Scott channels another $7.5M to a Cincinnati nonprofit

National philanthropist billionaire MacKenzie Scott is channeling another $7.5 million to a Greater Cincinnati nonprofit.

Ed Lee

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati confirmed this week that it will receive $7.5 million of a $436 million donation to the parent organization and more than 80 local affiliates from Scott, who is divorced from billionaire and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The gift to the local Habitat chapter is its largest ever, and the donation to the entire organization is Scott’s largest publicly announced gift.

This month’s new giving from Scott adds to the more than estimated nearly $50 million in donations she has already made locally: $25 million to United Way of Greater Cincinnati, $10 million to the Greater Cincinnati YMCA, $6 million to Easterseals Greater Cincinnati, $4 million to Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky and an undisclosed amount to the local YWCA.

The new totals will bring close to $60 million local nonprofits have received out of the nearly $9 billion Scott has given away over the last two years to more than 800 charities. Only about half of Scott’s gifts have been disclosed by the charities receiving them, so there could be even more recipients than has currently been identified.

“We are humbled by MacKenzie Scott’s generosity and her trust in our ability to steward her investment wisely,” said Ed Lee, the local Habitat’s president and CEO. “This remarkable gift will have a catalytic impact on our mission to partner with families to build strength, stability, and self-reliance. This is an unprecedented gift for our organization. It is an honor to be part of this group and we are excited about the transformation this investment can make.”

The need for affordable housing in Greater Cincinnati is enormous.

Habitat for Humanity is part of solutions that include government, private enterprise and nonprofit providers. The local organization will leverage the Scott gift to move forward with a five-year strategic plan that expands the number of families served through traditional homeownership and repair programs, while seeking new ways to build self-sufficiency through financial literacy and construction workforce development.

Since 1986, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati has built, renovated, or repaired more than 680 homes throughout a nine-county region, including Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn and Ohio counties in Indiana. It has also contributed to building more than 1,000 homes globally in Cambodia, El Salvador, Kenya, and Nepal.

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