MacKenzie Scott, billionaire philanthropist, and Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife, already gave away $2.7 billion to charities. She wrote about her philanthropic efforts in a blog post-Tuesday. In total, Scott already gave away a total of $8.5 billion since she pledged to help out the needy.
Mackenzie Scott’s Breakneck Pace Of Giving
The 51-year old Scott galvanized the world of philanthropy with the speedy rate she gave away her wealth. For this recent binge, she donated funds to a staggering 286 organizations.
This includes providing racial equity funds in philanthropy and journalism. It also includes supporting the arts such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Her disclosure marked the first time Scott announced her initiatives since she married a Seattle science teacher, Dan Jewett.
“Me, Dan, a constellation of researchers and administrators and advisors — we are all attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change,” Scott wrote in the post. “We are governed by a humbling belief that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others,” she added.
Bumper Year For The Wealthy
Mackenzie Scott’s divorce from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos netted her around $60 billion. Much of her wealth is in the form of 4% of Amazon stock.
Even with her breakneck giving pace, the money she’s making is far outpacing her donations. As a result, she’s already making a mark as one of the most consequential philanthropists in the world.
Wealth creation is enjoying a bumper season during the pandemic. The 0.01% or the 500 people that make up the very wealthiest in the world managed to add another $1.8 trillion to their accounts.
Among the highest gainers are those from the tech industry, including Scott’s ex-husband Jeff Bezos. The latter is currently the richest man in the world at $195.3 billion.
Meanwhile, MackenzieScoot set a record for the largest annual distribution by a living person.
Many experts lauded not only the speed and scope of her gift-giving. They also hailed the coverage of her donations. Many smaller organizations that are often overlooked by charities regularly receive donations from her. In addition, Scott implements a no-strings-attached condition to her help.
Erik Stegman, executive director of Native Americans in Philanthropy, represents one of the Native American organizations Scott gave to in this round. “It’s important to note that she has also just written checks to these organizations, leaving her own interests to the side and giving up power to the organizations she’s funding,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eduardo Vilaro, chief executive officer of Ballet Hispanico also received money from Scott in this latest round. He appreciated the unrestricted nature that was important for his organization. Vilaro learned of his group’s inclusion when one of Scott’s representatives called him from nowhere.
Scott Still Has Her Critics
Still, not everybody is happy with her initiative. Maribel Morey is a historian of philanthropy and executive director at the Miami Institute for the Social Sciences.
She thinks that the randomness of which agencies receive aid is not a good idea. Morey wished that Scott would become more transparent about how she picks recipients, given the size of the donations.“The public deserves to know how and why certain organizations are getting funding,” Morey said.
Watch the USA Today report on MacKenzie Scott donating another $2.7 billion: What you should know:
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