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United Way of Central Maryland Receives Transformational Gift from MacKenzie Scott

Scott’s $20 million gift is the largest single individual donation in organization’s history May 10, 2021

Baltimore, Md. (December 16, 2020) – United Way of Central Maryland announced today that MacKenzie Scott has gifted the organization with $20 million. This transformative gift, the largest single donation in the nonprofit’s 95-year history, will immediately accelerate and expand the impact of the organization’s work.

“A gift of this size allows us to fast-track our already proven programs and services to help more people, more rapidly,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “We know that systemic change is required to tackle immediate needs and longstanding inequities here in Greater Baltimore. We will continue to get people what they need right now, while tackling the long-term and structural challenges that we know are creating barriers to life’s basic needs.”

Scott and her advisors began with a list of 6,500 organizations and narrowed that down to 384 organizations based on evidence of impact, strength of management, and other factors. “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,” Scott wrote.

“The fact that Scott’s gift included no parameters for the critical work we do is a testament to her support of our work as a proven lifeline for those in need—all the time, but especially during the COVID-19 crisis” added Franklyn.

United Way of Central Maryland’s extensive network of service providers, nonprofits, public partners, supporters, and volunteers mean the nonprofit is more than ready to honor the intent of this unrestricted investment and provide what’s needed, where it’s needed. The organization not only has deep ties to and a true understanding of the Central Maryland region, but a strong understanding of current community needs based on its robust sources of research and data.

“We are profoundly grateful to MacKenzie Scott for her trust and investment in United Way of Central Maryland and our 95-year mission to do what we are here to do: improve lives by empowering leaders and mobilizing the caring power of our communities,” Baker added. “This transformative gift will immediately be translated to meaningful impact and support key initiatives of our strategic plan to bring together partners to take on the toughest challenges facing our communities, propel innovative programs that benefit the residents of our region, and connect generous people with the causes they care about most. We are honored and proud that we were selected among so many truly amazing organizations from across the country. It is the greatest validation of the good work we’re doing.”

United Way continues to provide what’s needed, where it’s needed: right now, and in the long-term – because the organization knows that helping people become financially stable can’t be achieved in a day. The nonprofit’s work, as always, remains focused on making communities more livable, opportunities more equal, families more stable, and lives better for those who call Central Maryland home.

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United Way of Central Maryland promotes equity, creates opportunity, and improves lives by increasing access to basic needs such as health, housing, employment, and education. Learn more at uwcm.org.

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