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MacKenzie Scott gives Hazelwood CDC $2M | The Homepage

By Juliet Martinez, managing editor

In March, MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving announced Hazelwood Initiative Inc. as an Open Call awardee with a grant of $2 million. Open Call grants support organizations working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the United States.

“This will ensure that our work to prioritize the community’s goals continues and grows,” said Executive Director Sonya Tilghman. She listed the priorities as preservation and development of affordable housing, revitalization of the Second Avenue business district, and creation of an environmentally healthy and resilient community. “These funds will help us strengthen our ability to promote development without displacement, which is the vision for all of Greater Hazelwood.”

The grant will fuel the organization’s work as it accelerates into the strategic plan developed in 2023, she said.

“I’m really excited by the opportunity to have substantial unrestricted funds to bring new, exciting capacity to an already hardworking and impressive team,” said nine-year board member Gavin White.

In March 2023, Yield Giving launched an Open Call for community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to meaningfully improve their lives through foundational resources.

The Open Call received 6,353 applications and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each. In late 2023, organizations top-rated by their peers advanced to a second round of review by an external evaluation panel. The panel conducted a final round of due diligence.

In light of the incredible work of these organizations, as judged by their peers and external panelists, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount.

“We are excited that our partnership with Yield Giving has resonated with so many organizations,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change.

“In a world teeming with potential and talent, the Open Call has given us an opportunity to identify, uplift and empower transformative organizations that often remain unseen,” she added.


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