Identifying common traits of MacKenzie Scott donees

MacKenzie Scott has granted more than $15 billion to almost 2,000 nonprofits since 2019. Now Harvard researchers have dug into data on the philanthropist’s donations and identified trends. For example, the average Scott grantee generates five times more revenue than the typical nonprofit. Recipients had average net assets of $46 million, almost quadruple the $12 million average for the nonprofit sector.

Through 2022, nonprofits in the youth, philanthropy and housing sectors represented a larger share of grantees compared with the size of those segments of charitable giving generally. Many of the largest grants went to the foundations or fundraising arms of historically Black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions. Grants to human services and youth development organizations generally were significantly smaller and made to organizations with far lower-than-average revenues.

Why organizations face a leadership void  

The newest report in the Building Movement Project’s “Race to Lead” series finds that, just as more Baby Boomers are stepping down from the top jobs in nonprofits, fewer people want to step up. The Push and Pull: Declining Interest in Nonprofit Leadership presents findings from a survey of nonprofit staff on the factors related to their aspiration to top leadership roles, as well as the experiences of current nonprofit leaders.

Interestingly, the respondents who had received more support in their careers were less interested in the executive director position, while respondents who had faced more challenges (for example, inadequate salaries and a lack of mentors) were more likely to pursue top leadership positions. The findings suggest that aspiring leaders aren’t being pulled into leadership through support and positive role models but are more often pushed into top positions to escape difficult work circumstances and improve the situation.

What are some emerging philanthropy trends?

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy’s latest 11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2024 report is packed with examples and data on emerging trends in philanthropy. It examines their relevance to the daily work of nonprofits, foundations, donors, advisors, community members and others.

This year’s report identifies developments such as the “glass cliff” crisis for leaders of color, growing interest in fiscal sponsorship and the rise of influencer philanthropy. The center notes that each trend poses a number of moral, economic and other questions that the sector will need to answer. For some areas, such as AI in the workplace and the adoption of new federal protocols for race and ethnicity data, the answers may come soon. For others, including the need for investment in the growing Southern region, it likely will take more time.

© 2024

Icon for Thompson Greenspon
Thompson Greenspon

This blog post was provided by Thompson Greenspon. If you have questions or concerns regarding this content, please contact us.