MacKenzie Scott donates record-breaking $84.5 million to Girl Scouts

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Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $84.5 million to the Girl Scouts, the organization said Tuesday.

The gift from Scott, 52, who was previously married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, marks the largest-ever 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 to be $27.6 billion, making her the 41st richest person in the world. After splitting from Bezos in 2019, she pledged to give roughly half of her more than $35 billion away to charities.

Scott’s gift will go to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 local councils that Scott selected, according to a news release from the organization.

The money will specifically go toward creating “more equitable membership opportunities” in underserved areas; expanding programming on career readiness, 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, according to the news release.

Girl Scouts CEO Sofia Chang, the organization’s first Asian American CEO, called Scott’s gift “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 with the aim of cultivating leadership and other skills — including coding, robotics, financial literacy and computer science — in approximately 2.5 million members, which include transgender girls, according to its website.

The organization claims its famous annual cookie sale is “the largest girl-led business in the world,” with Girl Scouts selling nearly $800 million worth of cookies each season.

Scott’s donation marks at least the second record-breaking donation she has made this year to an organization mainly focused on serving girls and women. In March, she donated $275 million to women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood, which went to the provider’s national office and 21 regional affiliates. That marked the largest donation from a single donor in the organization’s more than 100-year history, Planned Parenthood said at the time.

In a Medium post earlier this year, Scott said she had donated more than $3.8 billion to 465 non-profit organizations since June 2021.

She has four children with ex-husband Bezos, who she married in 1993. Their split left her with about four percent of Amazon’s outstanding common stock, making her the third-biggest shareholder at the company, CNBC reported.

Scott filed for divorce last month from her second husband, former teacher Daniel Jewett, whom she married in 2021.



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