MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, gives $ 2.7 billion

MacKenzie Scott says she gave another part of her fortune: over $ 2.7 billion. With the 1.7 billion dollars ad in July 2020 and $ 4.2 billion in December, Scott has now donated around $ 8.5 billion in less than a year.

Scott, who is the billionaire ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, said the money will go to 286 organizations she has identified as having “high impact” in “underfunded and neglected” communities and categories. Her giving model – unconditional direct donations to organizations selected by a team of advisers – has made her an outlier in the world of billionaire charity.

Scott announced the donations in a Medium post, where she rebuffed the idea of ​​the media focusing on her personally when covering this news.

“Putting big donors at the center of social progress stories is a distortion of their role,” she wrote. “It would be better if the disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a few hands and the solutions were better designed and implemented by others.”

The long list of beneficiaries includes schools and organizations dedicated to the arts, women’s empowerment, equity, anti-discrimination and global poverty. Amounts donated were not disclosed, but the University of Central Florida ad that he received $ 40 million from Scott, which was the largest donation in school history. And the San Jacinto College received $ 30 million, which will be used to provide free classes to thousands of recent high school graduates from neighboring school districts.

“We [Scott, her husband, and her advisors] are all trying to donate a fortune that has been made possible by systems in need of change, ”Scott wrote.

This is Scott’s third release of funds since her divorce in 2019 from the founder of Amazon made her one of the richest people in the world. Despite her generosity, Scott still earned more than she could give: Amazon shares she received in her $ 38 billion divorce settlement are now worth about $ 60 billion due to the company success during the pandemic, a reflection of how the richest people in the world have personally benefited while much of the rest of the world has suffered.

Novelist the style of philanthropy differs from his wealthy peers, who typically commit large sums of money to create funds and foundations, who then take their time to donate relatively small amounts. Scott’s ex, for example, pledged $ 2 billion to fight homelessness with its Day One Families Fund, but the fund given about $ 100 million per year. He pledged $ 10 billion to fight climate change through the Bezos Earth Fund. In 2020, the fund offered approximately $ 800 million. Founding of Oracle founder Larry Ellison has been criticized for repeatedly breaking his promises.

Scott did not create her own philanthropic foundation, but rather assembled a team – “a constellation of researchers, administrators and advisers”, as she put it in her Medium article – to identify organizations and fields who they think could do the most good. with the unrestricted funds they received. In the past, some of the organizations that received his largesse were quite surprised, given that they had not applied for any subsidy. Some even thought the emails informing them that they had been chosen were scams.

While this method clearly helped her give a lot of money very quickly, it is also controversial due to its lack of transparency. Foundations have to disclose how much they give and to whom they give it; Scott doesn’t. Still, it’s hard to criticize Scott when his gifts have far exceeded those of his fellow billionaires.

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