On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois (GSEIWI) announced a $1.4 million donation from MacKenzie Scott. A well-known philanthropist, Scott was married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for 25 years and received a 25% stake in the online retailer as part of their 2019 divorce. Shortly after the terms of the divorce were announced, Scott signed the Giving Pledge and promised to give away at least half of her wealth over the course of her lifetime.
This generous gift is part of an $84.5 million donation awarded to Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), making this unprecedented investment the largest donation from a single individual in the national organization’s history. The local council, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, is one of 29 councils out of the 111 councils across the nation selected by Scott to receive these funds. Locally, this gift will enhance programs, expand the program model to reach more girls, create more equitable opportunities, and invest in talent in the region.
“Grateful is an understatement,” said GSEIWI CEO, Diane Nelson. “We were so excited to find out that MacKenzie Scott is impressed by the impact local Girl Scouts are making. The girls in our community will change the world! With this substantial donation, we will expand the opportunities for girls to build their confidence and go out into the world to lead empathetically and dynamically.”
This donation will enable the local council to expand its investment in local Girl Scouts and advance the organization’s recovery from the effects of COVID-19.