receiving portions of Scott’s donation have not been shared with the national organization, which did not participate in determining the councils or dollar amounts they received, said a Girl Scouts spokesperson. Traditionally, however, Scott’s donations have tended to be unrestricted.

Girl Scout officials said the donation to the national organization and recipient councils would be used in four specific areas, helping in the economic recovery from COVID-19:

  • Create more equitable membership opportunities in communities that have been under engaged. This includes diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice (DEI/RJ) initiatives; reimagining the troop experience model to break down accessibility barriers; and, partnering with families and communities to holistically support the well-being and development of all girls.
  • Foster program innovation informed by the current interests and needs of girls to prepare them for leadership, including an expanded focus on career readiness and mental wellness. Integral to this work is expanding girls’ access to STEM exploration, building upon exciting areas of interest such as hands-on coding, aeronautics, and sustainability.
  • Allows the organization to bolster critical areas such as research, staff, and volunteer training.
  • Making improvements in facilities, including the Girl Scout camp properties. It includes diverse investments such as making climate-resiliency improvements, reimagining its physical presence in communities, and expanding both accessibility and high adventure elements at camp.