MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has donated around USD 4.2 billion in the last four months to 384 organizations. The money has been donated as part of charitable giving to these organizations from all 50 states. The donation is being done to address the pressing needs of these organizations during the coronavirus pandemic. Scott said that some of these organizations are filling basic needs such as emergency relief funds, food banks, and support services for those who are most vulnerable. Scott wrote in her Medium blog post that there are many who are addressing long term systemic inequities like credit and financial services and debt relief that have deepened during the global pandemic.
The announcement has come weeks after Scott announced donated USD 1.7 billion to 116 organizations. These included four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). After the latest round of donations, the total philanthropic gifts reach more than USD 4.16 billion. “The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the lives of Americans who were already suffering,” she said in the blog. “For people of color and those living in poverty, health outcomes, and economic losses have been worse. Meanwhile, the wealth of billionaires has substantially increased. Those who were on the list of receiving funds were civil rights advocacy groups, financial service providers, and legal defense funds.
To increase her giving in 2020, Scott had hired a team of advisors to identify organizations with strong leadership. After her divorce from Jeff Bezos in March 2019, she had promised to donate half of her fortune to charity. The donation is part of the Giving Pledge initiative founded by billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. She had then written a letter saying there are lots of resources that can be shared with others. “I have a disproportionate amount of money that can be used for the betterment of others.” With an estimated worth of around USD 60.7 billion Scott is the 18th wealthiest person in the world. Also, she is the third richest woman in the world. She has been donating a lot of money ever since she separated from Bezos.