Goodwill Northern Michigan Selected as $5 Million Gift Recipient

Goodwill Northern Michigan was selected as a $5 million gift recipient by MacKenzie Scott. The local nonprofit is among 384 organizations nationwide that are receiving unsolicited major gifts.

Goodwill Northern Michigan is pleased to announce a one-time, unrestricted $5 million gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. In the last four months, Scott has given unexpected gifts totaling $4.2 billion to 384 organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC. In a Medium post about her gift, she explained the rigorous “data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results” used in selecting Goodwill Northern Michigan and 383 others from a pool of 6,490 candidates. Goodwill Northern Michigan is privileged to be included in this select group of organizations working to alleviate suffering for those hardest hit by the pandemic.

“This gift is a great opportunity for Northern Michigan, and a great responsibility for our organization,” said Goodwill Northern Michigan Executive Director Dan Buron. “Combined with the support we receive from our family of donors, we are in a position to play an enhanced regional role in fulfilling our mission to reduce food insecurity and make homelessness a rare, brief, and one-time experience. We’re grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this demonstration of confidence in our organization, and to all of our donors who join her in supporting Goodwill Northern Michigan.”

Scott, who was named on TIME’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2020, has pledged to donate the majority of her fortune over her lifetime. In selecting gift recipients, according to her Medium post, Scott’s “team sought suggestions and perspective from hundreds of field experts, funders, and non-profit leaders and volunteers with decades of experience. … We do this research and deeper diligence not only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached.”

Buron is excited about the possibilities this gift opens up for Northern Michigan. “Resources of all kinds are needed by organizations like ours, working to strengthen our communities, and all contributions matter,” he said. “We work in strategic partnership with multiple community partners and donors at all levels to maximize the impact of their investments in providing food to neighbors in need and helping people find home. Every donor that supports Goodwill Northern Michigan with their time, resources, and energy makes an enormous difference in our ability to create a stronger community in which everyone can flourish.”

Board Chair Lindsay Raymond noted the fortuitous timing of Scott’s gift. “We are in the early stages of our next strategic planning cycle, setting goals for the next three to five years. How best to invest the resources with which we have been entrusted in order to strengthen the Northern Michigan community will be of primary importance and will involve consultation with community leaders, donors, and people with lived experience,” said Raymond. “A gift of this magnitude allows us to reach further than we ever have before, and ensure that our community and those we serve have enduring support for years to come.”

Read more Northern Michigan nonprofit stories, as well as how to donate and volunteer, in the free digital edition of MyNorth GIVE 2020 below; And get it in print for free when you subscribe to Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

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