R.I.S.E. DOLLARS header

R.I.S.E. Dollars

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott blessed United Way Suncoast with $20 million dollars in 2020 with a clear message to extend our work and help more people. We’ve infused what we now call our R.I.S.E. dollars into our work – instead of squirreling them away in a bank account.  We don’t sit on funds; we stand on action. Here’s an update on what United Way Suncoast has done to utilize Scott’s gift, and how those dollars Reach, Invest, Support and Empower. 


United Way Suncoast has invested over $3 million in 16 nonprofit partners to address housing and evictions in our five-county area.


United Way Suncoast initiated a mid and long-term recovery effort for those most impacted by Hurricane Ian and Nicole in its five-county footprint. 


United Way Suncoast is investing $5 million in providing access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education, supporting and investing in paraprofessionals to support literacy instruction, and promoting multi-gen approaches to working with children that build a family’s well-being.

R.I.S.E. — How We Got Here

United Way Suncoast received Scott’s gift in Dec. 2020 as the pandemic continued to impact the community. Her team of advisors took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results. 

Determined to fulfill the promise of the Scott gift, United Way Suncoast formed the R.I.S.E. (Reach, Invest, Support, Empower) Task Force, a collection of team, board and community members who set out to create a process and organization strategy for the unrestricted one-time gift.

The Task Force set and eventually met several goals in crafting the strategy for the Scott gift.

  • Radical transparency
  • Five-county inclusion
  • Leverage the gift for long-term, measurable and measured impact
  • Learn (promising practices) from other areas while sharing what we are learning
  • Strengthen partnerships (nonprofit partners, area funders, other UWs)
  • Honor the donor.

Through thoughtful determination, the task force has now created a blueprint that not only aligns with our new strategic vision, but focuses on our key impact areas: early learning, youth success and financial stability. The plan for the Scott Gift will support  immediate community needs, but also deepen our lasting impact. It will include big, bold initiatives laced with innovation. And, it will help sustain and strengthen UWS’ thrivability.

Most organizations have a mission statement. Most groups talk about their mission, their vision and their values. We do too. But United Way Suncoast is on a mission. We’re here to use our R.I.S.E. dollars to elevate, energize and empower. Watch Jessica Muroff’s State of United Way Suncoast speech below to learn more about how we’re maximizing MacKenzie Scott’s gift.

➧ View the 2023 R.I.S.E. Report.

➧ View a Case Study about the work of the RISE Taskforce.

➧ Learn what we are doing to counteract the EVICTION CRISIS.

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