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YWCA Madison is Grateful Recipient of a Portion of MacKenzie Scott’s $4.2 Billion Donation to 384 Organizations

Categories: Blog, News, Press Release

Madison, WI. December 30, 2020 – YWCA Madison is thrilled to share that it was one of the 384 organizations to receive a portion of a monumental donation of $4.2 billion dollars made recently by MacKenzie Scott, a writer, and philanthropist. MacKenzie Scott’s donation was focusing on organizations filling basic needs, support services for the most vulnerable, and organizations “addressing long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis.”

CEO, Vanessa McDowell, was in disbelief to have been notified of this news on the heels of such a difficult year. Prior to the Covid 19 pandemic, YWCA Madison had lost longstanding funders for two key housing programs serving vulnerable populations. This one-time gift will help the organization keep these critical housing programs intact, help the organization address capacity building needs, and also allow for the ability to address emerging needs that are sure to come as a result of future economic challenges. 

These funds will not eliminate the need for donations and support moving forward. Each and every donation is critical to support over 20 programs in employment & transportation, shelter & housing, and race & gender equity (including restorative justice). Corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, and individual donations are key community support for the longstanding local agency.

Vanessa McDowell, CEO of YWCA Madison says, “In the midst of stressing about how to maintain essential programs, services, and staff during this extremely difficult year, we received what I see as a miracle.  With tears in my eyes, I was so thankful for this unrestricted gift.  MacKenzie Scott was clear that she trusts the work that we are doing and my leadership through this tremendous gift.  She is setting the bar for what I believe is the future of philanthropy, unrestricted giving (no strings attached).” 

In a blog post titled, “384 Ways to Help”  on Medium.com, MacKenzie Scott writes, “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, people of color, and people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”

The article also highlights the process that was used to select worthy organizations. 

YWCA Madison is not disclosing the amount of this donation. For more information, contact Vanessa McDowell at vmcdowell@ywcamadison.org. Also, like YWCA Madison on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YWCAMadison to receive updates and news about the organization.

YWCA Madison is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen our community. YWCA Madison is part of an international movement serving over 2 million in the United States and 25 million worldwide. For comprehensive information about this important work, go to www.ywcamadison.org and www.ywca.org.