Five Steps to Make the Most of a Windfall!

Will a Mackenzie Scott grant to your nonprofit make you MORE or LESS attractive to other donors?

Ever since Mackenzie Scott began making unexpected Transformational Gifts to nonprofits in 2019/2020 (a total of about $16 billion so far), some have had a concern that these gifts will somehow ‘chase away’ other donors. As they will assume that the lucky nonprofit is no longer in need of any other funding!

Well, there’s an interesting article in the Boston Globe about two Boston-area nonprofits that received gifts in March 2024.

Not only will they be able to use these gifts – $2 million each – to expand their services to reach and impact even more people, they now are looking as very attractive investments to other donors.

Gladys Vega and Claudia Green were interviewed in the article about the gifts received by the organizations they lead – La Colaborativa and English for New Bostonians.

Since the gifts were announced last week, La Colaborativa had already received a further gift from a new donor!

This aligns with my experience as I have been speaking with a wide range of leaders who have received these gifts from Mackenzie Scott – the gifts are viewed by others as a sign of confidence in the capacity, quality and impact of the organization.

And this is to be expected. After all, in speaking with nonprofit leaders, the organizations that have received these gifts are characterized by one thing…

They were all PREPARED for growth.

These gifts are not going to organizations that are struggling with direction, with quality, with reach. Instead, they are going to those organizations who have already done the hard work needed to bring alignment around a shared purpose and identity, to develop strategy to increase their impact, to strengthen an evidence-based approach, and building the people and processes to deliver on all of this.

So – congratulations to these organizations, and wishing you every success as these gifts propel your growth in reach, quality, and impact!

And as this work attracts further investments, as it surely will!

  1. Engage a Trusted Advisor for the CEO
  2. Consider how to share the news
  3. Establish how you will invest in priorities
  4. Use a Working Group to run the process
  5. Manage ongoing communications



Download the tip-sheet, and contact me to get your copy of the full Making the Most of a Windfall booklet with suggested steps and examples of how other organizations have faced this situation.



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