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MacKenzie Scott donates record $84.5 million to Girl Scouts

The donation from Scott, a billionaire philanthropist formerly married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is the largest single gift in the Girl Scouts' history.

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, 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.

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

Scott's gift is at least her second record donation this year to an organization focused mainly on serving girls and women. In March, she donated $275 million to women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood, which went to the provider's national office and 21 regional affiliates. It was the largest donation from a single donor in its more than 100-year history, Planned Parenthood said at the time.

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

She has four children with Bezos, whom she married in 1993. Their split left her with about 4% 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 last year.