MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos' Ex-Wife, Donates $2.7 Billion to Address 'Disproportionate Wealth' Systems
Scott, 51, announced on Tuesday that she and her newly-wed husband Dan Jewett donated $2.7 billion to 286 underfunded organizations in the hopes that they will be able to flourish. The billionaire also encouraged other wealthy individuals to donate to the listed groups.
"People struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating," she wrote in a lengthy Medium blog post. "Any wealth is a product of a collective effort that included them. The social structures that inflate wealth present obstacles to them. And despite those obstacles, they are providing solutions that benefit us all."
She went on to explain her decision to donate the lump sum and the process she and Jewett, 46, went through to determine the recipients.
"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 said, referring to her $59.7 billion net worth. "In this effort, 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 continued, "We spent the first quarter of 2021 identifying and evaluating equity-oriented non-profit teams working in areas that have been neglected. The result was $2,739,000,000 in gifts to 286 high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked."
Scott also spoke about "extreme poverty" and how it disproportionately affects people of color and women.
"Over 700 million people globally still live in extreme poverty. To find solutions, we all benefit from on-the-ground insights and diverse engagement, so we prioritized organizations with local teams, leaders of color, and a specific focus on empowering women and girls," she explained.
The organizations Scott chose were comprised of universities, arts and culture organizations, refugee settlement groups, police reform programs, LGBTQ organizations, and more.
"We chose to make relatively large gifts to the organizations...both to enable their work, and as a signal of trust and encouragement, to them and to others," Scott said. "Would they still benefit from more (more advocates, more money, more volunteers)? Yes."
"These 286 teams were selected through a rigorous process of research and analysis," she added.
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Scott's latest donation follows a string of donations in the past two years since joining the Giving Pledge, which boasts a list of billionaires who pledge to donate half of their fortune. At the time, she was worth $37 billion.
In July 2020, she revealed that she gave nearly $1.7 billion to various charities since signing the pledge in 2019 to donate a majority of her wealth.
Scott followed that up with a $4.2 billion donation to 384 organizations in December 2020.