5 takeaways from MacKenzie Scott’s $1.7 billion in support for social justice causes


Author and philanthropist Mackenzie Scott has announced that she’s issuance of nearly $ 1.7 billion to 116 organizations, because for the first time to publicly discuss her intentions, in May of 2019. Most of the organizations goal is to promote racial, gender and economic equity, is committed to addressing climate change, supporting democracy, or tied to other generally progressive causes.

In a public blog, and she wrote to break the news, Scott encourages donors of all financial means to join her. Formerly known as Mackenzie Bezos before her divorce from the Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, philanthropist also announced that from now she will use her middle name as her new last name. Her reasons for leaving her money to show accurate summary for each gift. Howard University and Tuskegee University, two of several historically black colleges and universities accepted her contributions, saying These are the greatest gifts, they do not get from individual donors.

As a scholar of philanthropy, I believe Scott is modeling the five best practices of social change.

1. Not attached to the string

All of Scott’s 116 gifts and more in the millions or millions, like the $ 30 million she gave HAMPTON University a $ 40 million Local Initiative Support Corporation, which advocate for and build affordable housing are not limited. Rather than specify the destination for many of the largest donors to do so, Scott made it clear that she believed that the leader of the organization by providing absolute flexibility in how to use her money to pursue their missions. This way the non-profit organization with an unusual freedom and innovation, while enabling them to weather crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

2. Champion representative

According to Scott, 91% of the racial equality organizations she funds, such as the movement for Black Lives and LatinoJustice, by leaders of color. All the category-related disease+organization, such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center, and her support led to the adoption of a Category-related diseases+leaders. 83%of the gender-equality organizations, such as the Indian non-profit education of girls, both by women. She said this practice brings”life experiences, in order to solve the imbalance of the social system.” Back group leaders directly affected by a problem is a common purpose of social justice, to the then the organization and leadership of the coloured people get less funding than white-dominated groups.

In addition, some of her other gifts to grassroots organizations, such as the South in the new ground, a Category Associated Diseases Society Organizations, Non-profit organizations, in direct support of a region of the United States are often overlooked by donors and foundations.

3. Act first, talk after

Instead of a lengthy announcement about her plans, Scott chose to distribute the money quickly and directly. Unlike her charity the same Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, or Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, Scott of the first round to no by a large Foundation or other entity, such as Chan, Zuckerberg’s initiative, bearing her own name or another billionaire. When she made her announcement, a gift has been made.

4. Don’t crush ratio

Many organizations accept these gifts are relatively small scale and lack of universal name recognition. In the multi-ethnic justice groups together to advance and advocate for women’s education, global aid group is usually referred to as CAMFED, for example, until the recent work of budget 5. $ 5 million or less, and the Millennium action project, there is a even smaller budget.

5. The use of more money

The charity, aimed at bringing about social change itself represents the donor’s values, Scott admitted in her announcement. She also admitted that she’s a huge privilege, highlighting the need to address social structures maintain inequality. And like many women donors, I’ve been interviewing and research, she is using her position as the world’s second-richest woman amplify the sound of the leaders and the groups she supported. Her goal is to encourage others to give, join or volunteer to support those same causes.

As Scott points out, the problem is, her charity the address is complex and will require sustained and broad-based effort to solve.

Elizabeth Dell, assistant Professor of Nonprofit Leadership, Seattle University

This article was reprinted from the dialogue to the next Creative Common license.



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