MacKenzie Scott Donates $1.7 Billion To Charity Since Divorce From Jeff Bezos
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MacKenzie Scott appears to be making good on her promise to give the majority of her wealth back to society.
Since her divorce from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last year, Scott has donated $1.7 billion (£1.3 billion) to charitable causes. The 50-year-old novelist and venture philanthropist received a 4% stake in Amazon following the divorce. Shortly afterwards, she signed the Giving Pledge, a non-profit organisation which encourages wealthy individuals to donate at least half of their fortune throughout the course of their lifetime.
Scott is already making solid headway with this goal, having donated to organisations dedicated to various important causes, including public health, functional democracy, racial equity and climate change.
In a recent Medium blog post, Scott highlighted 116 organisations which are driving social change, including the Center for Policing Equity, Futures Without Violence and One Fair Wage.
Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror. Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilization this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable.
What fills me with hope is the thought of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer.
Opportunities that flowed from the mere chance of skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or zip code may have yielded resources that can be powerful levers for change.
People troubled by recent events can make new connections between privileges they’ve enjoyed and benefits they’ve taken for granted. From there, many will choose to share some of what they have with people whose equal participation is essential to the construction of a better world.
Scott proceeded to explain how, last autumn, she consulted with a team of non-profit advisers with representation from marginalised race, gender, and sexual identity groups to help her identify and assess organisations which are making a significant impact in society.
Out of the list of organisations compiled by Scott, 91% of the racial equity organisations are led by leaders of colour, 100% of the LGBTQ+ equity organisations are led by LGBTQ+ leaders, and 83% of the gender equity organisations are led by women.
Emphasising the importance of this, Scott noted how these leaders were ‘bringing lived experience to solutions for imbalanced social systems’.
Dr. Lily McNair, president of the historically black Tuskegee University announced via Twitter the $20 million gifted by Scott was the largest donation in the university’s history.
The historically black college Howard University also received the greatest donation in its 153-year history, with Scott having donated $40 million, The Washington Post reports.
This money will reportedly help support Howard’s Graduation & Retention Access to Continued Excellence — or GRACE — grant, which offers assistance to students with high financial need.
Scott is among the richest woman on the planet, with a fortune surpassing $36 Billion, according to Forbes.
Her former husband Bezos, is the richest man on Earth. He has previously come under scrutiny for not giving away enough of his vast wealth over the years, with his net worth reported to be $178.1 billion at the time of writing.
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Topics: News, Amazon, Jeff Bezos, Money, Now
CreditsTuskegeeNAA and 3 others
The Washington Post
Howard University announces largest single-donor gift, from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott