"This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling," MacKenzie Scott said

By Claudia Harmata
December 16, 2020 10:14 AM
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Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty

MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of billionaire Jeff Bezos, has donated nearly $4.2 billion to 384 organizations over the last four months.

In a new Medium blog post shared on Tuesday, Scott detailed how she and a "team of advisors" were able to donate some of her wealth across hundreds of organizations that are aiding communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

"This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires," Scott, 50, wrote in the post.

Scott received a large settlement in her divorce from Bezos last year. Per Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, Scott is currently valued at $60.9 billion.

In May 2019, she joined Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates’ Giving Pledge, and in doing so, vowed to donate a majority of her wealth to various charities.

Scott said she then asked her team of advisors to help "accelerate" her "2020 giving through immediate support to people suffering the economic effects of the crisis."

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"They took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital," Scott wrote.

According to Scott, their efforts resulted in $4,158,500,000 worth of gifts to organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.

"Some are filling basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for those most vulnerable,"  Scott explained. "Others are addressing long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis: debt relief, employment training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities, education for historically marginalized and underserved people, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defense funds that take on institutional discrimination."

Scott then promised that she is "far from completing" her pledge to give back, and encouraged others to also donate to any one of the 384 organizations researched by her advisers, including them all in a list at the end of her post.

Bezos, 56, and Scott's split was announced in January 2019 after 25 years of marriage and four children. That April, they reached a settlement that let Scott keep a four percent stake in Amazon valued at $38.3 billion at the time, Bloomberg reported.

She is currently ranked as the 18th richest person in the world. Bezos remains at No. 1 with a wealth of $185 billion.