The area group's CEO admits that the organization and the donor have a "complex" relationship

By Alex Heigl
Updated July 01, 2015 10:45 AM
Steve Jennings/Getty

In May, the Girl Scouts reiterated the organization’s long-standing policy of allowing transgender girls to join, a position that hasn’t come without input from naysayers.

And recently, the Girl Scouts’ progressive stance quite literally cost them: A donor sent the Girl Scouts of Western Washington a $100,000 donation (almost a quarter of the council’s annual fundraising goal, and enough to send 500 girls to camp) earlier this spring.

The group was overjoyed, but in late May, it received a note from the donor: “Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can’t, please return the money.”

The Western Washington group’s CEO, Megan Ferland, told the Seattle Metropolitan that the organization’s relationship with the donor – whose identity Ferland won’t reveal – is “complex.” But her response wasn’t: She decided she would return the money.

“Girl Scouts is for every girl,” she said simply. “And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.”

The group started an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund the sum they returned. Launched Monday, the campaign has raised nearly $250,000 as of the time of this writing, in slightly over 48 hours.