Youth Development


Alameda, CA


Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Girl Scouts came to California in 1917, and the Girl Scouts of Northern California was incorporated in 2007, merging five former councils, now home to over 40,000 girls and 29,000 adults across 19 counties. We tailor our programs for the developmental, educational, emotional, and social needs of girls in grades K-12. Activities range from teaching STEM concepts, to team building, to graphic design, to outdoor cooking...the sky's the limit. Our program centers on something called the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—a collection of activities and experiences as girls earn badges, sell cookies, go on exciting trips, explore the outdoors, do Take Action projects that make a difference, and more. Girl-led and learn-by-doing programming supports girls discovering new ideas and testing scientific concepts in a variety of disciplines. At Girl Scouts of Northern California, we continually work to provide opportunities for girls (and volunteers) to grow their strengths, passions, and talents.

Ruling Year



Mrs. Marina H. Park

Main Address

1650 Harbor Bay Parkway, Suite 100

Alameda, CA 94502 USA


girls, scouts, girl scouts, positive youth development, Northern California camp, contemporary, leadership





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Girl Scouts (O42)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Today’s girls face unique pressures and harmful gender stereotypes. A 2017 study published by Science Magazine found that, at age 5, both boys and girls tend to associate “brilliant” thinkers with their own gender. However, by age 6, girls become less likely to think that they can be brilliant, making it harder for them excel. Girl Scouts is here to fix that. Open to all girls ages 5 to 17, Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. We start in kindergarten to help girls overcome gender stereotypes as well as develop courage and confidence. At the heart of our mission is the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—an all-girl, girl-led environment where girls can try new things, develop new skills, take on leadership roles, and feel comfortable failing, dusting themselves off, and trying again.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Girl Scouts

Where we work

Charting Impact

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

With time-honored, data-backed insight into the needs and interests of girls, Girl Scouts of the USA empowers 1.7 million girls to lead, learn, and thrive. Whether our girls are camping with newfound survival and wilderness skills, building robots, learning entrepreneurship, taking action to support their communities, creating art, or brushing up on cyber-security—we have a badge for that. But beyond the badges and awards, the true heart of Girl Scouts is raising confident, independent, and successful young women in an environment of inclusion, safety, fun, and civic action.

Programs in four areas form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: STEM, outdoors, life skills, and entrepreneurship. GSNorCal provides an array of educational opportunities and camps for troops K–12, plus innovative programming—over 300 events a year! We create leadership experiences through volunteer-led troops, staff-led programs, and camp and outdoor programs that are relevant to today’s girls. Our four program areas create a holistic leadership program that is girl-led, and where girls can learn-by-doing in a cooperative environment. This combination of effective programming, supportive adults, and girl-focused environments leads to powerful outcomes for girls. In today’s Girl Scouts, girls develop a strong sense of self, positive values, and healthy relationships, and encourages them to be challenge seekers and community problem solvers. Girl Scouts grow into brave, confident young women who will step up and take action to make the world a better place.

While some people still think of us as just cookies, campfires, and friendship bracelets, Girl Scouts are so much more. We offer engaging and worthwhile activities that respond to the needs of today’s girls and stay flexible to respect their busy lives. 96% of girls have tried at least one new thing as a Girl Scout, and GSNorCal delivers programming that challenges girls to uncover hidden passions and learn more about themselves than they ever thought possible. Backed by over 100 years of experience, Girl Scouts continues to fuel the female leadership pipeline. Data shows that Girl Scout alums have higher incomes, more rewarding careers, and are more active in their communities than their peers. Why? Our all-girl, girl-led environment creates a space where girls are free to explore their passions, take bold risks, create solutions to emerging problems, and be proud of their strengths. Girl Scouts works. We are here to help girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world.

GSNorCal has an in-house Director of Evaluation and Strategy who develops, coordinates, and measures the impact of local programming. A study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute in 2017 found that Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to: 1. Have a strong sense of self (80% vs. 68%) 2. Have positive values (75% vs. 59%) 3. Seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62% vs. 42%) 4. Develop and maintain healthy relationships (60% vs. 43%) 5. Exhibit community problem-solving skills (57% vs. 28%) Research has shown that the development of attitudes, behaviors, and skills like confidence, conflict resolution, and problem solving are critical to well-being, and rival academic and technical skills in their capacity to predict long-term positive life outcomes. Compared to their non-Girl Scout peers, Girl Scouts earn better grades, have higher academic aspirations, and are more likely to desire a career in industries where women are under-represented (STEM, business, and law).

We are proud of Girl Scouts’ history of inclusion and girl safety, our legacy of women leaders, and our commitment to reaching every girl who wants to be a Girl Scout. Last year, we served more than 40,000 girls and 29,000 adult members and connected more than 10,000 girls with the outdoors at our summer camps. Girl Scout programs can help families and communities increase opportunities for girls. The benefits of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and outdoor experiences in particular, increase for girls whose families face economic challenges. Girls participating in Girl Scouts can break through perceived gender barriers and social norms to explore nature and science through learn-by-doing activities in a safe, girl-only environment. In order to achieve our commitment to all girls, we are increasing access to these valuable opportunities for girls in under-resourced communities who historically have not had access to Girl Scouts.

External Reviews



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

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
As a council, we value diversity and inclusiveness; our staff and volunteers are representative of the diverse communities that we serve. Girl Scouts does not discriminate on any basis, including age, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.