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Rising Ground Receives Major Donation from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

A transformative gift which will help provide children, adults, and families with the resources and skills they need to rise above adversity and positively direct their lives

Rising Ground announced in May 2022 that the award-winning multi-service human services organization had received an $8 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The gift is the largest since the organization’s founding in 1831.

According to Alan Mucatel, Rising Ground’s CEO, initially, some of the funds will allow Rising Ground to invest and support three key programs: ParentChild+, an in-home early literacy program; its Family Resource Center providing no cost tangible supports to Bronx families; and its innovative work strengthening families where foster parents co-parent with the birth parents of children in foster care.

“Ms. Scott’s remarkable gift will help sustain the organization as it operates more than 50 programs at more than 70 sites across New York City and Westchester County,” Mr. Mucatel said. He added that Rising Ground employs a workforce of more than 1,400 people.

“We are profoundly grateful to Ms. Scott for her transformative gift which will help provide children, adults, and families with the resources and skills they need to rise above adversity and positively direct their lives,” he said. “Given the broad array of worthy organizations across the country, we are extraordinarily humbled and proud to have been identified to receive a gift from her. Likewise, we are affirmed and made stronger by generous support from donors making donations of every size.”

In announcing the donations in March in her blog post “Helping Any of Us Can Help Us All” on medium.com, she commented: “We seek a portfolio of organizations that supports the ability of all people to participate in solutions. This means a focus on the needs of those whose voices have been underrepresented. It also means including others within the system who want to help improve it, harnessing insights and engagement from every role.” She noted that helping organizations that work with “people directly experiencing inequities is essential, both because it is informed by insights no one else can contribute, and because it seeds power and opportunity within the community itself…”

During the past three years, MacKenzie Scott has made hundreds of gifts worth billions of dollars through a donor advised fund (not a foundation). She has steadfastly supported nonprofit organizations of varying sizes that have strong track records of serving those with under-supported needs. Since 2019, 1,257 nonprofit organizations have benefited from her generosity.

Mr. Mucatel said Rising Ground’s board and staff were genuinely surprised and thrilled about the gift. “While we will never really know the process in which we were selected, with the support of Ms. Scott and our many friends and donors, Rising Ground will continue to help New Yorkers to move upward and forward in their lives as we assist them to create foundations for positive change and growth.”