Global Citizen Year receives breakthrough $12M investment from MacKenzie Scott

OAKLAND, CA: Today, Global Citizen Year announced a $12M grant from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, the largest gift in the organization’s history. The organization will use this gift to kick off the New Leaders Fund, a $50M campaign to launch a critical mass of diverse leaders worldwide who are equipped to build a more just, peaceful, and sustainable future.


With more than 1,500 alumni and a decade of proven impact, Global Citizen Year is poised to translate early momentum into a movement that defines a new – and better – educational path for young people worldwide.  Over the next decade, Global Citizen Year plans to unleash a force of new leaders who have the insights, skills and networks needed to change the world, for good. As the organization embarks on its next chapter of impact and influence, bold philanthropic investments will be essential to scale its solution to the size of our shared global challenges. 


“MacKenzie and Dan are funding social impact with unprecedented speed, heart and humanity.  This is what philanthropy in the 21st Century should look like: a partnership, not a patronage. They trust us enough to bet big, and to let us lead.” said Abby Falik, Founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year.


Global Citizen Year believes that preparing the leaders our world needs will require a new path into adulthood — one that embeds a year of exploration into our educational paradigm. The REAL 21st century skills can’t be taught in a classroom alone: Resilience to find comfort in ambiguity, and problem-solve in an uncertain world; Empathy to connect with people of all cultures, backgrounds, and economic classes; Agency to define one’s own path, and the confidence to choose it; and Leadership practices — curiosity, conviction, and courage — that drive real change. Ultimately, they envision a world where young people enter the world with something more meaningful than a diploma: a purpose. 


Global Citizen Year views this gift as a call to action, kickstarting  the newly-launched $50M New Leaders Fund. This funding will enable Global Citizen Year to make long-term investments that dramatically expand its core programs, and accelerate systemic change in the education sector.  The organization hopes that this gift will inspire others to make big bets in scaling what works. 


“If we have a shot at addressing our greatest challenges — ending racial injustice, curbing our climate crisis, and reimagining education — we’ll need many others to follow their lead.  With this gift, they’ve said, ‘We see you, we trust you, and we believe in you’,” Falik says.  “These are the partnerships that will change the world.” 


The organization’s decision to disclose the gift amount was informed by its commitment to “leading out loud” and promoting transparency in the philanthropic community. 



About Global Citizen Year:

Global Citizen Year is pioneering a new educational pathway to launch the generation of leaders our world needs now.  Each year, they recruit and select a diverse cohort of the most promising, emerging leaders from across the U.S. and around the world, and use the formative transition into adulthood to help them develop the insights, skills, and networks needed to drive social impact over the course of their lives. Through a virtual Academy and an immersive Fellowship, Global Citizen Year is changing the who and how of next generation leaders in order to create a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. 

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Global Citizen Year is moving forward as part of our new, larger brand: Tilting Futures. New name, same mission, expanded programs and impact.