It is well known by now that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott is on a mission to give away half of her considerable wealth to charity. This week, a multibillion round of grants announced by her foundation included dozens of organizations in the child welfare and youth justice space.
Youth Services Insider was hipped to the release by iFoster, a national nonprofit that connects youth in the system with resources and opportunities, whose leadership was told on Friday that the organization would receive an unrestricted grant of $5 million.
“It was a big, out-of-the-blue surprise and quite honestly, hard to believe it was real until MacKenzie Scott’s public announcement,” iFoster Co-Founder Serita Cox said in an email to Youth Services Insider today. “An investment of this magnitude is game-changing for an organization of our size. I am proud to say that we have incredible, long-term funding partners who ensure our growth year over year so this is truly additive.”
The Dave Thomas Foundation, which is itself a grant maker, was also informed last week that it would receive $20 million in unrestricted support.
“I had to keep from sobbing on the phone,” said foundation CEO Rita Soronen.
The recent grants, totaling nearly $4 billion, were released on Scott’s site on the Medium platform. You can click here to see the full list of winners.
We scoured the list for recipients related to child welfare, youth justice or youth and family homelessness … probably missed some, but here is what we found. The post notes that these grants have all been made since June of 2021, though many of the groups on the list we spoke with heard about their inclusion this month.
- A New Way of Life, which works on family reunification after a parent has been incarcerated.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America, along with dozens of local chapters of the organization.
- Center for Law and Social Policy, a Beltway policy shop with a significant focus on family and child well-being.
- Child Trends, one of the leading research and evaluation groups on child welfare issues.
- Children’s Home Society’s programs in North Carolina and Washington.
- Communities In Schools’ national organization and several local sites, which work to make campuses a center for family support before and after the school day.
- Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which oversees the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program aimed at increasing success in finding permanency for older foster youth.
- iFoster, a national nonprofit that connects foster youth with resources such as cellphones and laptops and operates a job training partnership with several major corporations.
- Impact Justice, which focuses on restorative justice and other strategies for preventing involvement in the formal juvenile or criminal justice systems.
- Nurse-Family Partnership, a home visiting program that pairs nurses with new and expecting parents.
- Pressley Ridge, a multiservice provider that operates a range of community-based, foster care and residential services in the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest.
- Rising Ground, a multiservice provider in New York City.
- Shatterproof, dedicated to helping develop the science and knowledge base around addiction treatment.
- Silver Lining Mentoring, which connects youth in Massachusetts foster care with volunteer mentors.
- The Jed Foundation, focused on improving mental health support and suicide prevention for teens and young adults.
- The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, founded by film producer Scott Budnick, a justice reform group with a focus on rethinking interventions with young offenders.
- Upstream USA, which is focused on reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies in the United States.
- Vera Institute of Justice, one of the largest research and analysis groups in the country when it comes to youth justice issues.
- Wayfinder Foundation, an investor in grassroots organizers and activists to fight poverty.
- Young People in Recovery, which operates support groups in 17 states to support youth and young adults recovering from drug addiction.
- Youth Villages, a multiservice provider of child welfare and family preservation services in two dozen states.
The Dave Thomas Foundation is a funder of Fostering Media Connections, which publishes The Imprint.