I AM ALS Receives $2 Million Gift From MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving Open Call

Shawna N. Prince
Director of Communications & Marketing

Revolutionary Nonprofit I AM ALS Receives $2 Million Gift From MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving Open Call

March 19, 2024 Earlier today, MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving announced I AM ALS as a $2 million awardee. The largest single donation in the organization’s five-year history, this marks an important milestone in the movement towards ending ALS.

“I AM ALS has already achieved tremendous impact with a small budget and the community’s support,” explained CEO Andrea Goodman. “This gift is a game-changer; it will allow us to continue to sustain critical daily programs and volunteer operations at the high level of impact we’re used to and pursue targeted opportunities to accelerate the mission.”

The community-led organization – known for passing the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies (ACT) for ALS and generating more than a billion dollars in federal funding for the disease – has ambitious goals this year, including advocating for an additional $200 million in federal dollars; onboarding hundreds of new volunteers with a focus on rural, African American, and veteran advocates; hosting 180 events and 100 support group sessions, and serving 225 new clients, among many others. This Yield Giving award – along with continued support from existing and new funders, donors, and the community – will allow I AM ALS to make these goals achievable in 2024 and beyond, tackling the new key priorities announced earlier this year and tapping further into the organization’s superpowers to address the needs of the ALS community.

Peter Bowen, Board of Directors Chairperson (a Board member since 2020 who lost his father to ALS in 2007), added, “The same thoughtful and community-informed process I AM ALS has used for the last 5 years will continue to inform the organization’s priorities. Thanks to this support from the MacKenzie Scott Yield Giving team, I AM ALS can move to our goal of treatments and cures, with a focus on growing the movement and public awareness; procuring federal dollars to support families, veterans, research, and therapy access; enhancing cross-disease collaboration through a new Cures Collective; and mobilizing to improve regulatory systems and affordable access. In addition, I AM ALS will now be able to invest in a strategy to support caregivers and caregiving – a deep and consistent challenge.”

“When Andrea told us the news, we both burst into happy tears. We did so because we knew how important this gift was to the ALS community,” shared I AM ALS Co-founders Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya. “We aimed to build an organization that allows advocates to be heard and to have their voices impact every part of this fight. We have to act with urgency and we are so grateful to the volunteers, staff, community, and donors for their continued advocacy and passion as we move closer to our vision of a world where ALS is a chronic disease.”

In March 2023, Yield Giving launched an Open Call for community-led, community-focused organizations. They received 6,353 applications and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each. In the Fall of 2023, organizations top-rated by their peers advanced to a second round of review by an external Evaluation Panel recruited for experience relevant to this cause, and underwent a final round of due diligence. In light of the incredible work of these organizations, as judged by their peers and external panelists, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and, in I AM ALS’s case, the award amount. Lever for Change CEO Cecilia Conrad said, “The Open Call has given us an opportunity to identify, uplift, and empower transformative organizations that often remain unseen.” 


About I AM ALS

I AM ALS is a patient-centric movement revolutionizing how to end disease. The nonprofit provides critical support and resources to people with ALS, caregivers, and loved ones. We empower advocates to raise awareness and lead the movement against ALS in driving the development of treatments and cures. Founded in 2019 by husband and wife team Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya, I AM ALS was born out of their desire to rewrite the ALS story for Brian and the tens of thousands of other people with ALS. Learn more at www.iamals.org.

About Yield Giving 

Established by MacKenzie Scott to share a financial fortune created through the effort of countless people, Yield Giving is named after a belief in adding value by giving up control. To date, Yield’s network of staff and advisors has yielded over $16,500,000,000 to 1,900+ non-profit teams to use as they see fit for the benefit of others. To learn more, visit www.yieldgiving.com.

About Lever for Change 

Lever for Change connects donors with bold solutions to the world’s biggest problems—including issues like racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of access to economic opportunity, and climate change. Using an inclusive, equitable model and due diligence process, Lever for Change creates customized challenges and other tailored funding opportunities. Top-ranked teams and challenge finalists become members of the Bold Solutions Network—a growing global network that helps secure additional funding, amplify members’ impact, and accelerate social change. Founded in 2019 as a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lever for Change has influenced over $1.7 billion in grants to date and provided support to more than 145 organizations. To learn more, visit www.leverforchange.org.

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