$6M donation making impact, Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities pivots vision and focus
A major donation to a local nonprofit is starting to pay off.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities (BBBSTC) received $6 million in a single donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott last year. Since then, the organization has been working to pivot its vision and focus, putting those that mean the most to them at the center: their ‘Littles.’
“You assume, ‘This is what a youth is going to like, this is what a youth’s path to success should be,’ [but], we have really reinvested and committed to saying ‘No, when we go forward, how are we going to really put youth at the center and make sure that their voice is included in every decision we make and every activity we put forward?’” Pat Sukhum, chief executive officer of BBBSTC, said.
With events and programs being a major part of their operation, the “unprecedented” donation will help them expand in that space.
“The dollars will absolutely allow us to offer more programming. So, more of the incredible programming we’re offering, as well as expanding into a lot of these new, innovative spaces that create connection, create exploration,” Sukhum said.
He adds to achieve that, one of the first things they did after receiving the funds was reach out to the ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ they serve to learn how best to do that.
An event this week at Pickle in the Middle in Brooklyn Park was a good example of that as it was planned by a Big.
“We’re just so excited, bringing together a bunch of Bigs and Littles [to] share our passion of pickleball,” Libby Simones, who helped organize the event, said.
She was thrilled to hear about the major donation as she’s been a Big for many years.
“Honestly, I don’t know what’s more important than helping children. I don’t,” Simones added.
On top of fine-tuning their events and programs, BBBSTC said they’ll also be able to increase their staff by 30%. One area of focus with the added staff is recruiting more Bigs, as there are around 300 Littles waiting to get matched with a Big.
Learn more about becoming a Big here.
You can also go to their free ‘Big Social’ set for Thursday, Oct. 26.