New Profit receives breakthrough funding from MacKenzie Scott to support proximate leaders

The unrestricted gift will enable the organization to continue to expand its support for social entrepreneurs and other leaders who have lived experience with the systems in our country that need to change.

June 15, 2021

BOSTON, June 15, 2021 – New Profit, a venture philanthropy fund operated by and for social entrepreneurs, announced a significant donation from MacKenzie Scott. The unrestricted gift will enable the organization to continue to expand its support for social entrepreneurs and other leaders who have lived experience with the systems in our country that need to change. 

Proximate leaders have the deepest knowledge about the assets in their communities and the systems that must be transformed, and are creating innovative, experience-driven solutions in education, health, economic mobility, democracy, and other areas. This new funding makes it possible to provide these leaders with much needed growth capital and strategic support at a critical moment in philanthropy’s evolution. 

“We have been leaving impact on the table for far too long by not investing in those closest to the challenges we want to address, in part because we have had too narrow a view of what talent looks like and where it comes from,” said Tulaine Montgomery, Co-CEO of New Profit. “This gift acknowledges New Profit’s commitment to investing in the genius of proximate problem solvers.”

In 2018, New Profit conducted research to analyze and understand the dynamics at play in the social sector around racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion. The study showed that while the majority of social sector organizations serve communities of color and other communities historically overlooked and underinvested in by government, the private sector, and philanthropy, only 10% of nonprofit organizations are helmed by Black or Latinx leaders and less than 4% of philanthropic funding goes to these organizations. The research also showed that these leaders face acute challenges in securing unrestricted, longer-term grants that would allow them to build capacity in their organizations and scale impact.  

Watch this 3-minute video to learn more about New Profit and proximate entrepreneurs.

“This donation will move us closer to our goal of raising $100 million this year, which will allow us to provide proximate leaders with the growth capital and capacity building they need to lead the way to an America where everyone thrives,” said Vanessa Kirsch, Founder and Co-CEO of New Profit. “We are honored to be among this group of truly amazing organizations that, together, represent the full breadth of the human experience.”

Over the last 23 years, New Profit has supported 78 social entrepreneur-led organizations with a signature mix of unrestricted capital and capacity-building support. Through deep diligence, portfolio support, and measurement and evaluation, combined with cross-sector partnerships with industry leaders like Deloitte Consulting LLP, and a multi-racial community of entrepreneurs and philanthropists, New Profit offers a platform to individuals and institutions who want to support and enable systems change. 

“The catalytic grant from MacKenzie Scott is more evidence that a strong community of funders and other partners is coming together with New Profit to back social entrepreneurs who have been overlooked by philanthropy for too long,” said New Profit Board Chairman Jeff Walker. “We are calling on others who are committed to disrupting the status quo and taking on change at the systemic level to join us in driving a wave of new support to proximate leaders.”

New Profit is currently raising $100 million from both institutional and individual donors to invest immediately in its pipeline of high-performing organizations in education, economic mobility, democracy and other areas. 

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About New Profit

New Profit is a nonprofit venture philanthropy organization that backs breakthrough social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. New Profit’s investment strategy focuses on building a breakthrough portfolio to take on entrenched systemic challenges in America, particularly by driving resources and support to Black, Indigenous, and Latino/a/x social entrepreneurs who have unique proximity to solutions, but face stark racial funding disparities in philanthropy; investing in social entrepreneurs with new systems change models across a range of issues; and creating jobs and opportunity by funding Future of Work innovation.