Results from Year Two of a Three-Year Study
In just three years, MacKenzie Scott gave more than $14 billion in unrestricted support to more than 1,600 organizations. Her gifts have often come as a surprise to recipients, with no restrictions on how or when they must be used, and with few, if any, reporting requirements. These gifts have been transformational for recipient organizations.
Do nonprofits believe this gift has increased their impact and in what ways?
How did nonprofits allocate the grant, and what was their decision-making process?
Have nonprofits experienced unintended negative consequences of these gifts? What have been the downsides of receiving this gift?
To what extent are funders’ beliefs and practices being influenced by MacKenzie Scott’s approach?
representing a 41 percent response rate
Nonprofit leaders describe expanding and improving programs to pursue opportunities — often related to equity — resulting in what they increasingly see as demonstrable impact.
Grant’s Impact on the Organization’s Ability To Pursue Opportunities Not Possible With Previous Funding
Degree to Which Grant Contributed to an Organization’s Advancement of Equity
Extent to Which Leaders Believe the Grant Has/Will Strengthen Aspects of Their Organizations and Work
Nonprofit leaders describe using Scott's grants to strengthen their organizations’ capacity and staff climate, translating into better support for the communities their organizations serve.
of organizations interviewed described the grant improving morale, feelings of empowerment, or capacity to think creatively for both staff and leadership — all toward better serving the organization’s mission.
of the leaders of color interviewed said that the grant gave them greater courage to be assertive in their decision-making and to advocate for those who share their backgrounds, both in the nonprofit sector and in their communities at large.
– Nonprofit leader
Extent to Which the Grant Has/Will Strengthen the Organization’s Financial Sustainability and Operational Capacity
Funders generally express positive opinions about Scott’s giving, but many have concerns, particularly about the ability of nonprofits to handle large, unrestricted gifts.
of funders interviewed say their organization’s thinking or practices have been influenced by recent giving trends — including Scott’s approach to giving — even if just to affirm their ongoing efforts.
FIGURE 11. Funder Concerns About Scott’s Approach
Despite funder concerns, nonprofit leaders report few challenges or unintended negative consequences and are planning for the long term to minimize risks of a financial cliff.
Percentage of Organizations Reporting Encountering Challenges Related to Use of MacKenzie Scott Grants
– Nonprofit leader
Changes to Nonprofit Approaches to Fundraising
Ease or Difficulty of Fundraising After Grant Receipt
of respondents anticipate a lot of difficulty covering the ongoing costs associated with initiatives funded by the gift they received from Scott once the grant funds have been expended.
– Nonprofit leader
The Effects of MacKenzie Scott’s Large, Unrestricted Gifts
MacKenzie Scott’s giving to date has broken the mold of typical approaches to philanthropy, even among megadonors and large foundations. So far, the data we have gathered over the last two years suggests that Scott’s giving continues to have profound effects on recipient organizations and that the fears many other funders express have not materialized.
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Recorded: Thursday, November 30th, 2023