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$3.8M donation surprises Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Written by Mindia Whittier

Funds will help double down on efforts to reach girls and volunteers in communities where they may not have access or historically have seen themselves represented in the organization.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) has received an unexpected $3.8 million gift.

The contribution was made by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, as the donor continues her pledge to give away at least half of her wealth. It is part of an $84.5M donation to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 councils across the country, and will help significantly advance the organization’s mission to provide life-changing experiences, mentorship, and programming. 

“Post-pandemic, GSNETX is in a state of reimagining itself, determining who we need to be to best serve the girls of the future, particularly in communities and with families who we have not engaged in the past,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, Chief Executive Officer for GSNETX. “This gift fuels that work, preparing us to access the resources, human capital, and strategy that will create a place of belonging and a leadership experience for every girl in our community. Without question, this gift is transformational. An investment in girls is an investment in the future of our community and we are incredibly grateful for this opportunity to change the lives of even more girls in North Texas.”

GSNETX mobilizes a network of more than 8,000 volunteers across a 32-county region to champion girls. Recently, the organization enlisted the partnership of the Monitor Institute with Deloitte to help the organization re-imagine what it needs to be for girls now and into the future. This work included confronting the realities that come with being a 110-year-old institution.

With a focus on community-centered design and engagement, volunteer and girl diversity, equity, and access and organizational readiness, GSNETX says this gift will allow the organization to make the changes that will ensure it is the girl-serving organization of choice for all families

“We want Girl Scouts to be a place where every girl sees herself and appreciates herself just as she is, where she finds a place of belonging, and connects with caring adult mentors who can foster her curiosity, and cheer her on as she takes risks, explores opportunities, and develops into the best version of herself,” said Donna Epps, board chair for GSNETX. “This gift will enable us to double down on our work to reach girls in communities where they may not have access and where volunteers have not historically seen themselves represented in our organization.”

Recent research from Girl Scouts of the USA cites that some of the biggest issues affecting girls today stem from the COVID-19 pandemic, gender and racial inequalities, mental wellbeing, and 21st century skills and the future of work.  Each new investment enables Girl Scouts to become a unifier at the broadest level, harnessing the leadership skills of generations to come and ensuring a future that is inclusive, empathetic, united, and equitable

“We are so appreciative of MacKenzie Scott’s gift to Girl Scouts,” said Sofia Chang, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “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 Scott is critical in delivering on our work of reimagination and transformation. We are excited to prove how this investment in girls will change the world – because when one girl succeeds, we all succeed.”

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About the author

Mindia Whittier