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MacKenzie Scott makes history with record-breaking donation of $84.5 million to Girl Scouts

Scott's latest act of philanthropy is the largest donation from a single individual in the organization's 110-year history.

MacKenzie Scott makes history with record-breaking donation of $84.5 million to Girl Scouts
Cover Image Source: MacKenzie Bezos attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott just made a massive donation of $84.5 million to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 of its local branches, the organization announced on Tuesday. According to PEOPLE, Scott's latest act of philanthropy is the largest donation from a single individual in the organization's 110-year history. "We are so appreciative," GSUSA CEO Sofia Chang said in a statement. "This is a great accelerator for our ongoing efforts to help girls cultivate the skills and connections to lead in their own communities and globally. The support from all our donors, including this generous support from MacKenzie, is critical in delivering on our work of reimagination and transformation."



 

"We're excited to prove how MacKenzie's investment in girls will change the world — because when one girl succeeds, we all succeed," Chang added. One of the local chapters selected by Scott was the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. The Texas-based chapter received a donation of $4.2 million, a gift, they said, that will help in funding new programs and enable them to recover from the impact of the pandemic. "We are truly humbled and grateful for this generous gift and for MacKenzie Scott's trust in our mission," GSSJC CEO Mary Vitek said in a statement.



 

"This gift not only emphasizes the importance of supporting the next generation of female leaders, but it also acknowledges the work of our volunteers and support of our local donors and community. It ensures we can advance our efforts to provide girls with meaningful experiences and equitable access to our leadership development program so they are empowered and equipped to lead," Vitek added. According to Associated Press, Scott—who has pledged to give away her entire fortune—has donated around $12 billion since 2019.



 

This isn't the first time Scott is making history with her generosity. Earlier this year, she made a blockbuster $275 million gift to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates. While the 52-year-old has donated large, unrestricted grants to many different kinds of organizations, she has had a special focus on racial equity. According to a research project of the Women's Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, less than 2% of all donations are specifically to serve women and girls. Tessa Skidmore—a research associate at the institute—believes major gifts from women like philanthropists Melinda French Gates, Sheryl Sandberg and Scott could inspire other donors. "Those are the types of things that have the potential to change that number," she said. 



 

Youth membership of the Girl Scouts dropped by nearly 30% during the pandemic. "Our traditional way of supporting girls was really upended during the pandemic as troops couldn't really meet in person," Chang said. "So to build back stronger than we ever had before, we're really listening to our Girl Scouts, listening to their families and to our volunteers to really ensure that what comes next for us is truly impactful in this moment."

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