Last year, Mackenzie Scott dominated the world of philanthropy with an unlimited $ 5.7 billion donation to hundreds of charities. The 7-digit and 8-digit gifts were the largest I’ve ever received. At the time, few people understood the synergies of these gifts and how wide the net she threw. Many tentacles of her donation are ready to influence charities far beyond those who received money directly from Scott.
Joe Neri, CEO of the Illinois Facility Fund, thought that would be the case when his group received $ 15 million from Scott. Neri’s organization lends money to other charities. Many of the loans offered will help nonprofits make improvements such as replacing leaky roofs and building new clinics.
Neri lends most of his $ 15 million to a non-profit organization that is funding it, and the impact of that funding will eventually be close to $ 75 million, making his organization much more I knew that I would be able to help many people.
Scott’s gift is considered a trusted stock by lending financial institutions, businesses and foundations. That is, Neri can borrow additional money, in this case about $ 60 million, and his money can be lent to a charity. Funds also generate income when charities repay their funds.
“I call it an eternal gift,” says Neri.
Scott’s donations extend beyond the scope of the original beneficiaries. Many nonprofits that receive donations distribute some of their money to affiliates and other small charities.
For example, Scott has donated a total of $ 162 million to 22 Easter Shields affiliates and Chicago’s national office. Donations ranged from about $ 1 million to $ 15 million, said Angela Williams, CEO of Easter Shields, which helps people with disabilities.
The National Office will use a portion of the $ 15 million it receives to support some of the 45 affiliates that did not receive Scott’s donations. For example, affiliates can apply for funding from the national secretariat to address funding shortages or update existing programs.
Scott, 51, is a reluctant public figure. She did not respond to an interview request for this article. According to media reports, Scott grew up in a wealthy family in San Francisco. Her father ran an investment company until he filed for bankruptcy in 1987. As her household deteriorated, she did multiple jobs to invest in Princeton.
Scott played an important role behind the scenes, helping ex-husband Jeff Bezos turn Amazon into a global giant like today.
Since the couple divorced in 2019, she has received extraordinary attention with an estimated net worth of about $ 60 billion after the divorce. Scott, the writer who won the 2006 American Book Award for The Testing of Luther Albright, has hesitated to speak publicly about his philanthropy.
Still, loyal to her technique, Scott provided a clear written statement about her motives in two Medium posts published in July and December. Among them, she chose the group she gave and explained why. She writes that her life contains “two assets” that can be used to help others: the wealth brought about by the “unbalanced” social system and those who have “experienced injustice.” Is the best belief in designing a solution. ” “
In fact, one of Scott’s most important goals for donations is to help those who have been marginalized historically by supporting charities that focus on race, gender, and social justice.
Scott gave Borealis Philanthropy $ 2 million, for example. Borealis Philanthropy is a grant maker that supports social justice groups led by people who have traditionally been excluded from leadership positions. It also demonstrates Scott’s efforts to raise funds beyond the direct beneficiaries. She directed a donation from Borealis to the Transgenerations Foundation, a group of nearly 60 small charities led by transgender, gender-incompatible, non-binary people.
Many of the groups implement anti-violence programs to help transgender and non-gender people develop leadership skills. Scott’s money will help support these efforts as transgender violence and punitive legislation increase, says fund leader Ryan Lee Darstrom.
Scott’s decision to let nonprofit leaders decide how to spend their money shows that she trusts their expertise. Almost every charity leader who told Chronicle said that the freedom to direct money to where it is most needed is the most important feature of her donation.
Scott shows a surprising level of humility not usually found in technology-based ultra-rich donors.
Chuck Collins, a former wealthy heir who gave property to charities in 1986 and now heads the Institute for Policy Studies’ program on inequality and the common good, says. “When you get out of the world of technology and out of the whole concept of disruption, she’s a big disruptor of traditional millionaire philanthropy.”
Leaders of many nonprofits want other wealthy donors to focus on Scott’s approach and launch more unlimited donations.
“At some point we have to realize that there are experts on the scene who are close to the problem,” said Williams of Easterseals. “We have a level of understanding and sophistication to do this job. We’re working on this job. What we don’t come to the table is the abundance of money to do it. “
It is not yet known how useful or harmful Scott’s gifts will be to the recipient’s fundraising activities. Some long-time donors say they no longer think they need their money anymore. Nonprofit leaders say it’s not far from the truth.
“We have a low rate of return and the work we need to do is very important,” says Williams. “Most nonprofits don’t run large amounts of cash in banks, so it’s a luxury to have a fund or fund for rainy days.”
How to thinkfully talk to donors who think they no longer need help after learning that Scott has donated $ 15 million to the university, leaders of Walla Walla Community College in rural Washington. I found.
Fundraising leader Jessica Cook and community college president Chad Emerson Hikox said one of the reasons Scott decided to donate to college was his track record of helping people who wouldn’t go to college otherwise. It was their donations that made the achievement possible by emphasizing to the donors.
“This $ 15 million is a great gift, but it’s not the only generosity we’ve received over the years,” Cook says. “I think it makes a lot of sense for people to hear it.”
This article was contributed to The Associated Press by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Maria Di Mento is a senior reporter for Chronicle. Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgAP and Chronicle are backed by Lilly Endowment for philanthropic and nonprofit coverage. AP and Chronicle are solely responsible for all content. For all AP philanthropy, please visit: https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy..
MacKenzie Scott’s stringless gifts are beyond the scope of the recipient.business
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