We are pleased to announce that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett have chosen to donate $5 million to CFLeads.
This extraordinary gift shines a light on the vital role community foundations play in transforming communities throughout the United States and acknowledges the unique power of CFLeads as a peer network driving change. We deeply appreciate Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett’s faith in our mission and the growing number of community foundations coming together through CFLeads to be more effective community leaders.
Scott and Jewett recognize that “community-centered service is…a powerful catalyst and multiplier.” In her Medium post “Seeding by Ceding,” MacKenzie Scott writes that her team identified and evaluated equity-oriented non-profit teams working in areas that have been neglected.
Scott and Jewett selected 286 high-impact organizations to donate more than $2.7B in gifts, including social sector infrastructure organizations like ours. As Scott writes, “social sector infrastructure organizations empower community leaders, support grassroots organizing and innovation, measure and evaluate what works, and disseminate information so that community leaders, elected officials, volunteers, employees, and donors at every level of income can make informed decisions about how to partner and invest.” Community foundations embody this work.
Over the past 15 months, community foundations from coast to coast have stepped up to address the unprecedented challenges caused by the public health crisis. “This generous donation couldn’t have come at a more opportune time,” says Ellen Gilligan, CFLeads board chair. “As the country builds back and confronts the stark racial inequities the pandemic has exposed, this gift will help CFLeads accelerate the field momentum captured in Going All In to insist on racial equity, amplify community voice and influence policy and systems.”
Deborah Ellwood, President and CEO says, “We have seen community foundations double down on structuring themselves to be vital, local institutions that are trusted by the broad community. This grant will allow us to expand our work for the community foundation field, and I invite community foundation staff, board members and community partners to join us now to harness this incredible momentum.”
Visit cfleads.org to learn more about our mission and our transformative learning opportunities for community foundations.