By the Associated Press | The Chronicle of Philanthropy
DECEMBER 15, 2022
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott says her donations have yielded more than $14 billion in funding for about 1,600 nonprofits since 2019, according to her long-awaited website Yield Giving, unveiled Wednesday night.
Scott also announced that she plans to introduce an “open-call process” that allows nonprofits seeking donations from her to send information to her for evaluation. Until now, Scott and her team secretly contacted organizations that they were interested in first, then offered donations after receiving the group’s data.
“Information from other people — other givers, my team, the nonprofit teams I’ve been giving to — has been enormously helpful to me,” Scott wrote in a new essay. “If more information about these gifts can be helpful to anyone, I want to share it.”
Scott has signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away more than half of her wealth, which largely comes from her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Scott, whose net worth Forbes currently estimates at $27 billion, has not given any interviews about her donations, opting to discuss her reasons in a handful of essays that she posted on Medium and now on Yield Giving.
On the site, Scott writes that she and her team evaluate organizations by analyzing their “potential for sustained positive impact,” including their finances, history, measurement of outcomes, and if they have “experienced leadership representative of the community served.”
Scott says the “open-call” process she plans to start will focus on specific types of organizations or certain locations. She plans to post criteria for eligibility and selection, as well as naming the panel evaluating the applications publicly.
“Will the website be helpful? Will expressing things in my own way (laboring over every word) lead to any misunderstanding?” she wrote. “Will misunderstanding be a barrier between us? Yes. Sometimes humans misunderstand each other. And yet, over time, each of us can help remove barriers through what we continue to choose to do.”