“No strings attached” is a gift of trust
If we had such a thing… The Experience 50 Podcast for Midlife has named MacKenzie Scott its 50-Year-Old of the Year.
The news of Scott’s unrestricted gift of 4.2 BILLION dollars, to be shared among 384 non-profit organizations across the U.S., brought spontaneous goosebumps and tears to so many in this time of great challenges and despair.
The gift is a demonstration of her 2019 pledge to give away the majority of her fortune while she is living. That fortune is vast, estimated at $68 billion in November 2020.
Where did all that cash come from? From her $38 billion 2019 divorce settlement with Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos, Scott is currently the wealthiest woman on the planet. Yes, she can afford to be generous.
The cost of receiving gifts
What makes this gift so special is one word: Unrestricted.
I’ve done my time as a fundraising executive and as the president or CEO of non-profits. I know the cost and burden of some “gifts”. These include the costly and exhausting grind of grant writing to meet the particular requirements of dollars being made available under very precise terms of how, when, where, and who.
Non-profits are required to use their meager resources in the hope that they might be successful in their application for funding without any guarantee of funding or a return on their investment of time and money.
Success in fundraising then includes the expenses of grant administration and reporting, which most donors will not permit to be paid by the gift itself. Some money is very expensive.
Bold and Thoughtful
Upfront, MacKenzie Scott and her advisors made the bold and thoughtful decision to personally shoulder the burden of expenses related to fundraising by doing the exhaustive data-driven research to identify and select organizations worthy of her trust to manage and implement programs that would meet her overarching giving goals.
Funds arrived as a complete surprise and are given in full confidence that recipients will invest in and serve their communities with integrity and precision.