San Jose-based Fistula Foundation Tuesday announced a $15 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott — the largest single donation in the organization’s history.
The foundation called the gift “a game-changing donation” that will fuel its five-year strategic plan to provide 80,000 surgeries to women in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia who have been left incontinent through childbirth injuries.
“This donation is a milestone without precedent for our team, and for our dedicated partners that work every day to heal women with devastating childbirth injuries,” said Kate Grant, CEO of Fistula Foundation.
“Ms. Scott is pioneering a revolution in philanthropy,” Grant said in a statement. “By providing her gift without bureaucratic strings, she’s placed her trust in us. We won’t let her, or the women we are in business to help, down. We are in it to end it, and to ensure that no woman is left behind.”
The announcement came on International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, a United Nations–sponsored event.
Scott's donation and her continuing philanthropic endeavors have been milestones in various sectors. In 2020, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos donated $10 million to Goodwill of Silicon Valley.
Scott, who lives in Seattle, is one of the richest women in the world, with a net worth of approximately $30 billion, according to Forbes. She is the author of two novels and the recipient of an American Book Award.
Fistula Foundation is the global leader in fistula treatment, providing more surgeries to more women than any other organization, including the U.S. government and United Nations. From 2009 to 2022, the Fistula Foundation said it supported more than 75,000 surgeries for women in need. Under the new plan, it will exceed that total by supporting a projected 80,000 surgeries in five years. In addition, it will extend its model to five new countries and add 40-plus surgery and outreach organizations to its global network
As of September 2022, the Fistula Foundation supported hospitals and doctors in over 20 countries across Africa and Asia. In addition to its headquarters in San Jose, it has offices in Kenya and Zambia. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $108.5 million from donors from more than 81 countries.