Philadelphia, December 15, 2020 — Reinvestment Fund announced today that it has received a major gift from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott. Reinvestment Fund is among 384 organizations who received a total of $4.2 billion today as part of Ms. Scott’s giving to organizations working to alleviate suffering for those hardest hit by the pandemic. The award is the largest individual gift in the organization’s 35+ year history and will help advance the organization’s work to build strong, healthy and equitable communities nationwide.
“We are immensely grateful for and humbled by this extraordinary gift from Ms. Scott,” said Don Hinkle-Brown, President and CEO of Reinvestment Fund. “It is a recognition of not just our work, but that organizations like us who are at the forefront of expanding economic prosperity for all Americans, have effective plans that are idled or unscaled by a shortage of unrestricted funding such as this. Ms. Scott has shown a trust and confidence in community development practitioners that is rare in today’s more prescriptive and restricted philanthropy.”
The gift will give Reinvestment Fund enormous flexibility, allowing it to aim resources towards ever changing areas of need exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic and the nation’s history of systemic racism. Reinvestment Fund expects to use a portion of the funds to advance racial equity and to leverage additional capital as it launches or expands initiatives to address today’s challenges.
“Reinvestment Fund has spent much of this year ramping up relief and recovery programs in support of communities, particularly of color, hardest hit by the pandemic,” shared Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics and Chair of Reinvestment Fund’s Board of Directors. “This transformational gift will allow Reinvestment Fund to significantly step up these efforts.”
Over the past nine months, Reinvestment Fund has launched several new collaborations and programs to support small businesses and organizations in the early childhood education and food access sectors. The pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the fragility of both sectors, which are also essential to health and economic recovery. With the gift, Reinvestment Fund expects to expand its work make these sectors stronger and more sustainable.
The donation will also help Reinvestment Fund grow investments in historically undercapitalized sectors, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that support Black students and the communities surrounding the schools. To date, Reinvestment has invested $25 million in HBCUs.
This rare, unrestricted gift is also significant for nonprofits like Reinvestment Fund as it provides precious resources to invest in systems improvements and operations. These organizational investments are critical to efficiency and scalability as Reinvestment Fund continues to grow its capacity to bring flexible capital to underserved communities.