MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott Gifts $3M For 2 Alabama Non-Profits

The Amazon co-founder donated $2 million to the ACLU of Alabama and $1 million to the First Light homeless shelter.

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has bestowed a combined $3 million to two Alabama non-profits.

The funding is part of Scott’s recent $640 million donation dispersed among 361 organizations, revealed this week by her organization, Yield Giving. The Amazon co-founder allocated $2 million to the ACLU of Alabama and $1 million to the First Light homeless shelter.

According to the ACLU of Alabama, the donation will allow the organization to fortify its core missions, like voting rights, gender equality, and criminal justice reform.

“This gift is a testament to the importance of investing in the Deep South…organizations like the ACLU of Alabama need to speak up, show up, and push back against lawmakers’ worst inclinations,” ACLU of Alabama’s executive director JaTaune Bosby Gilchrist said. “We are grateful for the support from Ms. Scott and the validation from our peers that our collective vision, strategy, and focus is needed.”

The Birmingham-based shelter First Light, run by volunteers from various churches and groups, provides emergency shelter, housing aid, and additional resources to those experiencing homelessness.

This philanthropic wave emerged from Yield Giving’s “Open Call” in March 2023, which invited community-focused U.S. non-profits with a mission to advance the voices and opportunities of communities of “meager or modest means” and groups that have faced discrimination and other systemic obstacles, according to Yield Giving’s partner, Leverage for Change.

A staggering 6,353 applications arrived; 250 $1 million awards were slated. However, “In light of the incredible work of these organizations, as judged by their peers and external panelists, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount,” Leverage for Change stated in a release.

The top tier of 279 organizations received $2 million in donations; another 82 received $1 million.