Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey receives transformational $1.8M gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Local council will use gift to expand and enhance programming for current and future members in seven NJ counties

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Tuesday announced it will receive a $1.8 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The gift is part of an $84.5 million donation to Girl Scouts of the USA. It is the largest gift from a single individual in the organization’s history.

This money has been designated by GSHNJ to be used for its new mobile STEM classroom set to launch next month in partnership with global telecommunications provider Ericsson, and for its planned comprehensive Newark-based initiative that will include establishing a new state-of-the art building in the state’s largest city and embarking on an innovative collaboration with the Newark Board of Education.

The donation will also be used, in part, to improve aging camp structures and post-pandemic membership recruitment initiatives and will be invested in future initiatives that will benefit its ever-expanding, diverse membership.

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.

GSHNJ serves about 12,000 girls ages 5-17 throughout Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, southern Warren and parts of Middlesex counties. It is one of 29 councils nationwide — and the only council in New Jersey — to be recognized as a gift recipient.

“We are truly grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this generous, transformational gift that will be used to uplift so many girls in our local communities,” GSHNJ CEO Natasha Hemmings said. “This unprecedented donation will support our council’s exceptional girls’ leadership development initiatives, with a particular focus on traditionally underserved communities, and will help us to address the many demands we face as we strive to meet the challenges of our growing organization.

“To be recognized in this way is heartwarming and an affirmation of GSHNJ’s mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place; our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion; and our promise to give Girl Scouts access to life-changing experiences that inspire them to do something big.”