Indianapolis, IN – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI) announced it received a $2.9 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who made a commitment in 2020 to give back a majority of her wealth to community organizations. The gift supports the organization in furthering its mission to ensure young people have access to powerful mentoring experiences that empower them with a plan for their future and a mentor whose impact lasts a lifetime.
“We are incredibly grateful for the timing of this gift as we recently surpassed 1,400 youth referrals, the largest demand for our mentoring program in our organization’s history,” says Brandi Davis-Handy, Board President of BBBSCI. “Unrelated to this gift, we have been developing plans to expand programming and collaborative efforts to better meet this need, and this gift will support those efforts and allow us to reach more young people more quickly.”
Scott’s gift will assist BBBSCI in launching new strategic initiatives and programming to reach more youth; strengthen efforts to continue delivering high quality programming committed to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; and invest in the long-term sustainability of its service in the Central Indiana community.
“We hope this serves as a testament to the limitless potential of our community’s young people and families. Most importantly, we hope it encourages more people, especially men, to become mentors because we have so many great kids waiting,” expressed Darcey Palmer-Shultz, CEO of BBBSCI. “And, because it takes a village of people and partners to make sure young people have encouragement and opportunities, we hope it encourages those already involved to be even more confident in their impact.”
Along with her team of expert advisors, Scott has shared publicly that they identify organizations, “with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”
The gift was unsolicited, and Scott has previously shared publicly about her team’s approach to giving, “We do this research and deeper diligence not only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached. Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft.”
There are 233 Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates nationwide. Gifts from MacKenzie Scott were received by a total of 38 independent Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, totaling $122.6M.
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