Three Arkansas organizations have received gifts from a prominent philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
The Arkansas Foodbank, Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and Southern Bancorp Community Partners are three Arkansas organizations that received donations from Scott as part of a raft of more than $4 billion in donations she has made. In total, Scott announced $4,158,500,000 in gifts to 384 organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C.
“These 384 carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others, working and volunteering and serving real people face-to-face at bedsides and tables, in prisons and courtrooms and classrooms, on streets and hospital wards and hotlines and frontlines of all types and sizes, day after day after day,” Scott wrote in a Medium post.
In 2019, Scott pledged to give a majority of her wealth – estimated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to be $60.9 billion – away. “In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share. My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty,” she wrote.
Scott began the process of identifying organizations to give money to, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the investigative process, Scott’s team looked at 6,490 organizations with a heavier focus on 822 of the organizations. From those 822, the team whittled down the list to 384 with 438 being placed on hold “for now due to insufficient evidence of impact, unproven management teams, or to allow for further inquiry about specific issues such as treatment of community members or employees.”
Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a 501(c)(3) loan fund and Community Development Financial Institution, received $2 million from Scott.
“We are very grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this expression of confidence in our work to help improve financial security and economic mobility for people in the Mid-South regardless of zip code,” SBCP president Karama Neal said in a statement “As a nonprofit loan fund, gifts like these are critical to the fulfillment of our mission as they facilitate our work in development lending, savings-related public policy, and financial development services. We are thrilled to receive this gift and excited to put it to work for the people and communities we serve alongside our partners, Southern Bancorp, Inc. and Southern Bancorp Bank, with which we share a commitment to ensuring that wealth building isn’t just for the wealthy.”
The amounts given to Arkansas Foodbank and the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas have not been announced.