Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa Receives $1.5 Million Donation from MacKenzie Scott

Des Moines, IA (May 25, 2022) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa (BBBSCI) announced today its aim to transform mentorship in local communities with an unprecedented gift of $1.5 million. The gift, from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, supports the organization in furthering its mission to ensure young people have access to powerful mentoring experiences that empower them with a plan for their future and a mentor whose impact lasts a lifetime.

Today, nearly 11 million kids live in poverty and more than 13 million young people experience emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions like depression. And during the height of the pandemic, 20 percent of youth served by Big Brothers Big Sisters nationally lost contact with an important adult in their lives. In Des Moines alone, there are 80 young people, known as “Littles,” waiting to be matched with mentors, known as “Bigs.”

This unprecedented investment is the largest donation from a single individual in the organization’s history and serves as a powerful message in recognizing the importance of investing in mentorship to build and strengthen communities and society as a whole.

“The day I received a call from MacKenzie Scott’s team, I was overcome and overjoyed for BBBSCI. It is a moment that took my breath away. Words cannot express how this transformational gift will allow Big Brothers Big Sisters to create impactful, positive and lasting changes for our youth. Investing in our youth is paramount for our future,” said Renee Hardman, BBBSCI CEO.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa believes no one person, organization or gift alone can drive the significant impact mentorship can have on a young person’s life. It takes a village of mentors, volunteers, and donors to positively impact young people’s lives. This investment in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa and its community is an invitation for more people and partners to join in transforming mentorship for young people today and for generations to come.

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa and get involved as a mentor, volunteer, donor, or community partner, visit


About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa
For more than 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa has been dedicated to serving youth (Littles), ages 5-18, through professionally supported mentoring relationships with adults (Bigs) in Central Iowa. As the premier mentoring organization in Central Iowa, BBBSCI’s mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Please visit or call 515-288-9025 for further information.

Leadership Contact:
Renee Hardman, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected] | 515-556-9248

Media Contact:
Sara Bishop, Communications Specialist
[email protected] 
| 515-288-9025 x238

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