MacKenzie Scott donates $50 million to National 4-H Council

Writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $50 million to the National 4-H Council — the largest single gift in 4-H's 120-year history.

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Writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $50 million to the National 4-H Council — the largest single gift in 4-H's 120-year history.

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization and is the youth development program of the nation’s Cooperative Extension System and U.S. Department of Agriculture. It serves 6 million kids and families in every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower 1 million youth in 50 countries.

“National 4-H Council is grateful to MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, for their belief in Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and its life-changing outcomes for youth,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of National 4-H Council. “Their generosity will sustain 4-H’s commitment to ensuring all young people — regardless of their background or beliefs — are empowered with the skills to lead for a lifetime.”

Scott, the former spouse of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, pledged in 2019 to dedicate the majority of her wealth to charitable causes.

"In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share. My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty," she wrote.


She has since given away billions of dollars to a variety of organizations and causes.

While 4-H is known for its history as an agriculture education program, the program now engages youth around the country with programs in STEM , healthy living and civic engagement , as well as agriculture .

The Council says the $50 million will help close the " opportunity gap ," often reflected in communities with less investments in schools, after-school, and community programs, and will build on the work of 4-H educators, leaders, volunteers, youth, alumni and donors.

“Together, we have built a life-changing movement that serves 6 million youth each year,” Sirangelo said. “Fueled by this historic investment, we will make even greater progress toward our shared vision: providing all young people with access to opportunity.”

“This extraordinary gift is a rare and special occurrence,” said Krysta Harden, National 4-H Council Board Chair and President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “With such a significant gift comes great responsibility. We will engage our stakeholders to ensure these resources lift the diverse voices of young people and create equitable and inclusive opportunities for this generation, and many future generations to come.”

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