Dear Commons Community,
Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott yesterday donated $84.5 million to the Girl Scouts of the USA.
The gift from Scott, who was previously married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is the largest single donation in the organization’s history, the group said.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the 500 wealthiest people in the world, estimates Scott’s net worth at $27.6 billion, making her the 41st-richest person in the world. After she split from Bezos in 2019, she pledged to give about half of her more than $35 billion fortune away to charities.
Scott’s gift will go to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 local councils that Scott selected, the organization said in a news release.
The money will go toward creating “more equitable membership opportunities” in underserved areas; expanding programming in career readiness and mental health and exploring STEM fields; bolstering research, staff and volunteer training; and upgrading Girl Scout facilities to be more accessible and resilient to climate change, among other things, it said.
Sofia Chang, the Girl Scouts’ first Asian American CEO, said Scott’s gift 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.”
Founded in 1912, the Girl Scouts host troops, service projects, camps and other events to cultivate leadership and other skills — including coding, robotics, financial literacy and computer science — for about 2.5 million members, including transgender girls, according to its website.
Ms. Scott is becoming a model for philanthropists around the world.