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Every donation, whether $0.50 rounded up on a grocery transaction, all the way up to multi-million dollar commitments, has an important impact on healthcare organizations and the communities they serve. Donors often support a specific cause, physician, research project with their philanthropy, however, another way donors invest their philanthropic dollars is through unrestricted giving, or a donation to an organization with no constraints on its purpose. These gifts are often a sign of very high levels of trust between a donor, an organization, and its leadership. This is especially true when the donation is millions of dollars.

Below is a list of recent $100M+ unrestricted gifts made to healthcare organizations:

  • In September 2021, The University of Massachusetts School of Medicine received a $175M, unrestricted gift from The Morningside Foundation and Chen Family. The gift, which more than doubled the medical school’s endowment, was recognized by renaming various schools: the T.H. Chan School of Medicine; the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing; and the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
  • In September 2020, The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School and UHealth announced a $126M gift from an anonymous The gift was unrestricted support for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center was made in honor of the Sylvester Center’s leader, Dr. Stephen D. Nimer. The gift was made as part of a bequest from a grateful patient family.
  • In February 2022, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received $125M from Jared and Monica Isaacman. Mr. Isaacman led the first, all-civilian trip to space and pledged to donate more than the cost of the endeavor to St. Jude’s. The unrestricted gift supports work in a new 625,000-square-foot research facility, named the Inspiration4 Advanced Research Center. The funds also support St. Jude’s six-year, $11.5B strategic plan to accelerate cancer research and treatment worldwide.

One philanthropist who has made significant, unrestricted donations – to healthcare and other community-supporting non-profit organizations – is MacKenzie Scott and her giving vehicle, Yield Giving. To date, Yield Giving has made grants surpassing $16.5B. Below are examples of unrestricted grants made by Ms. Scott supporting healthcare:

  • In September 2022, MacKenzie Scott made a $30M unrestricted grant to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI set aside $5M of the gift for its grassroots affiliates to maximize their ability to support the communities they serve. This investment supports NAMI’s commitment to amplify its grassroots capacity and scale its peer-led education programs.
  • In February 2022, MacKenzie Scott made a $25M unrestricted gift to the Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity (CGRE). The gift will amplify CGRE’s support for on-the-ground partners working to advance equity and support reproductive care.
  • In February 2022, The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) announced a $20M unrestricted gift from MacKenzie Scott. The gift represented the largest private donation in the history of the university, which was established in 1966 and is one of the nation’s four historically Black medical schools. CDU provides undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs and works to address several areas of health disparities through a multi-pronged translational research approach.
  • In March 2022, VillageReach celebrated a $20M unrestricted donation from MacKenzie Scott. VillageReach plans to utilize the gift to support frontline workers, supply chains, data systems and leadership that allow products and services to support their goal of health access for everyone.
  • In October 2022, the Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) announced it received a one-time, unrestricted gift of $15M from MacKenzie Scott. MSHF supports Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Wasilla, AK.
  • In October 2022, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation received a $15M gift from MacKenzie Scott. The one-time, unrestricted gift supports the foundation’s mission to lead, leverage, and invest in initiatives, programs, and policies that promote health and prevent disease for the residents of the El Paso region.
  • In March 2022, the Center for Health Care Strategies received a $12M unrestricted gift from MacKenzie Scott. The gift will support the foundation’s work to improve health outcomes and advance health equity for people served by Medicaid.
  • In December 2022, the Montana Healthcare Foundation (MHCF) celebrated a $12M unrestricted gift from MacKenzie Scott. This gift will support and further MHCF’s work to improve the health of Montanans.
  • In December 2023, Howard University College of Medicine announced a $12M unrestricted gift from MacKenzie Scott. The College of Medicine will apply the donation towards the establishment of a new innovations center in collaboration with the College of Engineering and Architecture. The center will provide opportunities for medical and engineering students to learn about medical technology and subsequently create new devices with the potential of improving patient care.

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