Over the past four months, MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, said she has donated more than $4.2 billion to 384 organisations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., addressing pressing needs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as those fighting entrenched inequalities.
“Some meet basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for the most vulnerable,” Scott wrote in her Medium blog post. “Others address long-term systemic inequities that have deepened the crisis: debt relief, job training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities, education for historically marginalised and under-served people, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defence funds that engage in institutional discrimination.”
The move follows Scott’s contribution to diverse organisations in July of more than $1.7 billion, which historically included Black colleges and universities.
“Scott tapped a team of advisors to accelerate her 2020 giving, using a data-driven approach to help identify “organisations with strong leadership teams and outcomes, with particular attention to those Working in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high racial inequity measures, high local poverty rates and low access to philanthropy,” she wrote.
In March 2019, Scott promised to give away at least half of her fortune to charity after divorcing Bezos as part of the Giving Pledge, an initiative founded in 2010 by billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett that encourages the richest people in the world to donate more than half of their wealth to charitable causes.
In a letter published on the Giving Pledge website, she wrote at the time: “There are plenty of resources that each of us can pull from our safe to share With others In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have an unreasonable amount of money to share.
According to Bloomberg’s Billionare index, Scott is the 18th wealthiest person in the world with an estimated $60.7 billion in net worth as of Tuesday. She is also the world’s third-richest woman.