Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys

aka Girl Scouts River Valleys   |   Saint Paul, MN   |

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Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Our goals are to help girls develop their potential through these five outcomes: -Strong Sense of Self -Positive Values -Challenge Seeking -Community Problem Solving -Healthy Relationships

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Marisa C. Williams

Main address

400 Robert Street South

Saint Paul, MN 55107 USA

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Formerly known as

Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis

Girl Scout Council of St. Croix Valley

Girl Scout Council of Cannon Valley

Girl Scouts Peacepipe Council

Girl Scout Council of River Trails



NTEE code info

Girl Scouts (O42)

Leadership Development (W70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Girl Scouts believes in supporting girls as they take on challenges and societal barriers. Key areas where girls continue to face inequity include: STEM: Despite all genders having an equal interest in STEM in high school, only 13% of teenage girls think of STEM as being their first career choice. Life Skills: Between the ages of 8 and 14, girls’ confidence drops by an astonishing 30%. In Minnesota, girls of all ages are less likely than boys to report feeling good about themselves, and by the time they enter middle school, girls are also less likely to feel in control of their life and future. Outdoors: Women are underrepresented in outdoor recreation, especially as children. Teenage girls are 12% less likely to participate outdoors than teenage boys , and girls are 19% less active than boys. Leadership & Entrepreneurship: Lack of leadership opportunities start early on, as less than 10% of girls of all ages participate in leadership activities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Girl Scout Leadership Experience

As Girl Scouts, girls in grades K-12 develop leadership outcomes in a supportive, all-girl environment within a network of friends, where they can feel confident while learning and exploring. Girl Scouts prepares girls to become our future citizens and leaders. Girls succeed in our six key focus areas: Build Science + Math Skills, Live a Healthy + Creative Life, Be a Community Advocate, Handle Money + Plan for Bright Futures, Explore the Outdoors, and Be a Strong Leader.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

Girl Scouts ConnectZ is a community-based solution to closing the opportunity gap. ConnectZ’s culturally-responsive leadership programming engages 3,000 girls, primarily from low-income communities of color. ConnectZ partners with nearly 100 schools and community organizations to provide girls with accessible programming that meets their needs.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency 2016

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2016

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of organization members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Children and youth, Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Number includes girls, adults, volunteers, and lifetime members.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Includes girl members grades K-12

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Girl Scouts River Valleys has over 100 years of experience in promoting gender equity for all girls. We provide accessible, all-girl leadership programming to 18,000 girls every year, with the goal of promoting in them the leadership and social emotional outcomes they need to succeed.

The Girl Scout impact is far-reaching and long-lasting. Girl Scout alums complete college degrees at a higher rate, are more active in volunteerism and community work, and vote at higher rates than their non-Girl Scout counterparts . In Girl Scouts, girls will build a foundation for leadership with long-term benefits to them, their family, their employers, and their community.

To promote positive development in girls and support them in building bright futures, River Valleys provides mentorship and girl-centered programming around the topics most relevant and beneficial to girls. These topics include social emotional skills—which are in high demand from girls’ future employers —and specific areas where girls face disparities and need additional support.

Girl Scouts promotes the following key focus areas:
Girl Scouts allows girls to take the lead in their STEM education as they tackle ambitious STEM challenges and earn skill-building badges in high-demand fields such as cybersecurity, computer programming, engineering, and construction. The majority of our STEM events are led by female STEM professionals, which gives girls the female mentorship they need to see that they do have a place in STEM. In 2019, 98% of Girl Scouts STEM participants met a woman in STEM.

Life Skills
Girl Scouts promotes skills vital to girls’ lifetime happiness and even employment , such as positive self-esteem, teamwork, decision-making, and healthy relationship building. In an all-girl environment surrounded by female peers and mentors, girls can build these skills, express themselves creatively, and build support networks without fear of judgment. 85% of Girl Scouts experienced a safe and encouraging learning environment at a Girl Scouts event and 94% learned something new.

River Valleys’ vast array of outdoor programming—including rock climbing, camping, kayaking, hiking, and more—encourages every girl to embrace their inner adventurer. Girls participate through our council-led Adventure Club events, our Every Girl in a Tent camping initiative, or our summer Girl Scout Camp programs. 76% of Girl Scouts who attended outdoor programming said that they were confident in their ability to try new things outdoors, even if it was hard. All-girl outdoor programming doesn’t just boost outdoor skills—it promotes overall persistence in girls.

