Big Thought Announces $2.5 Million in Donations

Big Thought is pleased to announce it has received $2.5 million in donations — $1 million from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation based in Fort Worth, Texas, and $1.5 million from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett.

Scott and Jewett made contributions in support of 286 high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked. These organizations were identified through a rigorous process of research and analysis. Big Thought was one of these organizations, which also included the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Urban Institute and The Freedom Fund. Scott announced these gifts through her blog Seeding by Ceding. Big Thought was selected for its work focused on equity, education and closing the opportunity gap.  

This funding will be invested in expanding on the work Big Thought is doing with its partners in the community to help close the opportunity gap through educational programs, learning communities and advocacy. Big Thought empowers youth to imagine and design a more equitable and innovative future. This gift will enable the organization to continue supporting youth in communities that have traditionally been underfunded and deliver programs that equip learners with the space, tools and skills to think of new ways to approach challenges, make connections and solve problems.

A private family foundation, the Rainwater Charitable Foundation funds initiatives focused on children and believes that high-quality education can transform the life trajectories of children and families. The donation from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation will support Big Thought’s efforts to tackle racial wealth inequality through systemic change.

“Our team at Big Thought is grateful to MacKenzie Scott, Dan Jewett and the Rainwater Charitable Foundation for their investments. We have been doing this work with our community partners for more than 30 years, and these contributions will enable us to keep inspiring all youth to imagine and create a more innovative and equitable world,” said Byron Sanders, president and CEO of Big Thought. “These are transformational gifts that will have a lasting impact. They’ll enable us to learn along with our partners in communities how to center youth agency, deepen our own readiness along a race-equity journey, and equip youth with powerful creative experiences readying them for a twenty-first century world.”