January 27, 2021
Transformational gift from MacKenzie Scott will help Central Indiana residents rebound and recover
INDIANAPOLIS – United Way of Central Indiana today confirmed that the organization received $25 million from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott – the largest gift from one donor in the organization’s 102-year history. The transformational gift will dramatically enhance United Way’s ongoing work to improve the education, health and financial stability of Central Indiana residents, meet their basic needs and advance equity and opportunity in the six counties the organization serves.
“United Way of Central Indiana is truly honored to be among the 384 organizations chosen to receive a gift. With so many in our community reeling from the health and economic effects of the pandemic, recovery will not come overnight,” said Ann Murtlow, president and CEO, United Way of Central Indiana. “This gift is testament to the hard work of our people and partners, core strategy, demonstrated impact, and deep commitment to making Central Indiana a strong, healthy and equitable community for all.”
United Way leadership anticipates working with community partners over the next three to five years to determine the best opportunities for these funds to support economic and social mobility, while paying special attention to the structural barriers that stand in the way of equity for all individuals.
Scott announced in a Medium post in December that she would be donating a total of $4.1 billion to 384 organizations across the country as part of a giving pledge she announced last year. To accelerate her giving, Scott assembled a team of expert advisors to identify organizations “with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital,” writes Scott.
The search began with more than 6,400 organizations and was narrowed to 384 through a rigorous, data-driven approach that included “hundreds of emails and phone interviews, and thousands of pages of data analysis on community needs, program outcomes, and each non-profit’s capacity to absorb and make effective use of funding,” per Scott. She continued sharing that this deep due diligence was meant “to identify organizations with high potential for impact.”
As donors look to give to nonprofits, Scott encourages them to consider the organizations vetted by her team and included in this round of donations.
United Way of Central Indiana is one of four Indiana and two Indianapolis nonprofit organizations to meet that high standard and receive a major gift from Scott.
About United Way of Central Indiana: United Way is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers, and partners who fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit www.uwci.org to learn more.
Jessica DiSanto | Senior Director of Communications at United Way of Central Indiana
Emily Sandberg | Vox Global