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April 8, 2024

Analyzing MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving Open Call

In March 2024, Yield Giving and Lever for Change announced 361 community-led organizations that were selected through MacKenzie Scott’s first Open Call, which received more than 6,000 applications from across the United States and its Territories. Although the announcement was expected, the outcomes were a surprise to many, awarding $390 million more than planned.

The Collaborative Learning for Impact Philanthropy initiative at Panorama Global has been analyzing and documenting Scott’s giving over the years. Here is what we know about the organizations that were selected in Scott’s first Open Call.

About the Open Call & Selection Process

The Yield Giving Open Call, managed by Lever for Change, stated that 250 organizations would receive $1 million. Eligible organizations had to have operating budgets between $1-5 million (smaller than her previous giving), and be community-led, community-focused organizations focused on supporting people who experience discrimination or other systemic barriers.

Organizations were rated by fellow applicants, then advanced to a second-round review by an Evaluation Panel, and finally underwent a due diligence process. Learn more.

Despite the Open Call stating that 250 organizations would receive $1 million, 279 organizations (77%) received $2 million each. Scott additionally awarded $1 million to the 82 organizations (23%) whose scores fell “in the next tier.” While Scott’s previous average gift size was $7.34 million, in this round it averaged $1.77 million. Nonetheless, organizations have reported that $1 or $2 million gifts are larger than any single gift they have received.  

Organizations selected up to five focus areas to describe their work. The top four categories have remained consistent in all previous giving rounds. The most significant difference in this round of funding is the clear commitment to support organizations working on Equity & Justice. In Scott’s previous giving, 55% of organizations reported this focus, whereas in this round, that number increased to 74%.

Organizations focusing on Democratic Process also saw an increase from 18% of gifts in previous giving to 26% in this round.

The proportion of organizations that reported focusing on Funding & Regranting or Nonprofit Sector decreased compared to previous rounds.  

Nearly 74% of grantees in this round reported one of the sub-categories within the Equity & Justice focus area. The most common choice was Race and Ethnicity, which was selected by 49% of grantees. The next two, Incarceration and Justice System Involvement, and Immigration or Migration, selected by 18.5% each, represent a much higher proportion of total gifts in this round than previous rounds. The investment in these focus areas demonstrates a commitment to the goals outlined in the Open Call, “to advance the voices and opportunities of individuals and families of meager or modest means, and groups who have met with discrimination and other systemic obstacles.”

In previous rounds, 18% of grant recipients reported geographies of service outside the US. However, for this funding round, eligibility was limited to organizations in the US and its Territories. Like many other criteria in the Open Call, this narrows the focus of Scott’s giving but doesn’t entirely change it – most gifts were previously going to US organizations.

This round of funding had a significantly higher percentage of organizations working in the West (35% vs. 25% previously), and a lower percentage of organizations working in the South (27% vs. 38% previously). In 2022, Panorama analyzed Scott’s giving and found that when breaking down Scott’s giving by regions at that time, grants per capita were lowest in the Midwest census region. In this round of funding, the Midwest continues to be relatively underrepresented, receiving only 17.5% of gifts.‍ As Scott continues her giving and explores different review and selection processes, we may see different balances in the representation across US regions.


Scott awarded a total of $640 million to 361 community organizations across the US and Puerto Rico. While gift sizes were significantly smaller than her previous giving, the $1 or $2 million gifts still make up a substantial portion of the budgets of selected organizations, which typically fall between $1 and $5 million. Only about 5% of US nonprofit organizations have a budget in this range, which is a strategic investment for this small group of organizations that are positioned for growth and scale.

The Open Call process allowed for a more transparent and equity-oriented review and selection process. Eligible organizations had to demonstrate their commitment to serving communities who experience discrimination and systemic barriers, which was consistent with Scott’s previous support of organizations that focus on Equity and Justice. Funding from this round will benefit organizations and the people they serve across the US and Puerto Rico.

About this Analysis

This analysis draws from the Yield Giving database where all 361 grant recipients from the Open Call provided self-reported data including focus areas and geographies of service.

We invite you to explore Panorama Global’s Collaborative Learning for Impact Philanthropy (CLIP) initiative, which shares insights derived from impact philanthropy. In the past two years, we've published a series of Insights reports examining the impact of MacKenzie Scott's gifts on nonprofits and addressing the need for further unrestricted and trust-based funding.

This work is funded, in part, by the Skoll Foundation.

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