A foundation in Upstate received an $8 million donation from a billionaire philanthropist. The Mary Black Foundation in Spartanburg was established more than 25 years ago to improve the health and well-being of Spartanburg County. To date, the foundation has invested more than $65 million in the community. Earlier this year, President/CEO Molly Talbot-Metz was contacted by an organization that researches foundations. “They asked us a lot of questions about our work in the community and the things we support and then they basically said maybe you’ll never hear about it again and I went about my business thinking I would never hear of it again,” said Talbot-Metz. What she didn’t know was that the group was working on behalf of billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. A few months later she was contacted again. “Someone on her team called and said she researched our organization and was really impressed with what we are doing in Spartanburg County and would give us $8 million to do more. “I almost fell out of my chair, I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it,” she said. Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated billions of dollars to organizations, none of which applied or asked for it. This week, for example, she donated $20 million to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. “The way they do philanthropy is really unique,” Talbot-Metz said. “To do that kind of research about organizations and then just give a significant amount of funding and trust the organizations to do the work.” “It will take executives at the Mary Black Foundation a few months to put together a committee of board and staff members and decide how best to use the donation, but it’s also a credit to this community that we’re giving this kind of national attention can pull us,” said Talbot-Metz.

A foundation in Upstate received an $8 million donation from a billionaire philanthropist.

The Mary Black Foundation in Spartanburg was established more than 25 years ago to improve the health and well-being of Spartanburg County.

To date, the foundation has invested more than $65 million in the community.

Earlier this year, President/CEO Molly Talbot-Metz was contacted by an organization that researches foundations.

“They asked us a lot of questions about our work in the community and the things we support and then they basically said maybe you’ll never hear about it again and I went about my business thinking I would never hear of it again,” said Talbot-Metz.

What she didn’t know was that the group was working on behalf of billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

A few months later she was contacted again.

“Someone on her team called and said she researched our organization and was really impressed with what we are doing in Spartanburg County and would give us $8 million to do more. “I almost fell out of my chair, I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated billions of dollars to organizations, none of which applied or asked for it.

For example, this week she donated $20 million to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

“The way she does philanthropy is really unique,” said Talbot-Metz. “Doing this type of research on organizations and then just committing a significant amount of funding and trusting the organizations to get the job done.”

It will take Mary Black Foundation executives several months to assemble a committee of board members and staff to decide how best to use the donation.

“It’s certainly a credit to our board and our people and the work we do, but it’s also a credit to this community that we can garner this kind of national attention,” Talbot-Metz said.

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