Girl Scouts of Western Washington CEO Megan Ferland claims she returned a $100,000 donation after the donor wanted a guarantee that the money would not help transgender girls.
According to Ferland, a gift of that size represents a quarter of the organization’s annual fundraising and could cover the cost of sending 500 girls to camp.
However, following Caitlyn Jenner’s widely covered announcement last month, the anonymous donor asked in a letter that the money be returned if it was being used to support transgender girls who were born male, the Seattle Met reports.
While Ferland wouldn’t reveal the identity of the patron, she described the relationship as “complex.” She explained that she was “very sad” about the donor’s alleged letter, which she says arrived in late May.
“Girl Scouts is for every girl,” she insisted. “And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.”
In 2011, while heading the organization’s Colorado council, Ferland issued a public statement about Girl Scouts’ dedication to inclusivity after a seven-year-old transgender girl was not allowed to join.
Of her decision this time around, Ferland said, “This is the right thing to do, so there was not anything else to do other than return the gift.”
She continued, “And we need the $100,000 back so we can serve more girls. So we’re going to do everything we can to raise that money. And if it raises a ruckus, it raises a ruckus.”
With a video proclaiming, “Girl Scouts is for every girl,” the Queen Anne offices of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise back the money they returned.