Girl Scouts of the USA has announced commitments totaling more than $30 million through a planned giving challenge established by Dianne Belk and her husband, Lawrence Calder.
In response to the organization's creation of the Juliette Gordon Low Society as a way to recognize those who remember Girl Scouts in their wills and estate plans, Belk and Calder established the challenge with a $1.2 million gift in 2017. According to the organization, the challenge inspired Girl Scout councils, USA Girl Scouts Overseas, and volunteers like Erik and Eva Andersen to maximize the impact of the couple's gift. Over the past year, Girl Scout councils around the world have secured more than eight hundred new planned gifts, while over six hundred donors in the U.S. have made planned giving commitments. Each of the hundred and two GSUSA councils that met the challenge will receive a $10,000 planned gift from Belk and Calder and an additional $4,000 gift from the Andersens.
A Girl Scout alumna who as a teen earned the organization's highest honor — the Girl Scout Gold Award — Belk is the founding chair of the Juliette Gordon Low Society, which, since its inception in 2011, has grown from three hundred and forty-eight to almost four thousand members.
"A planned gift is one of the most deeply personal, profoundly impactful, and truly generous gifts that a person can make," said GSUSA chief executive Sylvia Acevedo. "Thanks to the inspirational dedication, commitment, and generosity of Dianne Belk and Lawrence Calder, Girl Scouts of the USA and a hundred and two Girl Scout councils across the country can rest assured of their financial ability to deliver a one-of-a-kind Girl Scout experience to more girls in more places for generations to come. Dianne and Lawrence are truly emblematic of what it means to give back, and their efforts will inspire, uplift, and empower Girl Scouts for years to come."