Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Mackenzie Scott gives $123M to Big Brothers Big Sisters

Mackenzie Scott gave $122.6 million to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the national youth-advisory charity, announced Tuesday. The gift has been given by several billionaire authors to large national nonprofits that fulfill their mission through local chapters in neighborhoods across the country.

With this latest donation, Scott has contributed nearly $12.5 billion to at least 1,253 nonprofits since 2020, many of which aim to help low-income and underserved populations. Her latest gift to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America follows three other nine-figure donations she made with local partners in March to a big national charity.

These include $275 million to Planned Parenthood Federation of American for its national office and its 21 local affiliates, $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International and its 84 US affiliates, and $281 million to Boys and Girls Clubs America and its 62 local affiliates. Are included. Chapter

So far, Scott has given at least $1.5 billion in the first five months of 2022, according to the nearly 30 nonprofits that announced Scott gifts this year.

Like almost all of Scott’s charities, contributions are unrestricted, so the charity may use it for events, operations, or any other purpose.

“It’s a moonlight for the work we’re going to do,” said group CEO Artis Stevens, who said it has spent the past two years working out a strategic plan to expand its mentoring capabilities and when funding is available. Raising efforts were starting to prepare. Stevens received news of the gift last week. “Even though the gift is about to be transformative, one in three kids in this country doesn’t have a positive constant mentor in their lives and so This challenge is bigger than an organization. We know that we need to be able to build capacity in our organization as well as partner with others to take it forward.”

Stevens says the organization plans to use Scott’s gift for various efforts at its national office in Tampa, Florida, and in 38 of its 230 chapters throughout the county. Many of the families and youth who work in nonprofits are from underserved populations and were badly affected by the pandemic and recent social-justice conflicts.

The organization currently has 30,000 youth waiting for a mentor. Stevens says Scott’s gift will help expand its ability to match more youth with mentors and provide more mentor-training programs. It aims to attract as many volunteers as possible who identify as Colored and LGBTQ+ as well as people from rural areas.

The nonprofit plans to broaden its offerings beyond its traditional format of one-to-one mentoring for children and teens by creating more group mentoring, peer-to-peer mentoring, and workplace mentoring for 18 to 25-year-olds. Used to be.

“We are the largest provider of youth workplace mentoring in the country,” Stevens said. “We want to be able to expand and expand our vision for every company in America to have a youth-mentoring program that both helps to over-supply the work force and helps engage employees and children. Provides opportunities in under-represented, under-served communities.”

It takes an enormous amount of resources and staff to run youth-counseling programs well, said University of Illinois professor David Dubois, who has studied mentoring programs for three decades and two years ago at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Was a volunteer consultant for His academic career.

“You need to be able to support those relationships and check in and make sure all parties – child, volunteer, parent – ​​are getting encouragement and guidance,” DuBois said. “So there’s a lot of moving parts in these programs.”

He said an important part is comprehensive interviewing and that volunteer counselors must go through an extensive interview and vetting process before they are approved to work with youth. Volunteers must be trained, and then the relationship between the volunteer and the young person requires constant guidance and monitoring. It is important to have enough resources to do all this.

While Scott’s gift is an unexpected event for the organization, Stevens says the charity hopes to fulfill it, knowing it will only last so long. He and his team are already in talks with the organization’s donors about its ongoing needs. Stevens says he sees the gifts as an “invitation” to other donors to support the group’s plans for the future.

As with all big gifts, however, some donors feel that Big Brothers Big Sisters no longer need their support, said Tyrone McKinley Freeman, associate professor of philanthropic studies and director of graduate programs at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. .

“This is the kind of tension that organizations have dealt with for a long time,” Freeman said. “It will be important to explain how resources are being used and what is being done and then how (others) can continue to contribute – especially for something like this where the need goes beyond the volunteer base of the group.” Goes out.”

Stevens said he is now in talks with his other donors.

Describing the gift as “terrible”, he said, “It is transformative for our 38 agencies, but we have 230 agencies, and we know there is more work to do. More opportunities and more in this country.” Growth needs more. But we need more people at the table. It takes all of us.”


This article was provided by Chronicle of Philanthropy to The Associated Press. Maria Di Mento is a senior journalist for the Chronicle. Email: [email protected] The Associated Press and Chronicle receive support from the Lilly Endowment for its coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits. Associated Press and Chronicle are solely responsible for all content. For all of Associated Press’s philanthropy coverage, visit

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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