MacKenzie Scott targets ‘wealth gap’ with $2.74 billion in charitable donations

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, known for her high-dollar, impromptu donations to charities and racial equity causes, announced Tuesday that she has bestowed another $2.7 billion upon 286 organizations.

Scott, the former wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, has now distributed more than $8.6 billion to hundreds of organizations since August 2020. She stated in a blog post on the website Medium that her actions are intended to offset the “disproportionate wealth” held by a “small number” of individuals.

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According to NPR, Scott’s post described “systemic societal inequities and her belief that giving money to organizations directly working with communities in need is the way her wealth can be put to use.”

Specifically, she stated that she, her husband Dan Jewett and her staff and advisers are all “attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change.”

>> Related: MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife, donates more than $4 billion to charity

Scott’s net worth is estimated to be nearly $60 billion, or roughly 66% higher than it was in October 2019, when she received a 4% Amazon stake as part of her divorce settlement. The company’s stock has overperformed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, multiplying Scott’s wealth despite multiple charitable funding rounds, NPR reported.

“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 wrote. “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.”

>> Related: MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, donates $1.7 billion to nonprofits

The latest grants will be distributed to 286 organizations that include major universities, arts groups and nonprofits working to combat racial injustice and domestic violence, The New York Times reported.

The new grants averaged just under $10 million each and benefit such organizations as the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Broward College in Florida, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater, Ballet Hispánico, Dance Theater of Harlem, the University of California and University of Texas systems, the Authors League Fund, Afrika Tikkun, Race Forward and Borealis Philanthropy, the Times reported.

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