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Statement from United Way of Northeast Florida President and CEO Michelle Braun on MacKenzie Scott’s historic gift

December 16, 2020

We are thrilled to share renowned author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott selected United Way of Northeast Florida to receive a $20 million gift to further our impact. This gift represents the largest in our 96-year history and underpins the critical role our organization plays in the community.

We are humbled by this recognition and the show of confidence Ms. Scott has placed in us with this gift – and for raising awareness about the critical issues communities like ours are facing. This profound commitment is a testament to the work of our team and our partners – and to the meaningful change we accomplish together.

We are one of 384 organizations selected from among 6,940 as a recipient of this exceptional donation from Scott. According to Scott’s announcement, organizations were chosen for their “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.”

The community and our nonprofit partners depend on the annual funding we raise each year from our incredible donors. Their support for the day-to-day work meeting our community’s needs is how we fuel change. While Ms. Scott’s gift is significant, the needs in our community are great and escalating dramatically during these challenging times. It is our hope this gift will serve as a springboard for more people to get involved because change doesn’t happen alone.

Over the next few months, United Way will develop its long-term strategy for how to best utilize this extraordinary gift. This will include creating sustainable initiatives for the benefit of our community that effectively address the most pressing issues we face.

We know community change, especially sustainable change, is not easy and doesn’t happen overnight. But, together – standing alongside our donors, partners, volunteers and staff – we know it’s possible.