Billionaire MacKenzie Scott surprises nonprofit with $2.2 million donation


‘Tis the season, and MacKenzie Scott is no Scrooge. Formerly the richest woman in the world, Scott is speeding along on her mission to redistribute her wealth and make a difference. The philanthropist’s latest donation: over $2 million to a small nonprofit in Cincinnati. 

The city’s Crossroad Health Center, which offers medical assistance with the goal of keeping care “accessible and affordable” for all, recently received a whopping $2.2 million grant from Scott. While her foundation, Yield Giving, has been seeking applications from non-profits, the small faith-based organization never applied for funding, reported Liz Engel for the Cincinnati Business Courier.

The nonprofit’s CEO Jamie Berrens told Engel he initially thought the email he received about the good news was spam—the gift is worth about a decade of donations for the nonprofit, he said.

“I’m still stunned by it,” he added. “It was to the point you almost still didn’t believe it until you actually saw the money go into your account. It’s so incredibly valuable, it’s hard to put into words.”

The nonprofit kept mum about the sizable gift until the Yield Giving team made a formal announcement this month. While the group is still figuring out where money will go, Berrens told Engel he wants to do “something great” with it. They’re looking to better their programs, potentially create a new one, and to relocate the nonprofit to a new home.

It’s not out of character for Scott to give such a big gift to a small nonprofit. After she received a 4% stake in Amazon following her divorce with Jeff Bezos in 2019, Scott signed the Giving Pledge. She joined many billionaires in promising to give away most of her fortune, which stands at an estimated $40 billion today.

Scott has donated $16.5 billion to over 1,600 charities since then, including Girl Scouts, United Way Worldwide, and Right to the City Alliance. She has donated $2 billion to 360 organizations this year alone, per the Yield Giving website, which was created this year partly due to demands for greater transparency in the nonprofit world.

A gift goes an especially long way when it comes to smaller nonprofits. “MacKenzie Scott feels the people who are the boots on the ground know what’s best,” Berrens said. 

Notoriously private, Scott has made a name for herself for her philanthropic donations. “There are lots of resources each of us can pull from our safes to share with others,” she wrote in the Giving Pledge. “And something greater rises up every time we give.”

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