After separating from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott instantly became the richest woman in the world. Since the separation, the now billionaire and philanthropist has donated to more than 286 charities! And she says it’s only the beginning…
MacKenzie Scott and the Giving Pledge
Unlike many divorces, the separation of MacKenzie Scott and Jeff Bezos was not a long, drawn-out process. Instead, they amicably came to an agreement: the Amazon founder transferred 25% of his stake in Amazon to Scott, which was 4% of the company. That 4% boosted Scott’s net worth to almost $70 billion! However, Scott has no intention of keeping it all. Along with the announcement of the settlement, she also signed the Giving Pledge, “a campaign to encourage extremely wealthy people to contribute a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.” Since then, Scott has donated just over $8 billion to more than 286 charities! Last year alone, she donated $4 billion alone! The philanthropist says that she, and those helping her manage her money, “are all attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change.”
“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,” Scott continued. “Though we still have a lot to learn about how to act on these beliefs without contradicting and subverting them, we can begin by acknowledging that people working to build power from within communities are the agents of change. Their service supports and empowers people who go on to support and empower others.”
Throughout it all, Scott has remained incredibly engaged and done countless hours of research into what charities she should donate to!
Helping More Than 286 Charities
Currently, Scott is looking at various charities, specifically organizations fighting poverty and those working in struggling areas. Meanwhile, she’s also putting no prescriptions on the money – the organizations can use the funds however they please. Scott says that her plan for the financial donations is to help alleviate daily stress for these charities, so that they can focus on the bigger picture. “These are people who have spent years successfully advancing humanitarian aims, often without knowing whether there will be any money in their bank accounts in two months. What do we think they might do with more cash on hand than they expected?” Scott explained.
And the plan is already working! “Many reported that this trust significantly increased the impact of the gift,” a recent statement read. Moreover, the charities and organizations themselves are thanking Scott profusely. For instance, the University of Central Florida received $40 million to help upgrade the school and develop new scholarships. “[Scott’s gift enables us to increase our impact for generations of students and inspires others to invest in building the future of America,” Dr. Alexander N. Cartwright, the president of the University of Central Florida, said. Similarly, Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, said that Scott is “putting to shame the other 650 U.S. billionaires who haven’t [figured] out comparable ways to boldly share.” We agree!