August 24, 2022

Friends of the Children Network Receives $44 Million Gift from MacKenzie Scott to Support its Long-term Mentoring Model

We are honored to announce the largest single gift ever received by Friends of the Children in its 30-year history

Friends of the Children – National announced today that its national network received a gift of $44 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Of the $44 million, Friends of the Children – National received a $15 million gift and 12 of its chapters received direct gifts totaling $29 million. This is the largest single gift ever received by the organization in its 30-year history.

“We are honored to kickstart our 30th anniversary of serving children with this extraordinary gift from MacKenzie Scott. This catalytic investment means we will continue expanding across the country to provide a Friend to thousands more youth,” said Terri Sorensen, CEO of Friends of the Children - National. “In 2020, nearly 32,000 children ages four to six entered foster care in the U.S. – that’s 32,000 children and families who may have avoided foster care involvement if they’d had a Friend by their side.”

This extraordinary gift will support the organization in expanding its child and whole-family well-being services to thousands more children and families at new Friends of the Children locations. The funds will go towards launching 10 new chapters and getting to 25 states and sovereign nations in partnership with communities by 2025. In addition, Friends of the Children – National will be creating a chapter impact fund to support ongoing grants to chapters and to grow the National team to further support our work across the country.

Olympic gymnast and youth advocate Simone Biles spoke to the power of the Friends of the Children model when she heard about the gift and leant her voice to speak to the media about the organization.

“I know from my own experiences that children often face a lot of hard things as they grow up, and the love and support I received after my foster care experience allowed me to thrive and see myself for all that I could be,” said Simone. “That’s why I believe the long-term mentorship that Friends of the Children provides is so meaningful—having just one person who believes in you can truly impact a young person’s life. “

Simone continued: “I am excited that MacKenzie Scott is investing in Friends of the Children to empower more youth across the country! In supporting Friends of the Children, it is my hope that more children will have access to a ‘Friend’ and be inspired to pursue their hopes and dreams in all communities, including my hometown of Houston, Texas.” 

For more about this exciting gift in the press release, please click below: