Starkloff Disability Institute Yield Giving Open Call Awardee. Lever for Change.

Press Release: Starkloff Disability Institute Ready to Increase Impact with New Gift

Disabled People Thriving: Starkloff Disability Institute Ready to Increase Impact with New Gift

St. Louis, MO, March 19, 2024 – Today, MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving announced the Starkloff Disability Institute as one of the Yield Giving Open Call’s awardees working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the United States. The Starkloff Disability Institute received $2 million.

The Starkloff Disability Institute is a disability-led nonprofit organization working to help disabled people thrive. Starkloff stands out among other disability organizations with its deep roots in the Disability Rights Movement and remains focused on the most pressing issues disabled people face: misperceptions about disability and exclusion from professional careers.

Each year, Starkloff teaches hundreds of people with disabilities to step into their power as disabled professionals and equips them with the tools to succeed in the workplace. Everything is created and led by people with disabilities themselves, who know what the disability community needs. Through programs from middle school to advanced professionals, Starkloff teaches participants how to talk about their disability as a strength with employers and strategies for lifelong career advancement. Starkloff’s programs also include networking with peers and mentors, and conversations about the rich history and culture of the disability community.

Educating disabled people is only half of the equation. Starkloff also educates thousands of employers, decision-makers, architects, designers, media, and the community at large about accessibility and inclusion to create a more vibrant and equitable society. Working at the micro and macro levels, Starkloff Disability Institute is changing hearts and minds and building a community where disabled people can thrive.

In March 2023, Yield Giving launched an Open Call for community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources. Grants were announced today.

“This award is transformative for our organization,” said Lori Becker, CEO of the Starkloff Disability Institute. “Disability is part of our diverse and vibrant human experience— an identity anyone can acquire at any time. Having a disability should not mean you lose access to a meaningful career and full participation in your community. This funding will increase our capacity to help more people and build inclusion everywhere we live, learn, work, and play. Together we will raise the bar so disabled people can thrive!”

The Open Call 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 the award amount.

“We are excited that our partnership with Yield Giving has resonated with so many organizations,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “In a world teeming with potential and talent, the Open Call has given us an opportunity to identify, uplift, and empower transformative organizations that often remain unseen.”

More information on the Yield Giving Open Call and other initiatives can be found at


Contact: Maggie Mahoney

Starkloff Disability Institute
Starkloff Disability Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in St. Louis, Missouri that builds inclusion where we live, learn, work, and play through disability-led programs that advance economic opportunity and transform lives. SDI was founded in 2003 by disability rights pioneers Max and Colleen Starkloff. To end exclusion and poverty we work on both sides of the problem: preparing disabled youth and adults to be competitive in the workforce and educating companies and communities to be disability welcoming. To learn more about our work to help disabled people thrive, visit

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

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