Dakota Medical Foundation

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Dakota Medical Foundation

Press Release: DMF Announces $10 Million Gift from MacKenzie Scott

Dakota Medical Foundation Announces $10 Million Gift from MacKenzie Scott, Says It’s a Catalyst to Inspire Others

Dakota Medical Foundation is thrilled and honored to announce that it is the recipient of a $10 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. 


In this giving cycle, which totaled nearly $2 billion, DMF was selected by Scott as one of 343 organizations nationwide to support “voices and opportunities of people from underserved communities.” 


“The funds we picked look for teams with lived experience in the issues they’re addressing, as we did when selecting the other non-profits in this giving cycle, and the 1,200+ recipients before them,” Scott wrote in a Nov. 14 blog post


DMF will engage its vast network of partners and stakeholders to determine how this generous gift can best expand and accelerate the foundation’s work in building the healthiest and most generous region on the planet. 


“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.


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 — and the results 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.


“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.”


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