Little Rock, Ark. – Southern Bancorp Community Partners (SBCP), a 501(c)(3) loan fund and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) announced today that it has received a $2 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. SBCP serves economically distressed communities in the Mid-South by increasing access to capital, providing financial development services, and advocating for public policies that increase economic mobility for underserved families. The donation is part of Scott’s latest philanthropic campaign that has resulted in over $4 billion in gifts to 384 organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.
According to a post on Medium.com (https://medium.com/@mackenzie_scott/384-ways-to-help-45d0b9ac6ad8), Scott’s team examined 6,490 organizations before finalizing the list of 384 recipients based on their “high potential for impact.” Scott writes in the post, “These 384 carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others, working and volunteering and serving real people face-to-face at bedsides and tables, in prisons and courtrooms and classrooms, on streets and hospital wards and hotlines and frontlines of all types and sizes, day after day after day. They help by delivering vital services, and also through the profound encouragement felt each time a person is seen, valued, and trusted by another human being.”
As a non-profit loan fund, financial development service provider, and public policy advocate, SBCP works to create a positive economic impact in financially underserved communities. SBCP’s recent initiatives include supporting small business entrepreneurs, the majority of whom were women or people of color, unable to receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program; passing legislation in both Arkansas and Mississippi that increase opportunities for families to save at tax time; and providing free financial coaching for families struggling during the pandemic.
“We are very grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this expression of confidence in our work to help improve financial security and economic mobility for people in the Mid-South regardless of zip code,” said Karama Neal, SBCP’s President. “As a nonprofit loan fund, gifts like these are critical to the fulfillment of our mission as they facilitate our work in development lending, savings-related public policy, and financial development services. We are thrilled to receive this gift and excited to put it to work for the people and communities we serve alongside our partners, Southern Bancorp, Inc. and Southern Bancorp Bank, with which we share a commitment to ensuring that wealth building isn’t just for the wealthy.”