United Way Suncoast and Goodwill Manasota have called the philanthropic contributions a transformational gift that will bolster the services they provide.
Organizations in the Sarasota region are among the recipients of more than $4.1 billion in recent donations from MacKenzie Scott, with United Way Suncoast announcing a $20 million gift and Goodwill Manasota receiving $10 million.
In a release, United Way Suncoast said the donation from the author, philanthropist and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — the largest gift in the organization’s history — was set to transform the work the nonprofit does. The United Way said it intended to put together a strategic plan to guide the use of the donated funds, with the organization committed to serving vulnerable members of the community.
“Ignited by the generosity of one selfless donor, this gift will have a ripple effect on millions.” Jessica Muroff, United Way Suncoast president and CEO, said in the release. “Overnight, the game has changed. Impact will no longer be measured in years — it will be measured for generations.”
Goodwill Manasota will use its funds to support its existing strategic plan and pursue programs it previously could not undertake because it did not have the necessary resources, according to a separate release. Bob Rosinsky, Goodwill Manasota president and CEO, said the gift will help bolster the workforce development services the organization offers.
“We are humbled and grateful by MacKenzie Scott’s transformative contribution, which will address the growing need for skills training for job seekers, while building access to opportunity and equitable hiring as community members continue to face historic hardships during this pandemic,” Rosinsky said in the release.
Easterseals Southwest Florida and Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee also received donations from Scott, according to Scott’s Dec. 16 post on Medium.
"This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling," Scott wrote in the Medium post. "Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires."