MacKenzie Scott has already donated nearly $ 1.7 billion of her Amazon wealth since Jeff Bezos’ divorce
Novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, whose ex-husband is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, announced on Tuesday that she has donated nearly $ 1.7 billion of her massive wealth in the past year. The causes and non-profit organizations she has chosen so far include those that support racial, LGBTQ + and gender equality, as well as those devoted to fighting climate change and improving public health and economic mobility, among others. Scott has a net worth of over $ 60 billion, thanks to recent gains in Amazon stock.
The announcement, made as part of one Medium post under Scott’s new name (taken from her middle name) after her divorce, comes after Scott last May signed The Giving Pledge. The campaign was launched in 2010 by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett to encourage the wealthiest people in the world to donate much of their wealth over their lifetime. It currently has more than 200 signatories from nearly two dozen countries.
Following the commitment I made last year to give away most of my wealth in my lifetime: https://t.co/Ocb8eU5UR1. (Note that my Medium account is under my new last name – reverted to the middle name I grew up with, after my grandfather Scott.)
– MacKenzie Bezos (@mackenziebezos) July 28, 2020
“Last year, I pledged to return most of my wealth to the society that helped generate it, to do it wisely, get started quickly, and continue until the safe is empty. I have no doubt that a person’s personal wealth is the product of a collective effort and of social structures that provide opportunities for some people and obstacles for countless others, ”Scott writes in her Medium post.
“Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror. Life will never stop finding new ways to expose inequalities in our systems; or wake us up to the fact that such an unbalanced civilization is not only unjust, but also unstable, ”she adds. “What gives me hope is the thought of what will come when we all think about what we can offer.”
Here’s the rundown of how Scott says she has donated money so far:
Total given to date:
Racial Shares: $ 586.7 million
LGBTQ + equity: $ 46 million
Gender equality: $ 133 million
Economic Mobility: $ 399.5 million
Empathy & Bridging Divides: $ 55 million
Functional Democracy: $ 72 million
Public health: $ 128.3 million
Global development: $ 130 million
Climate change: $ 125 million
“Last fall, I asked a team of nonprofit advisors with significant representation of historically marginalized race, gender, and sexual identity groups to help me identify and assess organizations that have a major impact on a variety of causes,” writes they. “On this list, 91% of racial equity organizations are run by leaders of color, 100% of LGBTQ + equity organizations are run by LGBTQ + leaders and 83% of gender equity organizations are run by women , bringing living experience to solutions for unbalanced social systems. The Medium post also includes a complete list of the dozens of nonprofits Scott contributes to.
Bezos is still the richest person in the US, with a net worth of over $ 180 billion even after his divorce, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The divorce, reportedly stemmed from an affair Bezos had with news anchor Lauren Sánchez, Scott donated a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon holdings and immediately made her one of the richest Americans and one of the five richest women in the world.
Despite its wealth, which has only increased in recent months as Amazon has become a central service provider during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bezos is the only one of the five richest people in the U.S. not to sign The Giving Pledge as of March 2020, Business insider reports.
Bezos’ lack of philanthropic ambition, underscored only by Scott’s transparency and willingness to dedicate her fortune to nonprofits, has been a source of controversy over the years. The CEO famously surveyed Twitter in 2017 for recommendations on what to do with his wealth, having previously donated very little of it and usually deposited parts of his spare billions into his rocket company Blue Origin and The Washington Post.
Since then, Bezos has been more candid about his philanthropy plans. These now include $ 2 billion pledged in 2018 to fight homelessness and provide low-income families with educational opportunities through its Bezos Day One Fund and a $ 10 billion lifetime commitment made in February this year to address climate change. combat through the newly created Bezos Earth Fund.