Oct 18, 2022 - Economy & Business

MacKenzie Scott donates $84.5 million to Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts with cookie boxes

Madar Mee, 10, left, and Emma Diaz, 7, right, are selling Girl Scout Cookies in the Mar Vista neighborhood in February 2022 in Los Angeles. Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $84.5 million to the Girl Scouts of America and 29 local councils in what the 110-year-old organization is calling the largest donation from a single individual in its history.

Why it matters: The organization said in a statement Tuesday that the donation will help its recovery from the pandemic, expand its investment in girls by helping advance its mission to "provide life-changing experiences, mentorship, and programming."

  • The pandemic drove down membership and changed the way girls sell the infamous Girl Scout Cookies, pushing more sales online and with virtual cookie booths.

Details: The Girl Scouts said Scott's gift will be used to create “more equitable membership opportunities in communities that have been under engaged,” including diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice initiatives.

  • It also will be used to future-proof facilities including Girl Scout camp properties, including making “climate-resiliency improvements.”

Meanwhile, Scott — who walked away from her marriage with Jeff Bezos with Amazon shares worth tens of billions — has given away a staggering $12 billion in three years and has said she plans to keep giving until it’s mostly gone.

  • Some 60% of the organizations she has given to most recently are women-led, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

Flashback: In March, Scott announced in a Medium post that she has donated nearly $3.9 billion to 465 different organizations in nine months including $275 million to Planned Parenthood.

What they’re saying: Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sofia Chang said the donation is “critical in delivering on our work of reimagination and transformation.”

  • “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,” Chang said.
  • “We’re excited to prove how Ms. Scott’s investment in girls will change the world — because when one girl succeeds, we all succeed,” Chang said.

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