February 24, 2023

Recent Investments in Friends of the Children Point to Serving 20,000 Children and Families by 2025

In the past six months, the Friends of the Children national network has received two catalytic investments to grow the number of children and families who have a Friend to walk alongside them for 12+ years – no matter what. The gifts total $77 million: $44M from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and $33M from philanthropists Gary and Christine Rood. These investments not only demonstrate the faith funders have in the Friends of the Children unique long-term mentoring model, but they also provide momentum and resources for the organization to reach more youth across the country.

“With more than 10,000 five-year olds entering foster care every year, it is more important than ever that every child who needs a Friend has one,” says Terri Sorensen, CEO of Friends of the Children - National. “The generous investments from MacKenzie Scott and Gary and Christine Rood mean that by 2025 the Friends of the Children network will grow to 45 locations, and with the potential to serve more than 20,000 children and family members.”

The MacKenzie Scott gift consisted of $44 million: Friends of the Children – National received a $15 million gift and 12 of its chapters received direct gifts totaling $29 million. Those chapters include Austin, Boston, Central Oregon, Chicago, Detroit, Klamath Basin, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma and Tampa Bay. The largest single gift ever received by the organization in its 30-year history, the funding will support existing locations through a Chapter Impact Fund, as well as expansion of child and whole-family well-being across the country.

Of the $33 million gift by Gary and Christine Rood $28 million will support expanding child and whole-family well-being services to thousands more children and families throughout the nation, including $5 million to be directly given to the Friends of the Children - SW Washington chapter located in the Rood’s community. The remaining $5 million will establish the Friends of the Children National Center of Excellence, which will be named after our founder, Duncan Campbell, and his wife Cindy.

“Friends of the Children’s proven track record and long-term commitment to youth deserves not just recognition but continued and sustaining investment,” said 84-year-old Gary Rood, owner of Rood Investments in Vancouver, Wash. “We are deeply committed to giving generously now because so many children and families need support now more than ever. We also want to see the fruits of this gift within our lifetime. It will be an honor to witness how this gift may transform youth and their communities across the country in the next few years.”