MacKenzie Scott Gifts More Than $800 Million to Colleges and Universities

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Billionaire philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott made headlines this week after she announced a plan to donate $4.2 billion to 384 organizations. 

A tally conducted by The Washington Post reveals that Scott’s gifts to lesser endowed colleges and universities came to a total of $817 million, including $560 million toward historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Additionally, $127 million went to Hispanic-Serving Institutions, $130 million went to five public colleges in Florida, Washington state, Nebraska and Kentucky, and an unspecified amount went toward tribal colleges and universities that serve Native Americans, The Washington Post reports.

In a Tuesday post on Medium, Scott explained that her selection process for the “no strings attached” donations involved her team of advisers using a data-driven approach and suggestions “from hundreds of field experts, funders, and non-profit leaders and volunteers with decades of experience” to identify organizations with strong leadership and impact.

“Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft,” Scott wrote. “Not only are non-profits chronically underfunded, they are also chronically diverted from their work by fundraising, and by burdensome reporting requirements that donors often place on them.”

Scott’s $4.2 billion charity is the second large donation she made this year. In July, Scott gifted nearly $2 billion to 116 organizations. Her charitable acts follow Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ $120 million donation to HBCUs and Black student scholarships, which included $40 million to the United Negro College Fund.

“These 384 carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others,” Scott wrote. “If you’re craving a way to use your time, voice, or money to help others at the end of this difficult year, I highly recommend a gift to one of the thousands of organizations doing remarkable work all across the country.”