MacKenzie Scott says she has given $4.1 billion to charity

Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott reveals she has donated $4.1BILLION to 384 food banks and charities just months after donating $1.68billion to nonprofits

  • MacKenzie Scott announced $4.1billion gift to more than 380 charities  
  • Move comes months after Jeff Bezos’s ex gave away $1.68billion to nonprofits 
  • Scott is the richest woman in the world with a net worth of $60.7billion 
  • As part of divorce settlement, she received a 4 per cent stake in Amazon 
  • In 2020, Scott’s wealth surged by $23.6billion as Amazon stock price jumped 
  • Scott and others have pledged to donate much of their fortunes to charity 

MacKenzie Scott has announced that she has given away $4.1billion in the past four months to hundreds of organizations as part of a giving pledge she announced last year.

The philanthropist, author and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced her pandemic-era philanthropy in a Medium post on Tuesday. 

She described the coronavirus pandemic as ‘a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,’ and noted is has been worse for women, people of color and those living in poverty.

‘Meanwhile,’ she wrote, ‘it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.’

One of those billionaires is Scott herself, the 18th richest person in the world who has seen her net worth surge this year by some $23.6billion, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (left) and his then-wife, MacKenzie Scott (right), are pictured above in 2018. Scott on Tuesday announced that she was giving $4.1billion to more than 380 food banks and charities

Scott made the announcement on a Medium blog post titled ‘384 Ways to Help’

Scott has seen her net worth surged by more than $23billion this year thanks to the performance of Amazon’s stock. In her divorce settlement with Bezos, Scott received a 4 per cent stake in the company that at the time was worth 19.7 million shares. On Tuesday, Amazon stock was trading at $3,165.12 per share

Scott’s wealth derives from her ownership of 4 per cent of Amazon stock, which translates to 19.7 million shares which she received as part of her divorce settlement with company founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. 

As of Tuesday, Scott is worth an estimated $60.7billion, making her the richest woman in the world. Her ex-husband is the world’s richest man with a net worth estimated at $182.2billion.

While much of the economy has contracted, Amazon has profited handsomely during the pandemic, with Americans relying even more on online retail while brick-and-mortar stores were forced to curb their activities due to lockdown measures. 

After donating $1.68billion to 116 nonprofits, universities, community development groups and legal organizations in July, Scott asked a team of advisers to help her ‘accelerate’ her 2020 giving with immediate help to those financially gutted by the pandemic.

She said the team used a data-driven approach, identifying organizations with strong leadership and results, specifically in communities with high food insecurity, racial inequity and poverty rates, ‘and low access to philanthropic capital.’

Scott and her team started with 6,490 organizations, researched 822 and put 438 ‘on hold for now,’ waiting for more details about their impact, management and how they treat employees or community members.

In total, 384 organizations in 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., will share $4,158,500,000 in gifts, including food banks, emergency relief funds ‘and support services for those most vulnerable.’ 

Bezos, the world’s richest man, is seen right with his fiancee, Lauren Sanchez, in Mumbai, India, in January

Other organizations address ‘long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis,’ such as debt relief, employment training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities and education for historically marginalized and underserved people. 

The money will also support legal defense funds ‘that take on institutional discrimination.’

Washington state organization Craft3, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused on investing in businesses owned by people of color, including Black and Indigenous owners, received $10million. 

It is one of several CDFIs nationally to receive an investment from Scott.

‘We are incredibly honored by the recognition that comes with this unprecedented gift. Community Development Financial Institutions are the front line of inclusive, equitable finance in the United States,’ Adam Zimmerman, president and CEO of Craft3, said in a statement.

Scott noted that she was ‘far from completing’ her giving pledge, and urged others to follow her lead in whatever way they could: time, a voice or money.

MacKenzie Scott is one of 210 millionaires and billionaires to sign the Giving Pledge.

The pledge was started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. 

Other cosigners include Steve and Jean Case; Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan; and Sara Blakely. 

Bezos has not signed the pledge. The two were married from 1993 to 2019 and share four children together.

The Amazon founder is engaged to former television news anchor Lauren Sanchez, 50.  

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