The 110-year-old organization announced Tuesday that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott gave $84.5 million to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 of its local chapters, describing it as a vote of confidence.
The gift comes as the scouting organization deals with the loss of members caused by the epidemic.
According to Sofia Chang, CEO of GSUSA, “her support of our organization means honestly just as much as the gift.”Since the organization’s establishment in 1912, Scott’s contribution represents the Girl Scouts’ highest donation from a person, according to her.
According to a statement released by the organization on Tuesday, the monies would assist in its recovery from the pandemic’s effects. From over 1.4 million members in 2019–2020 to slightly over 1 million members in 2021–2022, its membership fell by nearly 30% throughout the crisis.
According to the organization, the donation will also be used to support volunteers and staff, improve science and technology education for youth members, make camp properties more resilient to the effects of climate change, and create diversity and inclusion programming to make their troops more accessible.
Chang recognized the decline in participation but said that the organization’s initiatives constantly assist girls in gaining confidence and addressing issues in their neighborhood.
Because soldiers couldn’t truly meet in person, Chang said that “our customary approach of helping females was greatly upended during the epidemic.” We’re really listening to our Girl Scouts, their families, and our volunteers to really ensure that what comes next for us is actually effective at this time, so that we can rebuild stronger than we ever have before.
Additional to cookies
According to CEO Kristen Garcia-Hernandez, the Girl Scout council in Southern Arizona opted to utilize the $1.4 million it got from Scott to improve the job they are currently doing rather than launch a new program or project.
“We are a little council, and we are not located in a significant urban center. Because of this, donations of this scale are rare for us “explained Garcia-Hernandez.
With the help of the donation, they can recruit more personnel more quickly and provide programs all year round in the majority of the seven counties they serve. The council will also complete a project they’ve been trying to finance for a year and a half: outfitting a van as a mobile science and technology school. According to her, many local donors seem to believe that the Girl Scouts’ cookie sales will pay all of their costs.
While the cookie program really keeps us going and is amazing, and the girls are involved, which makes it even more lovely, Garcia-Hernandez added, “We definitely need more from the community.”
funding organizations that assist women and girls
A study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found that fewer than 2% of all contributions are made to charities that cater to the needs of women and girls. The institution discovered that between 2012 and 2019, the study’s tracking years, the percentage did not change considerably.
Major donations from female philanthropists like Melinda French Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, and Scott, according to Tessa Skidmore, a research associate at the institution, might motivate additional contributors.
She said that they are the kinds of factors that might alter that figure.
On October 11, the International Day of the Girl, the institution collaborated with Pivotal Ventures, the investment company formed by French Gates, and other organizations to encourage contributing to women and girls. Additionally, it makes its giving data available in the hopes that contributors or academics may use it to assess the gender equality of gifts.
About her generosity, which has totalled $12 billion since 2019, Scott communicates sparingly. She has made significant, unrestricted contributions to a wide range of organizations, but her donations have a particular emphasis on racial fairness.
When discussing her charitable donations earlier this year, Scott said on her blog, “Helping any of us may assist us all.”
Scott also gave the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates a record-breaking $275 million this year.
Scott filed for divorce from her second husband, Dan Jewett, in September. Jewett’s profile was also taken down from The Giving Pledge’s website, which encourages millionaires to donate more than half of their money over the course of their lives. Last year, the ex-couple announced their decision to donate Scott’s riches, which is mostly the result of her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, on the website.
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