MacKenzie Scott wants to know why she should give your nonprofit a $1 million donation from a $250 million pot of cash

·2 min read
illustration of Mackenzie Scott on an orange background with money floating behind her
MacKenzie Scott is giving away $250 million to 250 nonprofits.Marianne Ayala/Insider
  • MacKenzie Scott launched a $250 million "open call" for nonprofits.

  • She plans to make 250 donations of $1 million apiece through her organization, Yield Giving.

  • Scott said the funds would support "organizations making positive change in their communities."

MacKenzie Scott is well known for giving away cash – she managed to donate almost $2 billion last year alone.

Until now, the philanthropist's team at Yield Giving have discreetly contacted nonprofits they were interested in funding before making a donation.

However, Scott's charity is now asking nonprofits to tell them why they should get a $1 million donation from a $250 million pot of cash.

Jeff Bezos's ex-wife says the "open call" will support 250 "organizations making positive change in their communities."

"Teams on the front lines of challenges have insights no one else can offer," Scott said in a statement. "So there are three big headlines here in my heart: community changemakers can nominate themselves. Community changemakers get feedback from their peers. Community changemakers have a powerful role in funding decisions."

To apply, nonprofits must have an annual operating budget of between $1 million and $5 million for at least two of the past four financial years. Interested organizations must register to apply by May 5 in a process being managed by Lever for Change.

Up to 1,000 applications top-rated by their peers will advance to the evaluation panel review. The donor team will select from these recommendations and announce 250 awardees early next year. Each recipient will get an unrestricted donation of $1 million.

Scott, who is worth just over $21 billion according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, is one of the world's most generous super wealthy individuals.

She's committed to donating half of her wealth as part of the Giving Pledge, which was set up by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and his then-wife Melinda French Gates.

When Scott signed up for the initiative in 2019, she wrote: "I have a disproportionate amount of money to share. My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won't wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty."

Melinda French Gates previously said she had a "great respect" for Scott and her approach to philanthropy, which could inspire many others.

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