Go Back

Cara Collective Announces $8M Gift from MacKenzie Scott 

Investment ensures the sustainability of Cara Collective’s future as a leader in workforce development. 

Chicago – Cara Collective, an industry leader in workforce development and poverty alleviation, has announced a historic $8M investment from noted philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This gift is the largest donation in Cara Collective’s 30+ year history and will help the organization, in part, dramatically increase its reach and impact, while creating long-term financial sustainability for the next 30 years and beyond.

“We are humbled and grateful that Ms. Scott has chosen to recognize Cara Collective with this monumental gift,” said Kathleen St. Louis Caliento, President & CEO of Cara Collective. “This investment is an acknowledgment of the work Cara Collective has done to support thousands of job seekers in finding gainful employment opportunities and a testament to the dedication of our community who helped us reach this incredible moment. It also demonstrates Ms. Scott’s shared commitment to building an inclusive economy for all.”

Ms. Scott’s one-time, unrestricted gift allows Cara Collective to advance its work while also prioritizing several key areas including:

  • Deepening and widening its reach throughout Chicago by bringing programs and services directly into more neighborhoods and communities across the city, with the goal of reaching more job seekers 
  • Diversifying workforce development programming to best meet the increasing and varied needs of the thousands of job seekers they will serve
  • Driving systemic impact and fostering innovation by furthering its inclusive employment work at the national level and sparking continued social enterprise growth
  • Investing in staff and infrastructure to ensure Cara Collective remains a best place to work, grow, and thrive

Above all, this opportunity moves Cara Collective closer to its vision of fueling a courageous national movement to eradicate relational and financial poverty.

“We recognize there is still a tremendous need to reach even more individuals and communities. This gift is the launch pad that will allow Cara Collective to accelerate to the next chapter of our organization so we can reach thousands more in Chicago and uplift untapped talent nationally,” added Caliento. 

A committee of Cara Collective stakeholders convened over the past six weeks to create a frame for ensuring responsible utilization and maximized impact of the funding in both the short- and long-term. Cara Collective remains committed to centering all decisions around the needs of its program participants and the staff who make the work possible, while providing open transparency to its community about the utilization and impact of this investment.

Cara Collective was selected through Ms. Scott’s charitable organization, Yield Giving, and its Quiet Research process, which independently identifies and evaluates organizations through careful analysis of criteria. Since signing the Giving Pledge in 2019, Scott has given more than $14.1 billion to at least 1,621 organizations working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the United States.

About Cara Collective

Cara Collective seeks to fuel a courageous national movement to eradicate relational and financial poverty. Through our four entities – Cara, Cleanslate, Cara Connects, and Cara Plus – we engage job seekers, employers, and other organizations across the country to break the cycle of poverty through the power and purpose of employment. Since 1991, we’ve helped more than 8,500 people get placed into more than 14,500 jobs and get started on their path to real and lasting success. To learn more, please visit www.caracollective.org.

Contact: Mark Toriski
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications

Click here to download a PDF of this release.