Scott Provides Transformational Funds To Friends of the Children

This time it is Friends of the Children in Portland, Ore., that received a huge gift from MacKenzie Scott — $44 million.

The gift, combined with others during August, have probably put Scott over the $13 billion mark in known donations.

Friends of the Children’s most recent Form 990 shows total revenue of $10.3 million. The organization is a national mentoring program with paid, professional mentors called “Friends” who walk alongside youth for 12+ years, according to information from the nonprofit. Friends of the Children has grown from five to 26 locations across the U.S. during the past eight years, serving urban, rural and Tribal communities.

“We are honored to kickstart our 30th anniversary of serving children with this extraordinary gift from MacKenzie Scott. This catalytic investment means we will continue expanding across the country to provide a Friend to thousands more youth, said Terri Sorensen, CEO of Friends of the Children – National via a press statement. “In 2020, nearly 32,000 children ages four to six entered foster care in the U.S. – that’s 32,000 children and families who may have avoided foster care involvement if they’d had a Friend by their side.”

Of the $44 million, Friends of the Children – National received a $15 million gift and 12 of its chapters received direct gifts totaling $29 million. Those chapters include Austin, Boston, Central Oregon, Chicago, Detroit, Klamath Basin, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma and Tampa Bay. 

It is the largest single gift ever received by the organization, which tends to be the norm with Scott’s giving. Scott did not make an announcement of the gift, which also is routine for her donations.

“I know from my own experiences that children often face a lot of hard things as they grow up and the love and support I received after my foster care experience allowed me to thrive and see myself for all that I could be,” said Simone Biles, youth advocate and Olympic gymnast. “That’s why I believe the long-term mentorship that Friends of the Children provides is so meaningful — having just one person who believes in you can truly impact a young person’s life. I am excited that MacKenzie Scott is investing in Friends of the Children to empower more youth across the country.”

Scott has given away an estimated more than $13 billion to at least 1,261 organizations since 2020. She signed the Giving Pledge in 2019 with a promise to keep giving until 99% of her wealth is gone, and began distributing gifts in 2020. The amount available to give varies with the fortunes of Amazon stock, which year to date is down 20% but up $32 per share from its 52-week low of $101.26