Going slightly under the radar in the UK as her giving is US-focused, MacKenzie Scott is doing very interesting things in the world of philanthropy. As a writer, she also communicates her thinking and ideas very well. Two thoughts here from a long article, one on how we support community groups and one on the pandemic.
On her approach to funding she says "Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft. Not only are non-profits chronically underfunded, they are also chronically diverted from their work by fundraising, and by burdensome reporting requirements that donors often place on them." Having worked for charities much of my life this chimes powerfully. As someone now fortunate enough to be a funder it challenges me to think about the burdens and requirements we place on people before and after we transfer funding to them.
On the pandemic, she draws on the writing of Emily Dickinson and her thoughts about hope. As someone who spent much of her life in isolation, albeit voluntary, her words have a powerful resonance today. The quote below is inspiring and MacKenzie linking it to the wonderful response to the pandemic she has seen and we have seen is a powerful message of hope.
The immense generosity of people through the pandemic has been uplifting and helps me get up in the morning to do my job. Thank you to everyone from the community groups to the philanthropists, from the front-line health workers to the vaccine researchers, and from the neighbours to the global thinkers and writers who help us think about, and process, the challenges we are facing.
“’Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” it begins, “/ That perches in the soul / And sings the song without the words / And never stops — at all -”