Girl Scouts provides girls with the experiences they need to think creatively about entrepreneurship, practice financial literacy, and plan for the future. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is our main financial education program, engaging over 19,000 girls annually. Through the Cookie Program—the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world—girls build business skills early as they set goals, work as a team, communicate with customers, and work with budgets.

Girl leadership is a component of everything that a Girl Scout does. Whether they’re planning how to earn a skill-building badge, leading a community service day, or earning their Gold Award, our girls are preparing themselves to become our future leaders. Because Girl Scout activities are typically community-based, girls often make a positive impact in the community through their leadership. 6 in 10 girls reported having had significant leadership opportunities with Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts is designed to work for every girl. However, we also know that girls from underserved communities face different barriers when it comes to participating in out-of-school time activities such as Girl Scouts. That is why River Valleys has designed three pathways for girl and family participation, so that every girl can access the incredible impact of an all-girl environment.

Volunteer-led Girl Scout Troops
In volunteer-led Girl Scout troops, trained Girl Scout volunteers create a supportive, all-girl troop environment comprised of approximately 12 girls and 2 adult troop leaders that meets monthly, weekly, or more. Troops work together to earn skill-building badges such as the adventure badge; explore new activities such as computer programming at our council-led, experiential learning events; and volunteer to take action on community issues such as environmental conservation. In the process, Girl Scouts build friendships and support networks, confidence, and life skills.

Mentored Troops
In 2019, River Valleys created Mentored Troops as a participation pathway for girls and women of color, who have historically been underserved by Girl Scouts. Mentored Troops operate similarly to volunteer-led troops, but are given additional financial resources and staff support by River Valleys. This support provides women of color with the encouragement they need to confidently lead a Girl Scout troop of color—and eventually do so independently of staff support. In its first year, Mentored Troops reached nearly 300 girls who otherwise wouldn’t have experienced Girl Scout programming.

Girl Scouts ConnectZ
Girl Scouts ConnectZ is designed for girls from underserved communities where there is little or no volunteer capacity—such as communities of color, low-income communities, or immigrant communities. In order to serve these communities, River Valleys staff members deliver completely subsidized programming to girls at the schools and community sites where they already live and learn. As a result, ConnectZ vastly reduces financial and transportation barriers, ensuring that 3,000 underserved girls annually have a supportive, all-girl space where they can plan for bright futures.

While affiliated with our national organization, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), Girl Scouts River Valleys is one of 111 councils in the U.S. acting as a self-sufficient non-profit with our own 501(c)3 determination. River Valleys is among the top 13 councils for largest girl membership in the nation and is recognized for innovative programs that inspire girls of all backgrounds to build confidence, positive relationships, and a better world.

"The very mission of Girl Scouts is to encourage girls to serve, to stand up, and to take their place besides a long line of American heroes: ordinary citizens…expecting that they can change their communities and their country." - Condoleezza Rice, first female African American secretary of state

We are constantly improving Girl Scout programming to best serve members. In 2018, we expanded our STEM program—including the creation of a week-long trades camp called Power Girls. We also renovated our Camp Elk River property to provide girls with even more outdoor exploration opportunities; and continued to provide diversity, equity, and inclusion training for staff.

We are also in the midst of our 2019-2021 strategic plan. In addition to recommitting River Valleys to our goals of improving programming and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, the FY19-FY21 plan promotes several new initiatives for which we are incredibly excited. These include:
- Creating mentored troop opportunities that will provide extra resources and staff support to volunteer-led troops in communities historically underserved by Girl Scouts.
- Implementing a civic advocacy program that will both raise awareness of girls’ needs and give girls the opportunity to explore the exciting and important world of local politics.
- Ensuring the sustainability of Girl Scout programming by creating integrated funding opportunities, strengthening existing funder relationships, and further exploring funding areas with new potential, such as individual giving.

These initiatives are designed to help us continue delivering our successful program. Girl Scouting has a legacy of helping every girl reach their full potential, and we know it works. Our Girl Scouts are:
• Friends and dedicated teammates– 75% of girls learn by working together
• Purposeful explorers – 6 in 10 girls say that they learn by doing
• Believe in themselves and their futures – 8 in 10 girls say they have confidence in themselves and their abilities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys

Board of directors
as of 09/26/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jane Canney

Canney & Associates

Gayle Hayhurst

Schwan’s Home Service Division

Wendy Unglaub

General Mills

Nancy Klemek

Community Volunteer

Pam Stegora-Axberg


Jeff Redmon

Redmon Law Chartered

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/26/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/15/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.