April 23, 2024


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Mackenzie Scott donates $640 million to nonprofits

Mackenzie Scott donates $640 million to nonprofits

Billionaire and author Mackenzie Scott announced Tuesday that she will donate $640 million to 361 small nonprofits that responded to an open call for applications.

The first round of Yield Giving donations is More than double What Scott initially pledged to give up through the application process. since then It started donating billions in 2019Scott and her team researched and selected organizations without an application process and provided them with significant, unrestricted gifts.

in Brief note Scott wrote on her website that she was grateful to Lever for Change, the organization that ran the open call, and residents for their “roles in creating this pathway to support people working to improve access to basic resources in their communities. They are vital agents of change.”

The increase in the award amount and the number of organizations selected is a “pleasant surprise,” said Elisha Smith Arrillaga, vice president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. She's interested in learning more about applicants' experience of the process and whether Scott continues to use the process moving forward.

About 6,353 non-profit organizations Applied to grants of $1 million when applications open.

“The donor team decided to expand the pool of winners and the prize amount,” said Liver4Change, which specializes in managing charitable awards awards.

The 279 nonprofits with the highest scores from the external review panel were awarded $2 million, while 82 organizations in the second tier received $1 million each.

Contests like Scott's open call can help organizations that don't have connections to a specific funder get attention, said Renee Caribe-White, senior vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

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“One of the best things about the Charity Award is that it highlights people, organizations and institutions that would otherwise not have access to people in positions of power and finance,” she said. Her organization also advises funders offering competitive grants or philanthropic award competitions to phase in the application to reduce the application burden on any organization that is eliminated early.

The open call solicited applications from community-led nonprofits with missions to “advance the voices and opportunities of individuals and families of little or modest means,” Yield Giving said on its website. Only nonprofit organizations with annual budgets between $1 million and $5 million are eligible to apply.

“In a world teeming with potential and talent, the open call has given us an opportunity to identify, elevate and empower transformative organizations that often remain invisible,” Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change, said in a statement.

Winners were selected through a multi-layered process, in which applicants were scored by fellow applicants and the top organizations were then reviewed by a panel of external experts.

Scott donated $16.5 billion of the fortune she acquired after her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. At first, she posted the giveaways in online blog posts, sometimes naming the organizations, sometimes not. launched a Its tender database In December 2022, under the name Yield Giving.

in Article reflects on the site“The information from other people — other donors, my team, and the nonprofit teams I've been giving to — has been extremely helpful to me,” she wrote. “If more information about these gifts could be helpful to anyone, I'd love to share it.”

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Smith Arrillaga, of CEP, said it is important that Scott continues to honor her commitment regarding giving away her wealth, even though she is thinking, changing and adjusting the “how” of how to do it and is still trying to move forward. In the spirit of what I committed to.”


Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through an AP collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from the Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP's philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.