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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett: $2.7B Round of Giving Benefits Nonprofit Infrastructure, Community-Centered Services & Education

On June 15, 2021, MacKenzie Scott announced her most recent round of generosity: a $2.7 billion philanthropic investment. Ms. Scott, her husband Dan Jewett, and “a constellation of researchers and administrators” set out to support “high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”  Even though a few months have passed, it’s safe to assume that the 286 organizations focused on nonprofit infrastructure, community-centered services, and education are still surprised, excited, and energized to make an impact with the new funding. In fact, we can do more than assume, as Charity Navigator was one of the nonprofits supported. The funds we received will go a long way in accelerating the work outlined in our 2026 Strategic Plan.

In May of this year, we published an article analyzing Ms. Scott’s first round of giving in 2020. We found that 90% of the nonprofits supported  in 2020 were highly rated by Charity Navigator (having 3 and 4-Stars or scoring 75 or above through our Encompass Rating System). It was heartening to find that our evaluations, which we make available to donors for free, aligned so closely with the due diligence Ms. Scott and her team underwent when selecting grantees.  

How the 2021 Giving Aligns with Charity Navigator Ratings 

With another generous investment into the nonprofit sector, we were once again curious to see how MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett’s giving aligned with our ratings. Below are our findings:

  • 186 nonprofits (65%) supported received 3 or 4 Stars via our Star Rating System or received a score of 75 or above via our Encompass Rating System. Both of these achievements come with a ‘Give with Confidence’ designation.
  • 22 nonprofits (7%) were rated 2 Stars or less, or had received an Encompass score of 74 or lower (a failing score). These organizations do not earn a  ‘Give with Confidence’ designation.
  • 61 nonprofits (21%) were unrated by Charity Navigator.  Nonprofits are not rated by Charity Navigator for a variety of reasons.  For example, the nonprofit may not meet our tax filing criteria to be rated, the organization may fall within specific types of organizational groups that we do not rate (see here), or it may be a foreign entity and not a U.S. tax exempt charitable organization. 

Here’s a visual representation of the rating breakdown:

The majority of organizations supported are considered highly-rated on Charity Navigator. Once again, this signals that our ratings are a good barometer for everyday donors that don’t have access to advisors that assist in philanthropic decision-making. 

It is interesting that more organizations were unrated or had Encompass scores below 75 than in the previous round of giving. In Ms. Scott’s article, she spoke of the desire to uplift historically overlooked communities, which leads us to believe that these organizations could be hidden gems, capable of making change when afforded the right funding. Additionally, it’s worth noting that we are increasing the depth of our evaluations, and, as we continue to do so, we’ll learn more about these nonprofits and gain a better picture of their total impact. 

As this investment will be transformational for the organizations included (and the beneficiaries), it’ll be fascinating to see how these organizations evolve and, in turn, how it affects their Charity Navigator ratings. It’s not every day that someone is donating billions of dollars (yet)! That said, we hope that Mackenize Scott and Dan Jewett’s continued generosity inspires others. 

The Results: A Data Breakdown

Nonprofits highly-rated by Charity Navigator

3-Star rated: 31 (1 assigned a Low Advisory)

4-Star rated: 26

Encompass Passing: 129

Nonprofits with low or failing ratings by Charity Navigator

O-Star rated: 0

1-Star rated: 0

2-Star rated: 7

Encompass Fail: 15

Unrated nonprofits

Organizations with undetermined statuses
:  17

We could not determine whether these entities were tax exempt.

Authored by Kevin Scally, Chief Relationship Officer, and Stacy Steele, Director of Marketing & Communications.

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1 comment:

terrirobertsrn said...

Thank you for your detailed and thought provoking analysis of the past two cycles of MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett's generous donations.

Self-reflection is important and as an organization you stepped up when examining and analyzing this couples beneficiaries, to improve the work you are doing in rating non-profits serving our communities.

It was an enlightened and refreshing read.

Terri Roberts JD, RN