MacKenzie Scott has made her second large philanthropic gift of the year, giving more than $ 4 billion to 384 organizations as part of her pledge to give away the majority of her wealth.
Scott, the former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, wrote about her efforts on Tuesday in a new Medium post titled “384 Ways to Help.”
She keyed on the destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it a “wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling” – and calling out how some have gotten richer during the ongoing crisis.
“Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty,” Scott said. “Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”
Scott herself is No. 18 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index of the world’s 500 richest people, with a net worth of $ 60.7 billion. Bezos sits at the top of the list at $ 185 billion as online shopping during the pandemic has only added to his immense wealth – up $ 70 billion year-over-year, according to Bloomberg.
Scott said that her gifts over the last four months total $ 4.158 billion and go toward organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC
“Some are filling basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for those most vulnerable,” she wrote. “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. ”
In July, Scott listed 116 non-profits that were receiving $ 1.67 billion. The effort is all part of Scott’s participation in the “Giving Pledge,” which she announced in May 2019, and which was originated by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett as a way to “publicly commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. ”
In her Medium post, Scott said her team employed a rigorous, data-driven approach to identifying organizations worthy of the gifts as she sought to accelerate her giving in 2020. Suggestions and perspective was sought from hundreds of field experts, funders, and non- profit leaders and volunteers with decades of experience, Scott said.
“We looked at 6,490 organizations, and undertook deeper research into 822,” she wrote. “We do this research and deeper diligence not only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached. Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft. ”