4 big ideas awarded $40 million from Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott to advance women – because equality can’t wait

July 29, 2021

Billionaire philanthropists Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott have formed the ultimate dream team, awarding tens of millions to advance girls and women this week.

“The awardees are strong teams working on the front lines and from within communities to help women build power in their lives and careers,” MacKenzie Scott said. This is not the first time she has given directly to nonprofits.

Last year, her team took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital. She gifted over $4 billion in four months to the 384 organizations listed in her blog post.

“We can break the patterns of history and advance gender equality, but we must commit to lifting up organizations, like the ones receiving awards today, that are ready to lift up women and girls.” – Melinda French Gates

Here are the four winning ideas, each awarded $10 million grant:

💡  Building Women’s Equality through Strengthening the Care Infrastructure: National Domestic Workers Alliance & Caring Across Generations

A cross-movement coalition of organizations transforming antiquated attitudes around caregiving as unpaid work to establish a publicly supported care infrastructure — National Domestic Workers Alliance organizes domestic workers in the United States for respect, recognition and labor standards, and Caring Across Generations connects across generations to strengthen family and caregiving relationships.

💡  Changing the Face of Tech: Ada Academy

Ada Academy offers a cost-free software developer academy for women and gender expansive folks. With the grant, the nonprofit will expand their immersive training and internship program creating pathways for thousands of women and gender expansive people into impactful software development careers.

💡  Project Accelerate: Girls Inc

The nonprofit Girls Inc proposes “Project Accelerate” — accelerating young women’s trajectories through college and career entry, leveraging partnerships with corporations and social impact organizations to ensure their preparation and access to positions of influence. Project Accelerate aims to lift 5,400 diverse women into corporate positions of power and influence, shifting the equity landscape for generations.

💡  The Future is Indigenous Womxn: New Mexico Community Capital & Native Women Lead

 The Future is Indigenous Womxn is a project to support and scale impactful businesses owned by Native womxn. An established coalition between New Mexico Community Capital and Native Women Lead will deliver a culturally relevant solution to the gender and racial wealth gap — scaling impactful businesses owned by Native womxn to create a waterway of investable companies. Their growth will increase power and influence within their families and unlock potential for wealth creation through community employment opportunities. In addition, the national investment landscape will be assessed through an Indigenous lens, engaging investors to remove systemic blocks Indigenous people face. 

The “Equality Can’t Wait” challenge will award additional funding to two finalists, and feature top ideas on the new Equality Can’t Wait Idea Lab website. We can’t wait!

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