Girl Scouts of the USA Announces Transformational $1.2 Million Challenge from Dianne Belk and Lawrence Calder

The groundbreaking donation will be the Girl Scouts’ first Movement-wide challenge gift for every Girl Scout council in the United States and USA Girl Scouts Overseas



Girl Scouts of the USA Press Room

COLUMBUS, OH (October 5, 2017)—Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced today that thanks to a generous gift from longtime supporters Dianne Belk and Lawrence Calder, a challenge planned gift with the potential of $1.2 million will be launched to increase Girl Scouts’ efforts to encourage planned gifts to Girl Scouts across the globe.

The Dianne Belk and Lawrence Calder Girl Scout Movement-wide Challenge Planned Gift contains simple and achievable criteria that enable Girl Scouts’ 112 councils and USA Girl Scouts Overseas to maximize the impact of this generous gift. To trigger the match, councils must meet easy-to-achieve criteria including securing new planned gifts within a set time period and educating their boards and volunteers about planned giving. Each council that meets the challenge’s goals will receive a new $10,000 planned gift from Dianne Belk and Lawrence Calder.

As a young girl growing up in rural Mississippi, Dianne Belk was determined to become a Girl Scout even though her family couldn't afford the $1 annual dues. In true problem-solver fashion, Dianne sold the eggs from one chicken on the family farm to pay her dues. Now a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, she is also the Founding Chair of the Juliette Gordon Low Society, which celebrates those who have made a planned gift to Girl Scouts. A planned gift is made through a donor’s will or estate plan. The donors who make a new planned gift commitment as part of the Challenge will be welcomed by GSUSA to the Society.

Dianne shared, “My Girl Scout experiences paved the way for me to become a successful engineer. Lawrence and I are excited to direct our resources to help knock down barriers that young girls face in achieving equality in the world. That’s what this Challenge is all about—helping today’s girls become the leaders of tomorrow. Girl Scouts is the world’s premier organization for girls. It is fully and exclusively focused on building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. This planned giving challenge is one way to ensure councils can serve girls for the next 100 years.”

Lawrence Calder, Dianne’s husband, said, “Dianne and I are on this journey together. When people ask me why I am a lifetime Girl Scout, I tell them about the enormous effect Girl Scouts had on Dianne's life. I encourage Girl Scouts to invite more men to advocate for our girls. Dianne and I are so pleased that we can use our resources to challenge councils to help more girls.”

“Girl Scout councils of every size will benefit from this challenge gift,” said Pam Czyz, CEO of Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada. “Planned giving will be an important future revenue source that will ensure our council continues to support girls’ leadership development. Many Girl Scout alumnae are waiting to be asked to donate, just like I was.”

“On behalf of our Movement, thank you to Dianne and Lawrence for their generous gift,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “This thoughtful challenge to every council is the first-ever known gift from an individual that is specifically directed to all 112 Girl Scout councils and to USA Girl Scouts Overseas.”

For more information about planned giving or the Juliette Gordon Low Society, please contact Harriet Hessam, GSUSA’s vice president of strategic philanthropy and planned giving, at or 212-852-8054.


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