MacKenzie Scott donates $10 million to Dakota Medical Foundation

Photo by: Dakota Medical Foundation
Photo by: Dakota Medical Foundation

(Fargo, ND) -- The Dakota Medical Foundation is among the recipients in the latest round of donations by MacKenzie Scott.

The foundation received ten-million dollars from the philanthropist.

“We do nothing by ourselves,” said DMF Executive Director Pat Traynor. “This gift reflects the tireless efforts of the thousands of charities, donors, and volunteers we’ve been so blessed to work with over the years through Giving Hearts Day and other community initiatives. A gift like this is truly a game-changer and will be a catalyst to inspire others to join a movement to do good for others.”

Traynor says one initial area of focus will be mental health.

“It’s clear the mental health crisis in our region is an epidemic,” Traynor says, adding that the gift will also be used to amplify DMF’s efforts in child sexual abuse prevention, crisis relief, and nonprofit capacity-building. “We need to be a light for people in a time of darkness.”

DMF recently completed its second annual Wellness Survey, which is distributed to parents and service providers across North Dakota and northwest Minnesota and is used to gauge the mental, physical, and social health of kids and adults in the region. The results, according to DMF, were even more dire than in 2021:

  • 70% of service providers surveyed felt the number of youth in their community experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide has increased in the past 12 months.
  • 76% of service providers surveyed felt the mental health of adults in their community has declined in the past 12 months.
  • 80% of service providers felt youth in their community have declined in the healthy use of electronic devices and/or social media.

Scott has made 300 contributions totaling two-billion dollars in the last few months.