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Mackenzie Scott — unlocking funding for impact 

Mar 30, 2022

Last week, Mackenzie Scott published a post on Medium announcing “465 non-profits converting $3,863,125,000 into meaningful services for others.” We were excited to see so many inspiring organizations receiving additional funds — including our own Elevate Prize winners Friendship Bench and Talking Points. They joined Elevate Giving participants Black Teacher Collaborative and Sanku, a nonprofit that received a gift last year . 

 

Recipients, whose work covers a wide range of societal issues, from climate change to social justice, include Equality Now, CARE, the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, and Habitat for Humanity.  

Approximately 75% of the organizations listed have leaders with lived experience of the challenges they are addressing. Friendship Bench, for example, was created by Dr. Dixon Chibanda as a direct result of his experiences as one of only 15 psychiatrists in Zimbabwe. His ability to harness (to use Scott’s words) “insights no one else can contribute,” is clear to see in the organization’s work — training grandmas to provide talk therapy from benches in the hearts of their communities.

Approximately 60% of the organizations on Scott’s list are led by women, including Talking Points. Founder Heejae Lim was inspired to create her multilingual technology platform as she reflected on her experience growing up as a Korean immigrant and seeing her mother make a difference in her education because she had the voice to do so.

Like The Elevate Prize, the funding that Scott provides is unrestricted. “I believe that the gifts will do more good if others are free from my ideas about what they should do,” Scott writes. “This trust — another resource it’s difficult to measure — is the aspect of the gifts that many have said they value most.” 

“It’s important to trust nonprofit leaders to make their own funding decisions,” says our CEO, Carolina Jayaram. “I believe if you thoughtfully design a robust selection process that finds the world’s greatest leaders, it’s best to let those proven problem solvers tell us what support they most need and how to put the funding to its best and highest use.”

In total, Scott has unlocked a total of over $12 billion dollars of potential impact. We’re excited to see how recipients will use those funds to power change. And we’re happy to see, from the public reaction to the announcement on social media, that many people are inspired by Scott’s generosity to take action themselves. Her example reminds us that we can all use our resources — money, time, energy, influence — to make a difference. Together, we can help build the fairer and more equitable world we want to see — today, and in the years to come.