Bezos and MacKenzie announced their separation on January 9, 2019.
MacKenzie Scott is showing the way to other billionaires on how it's done! The philanthropist is addressing 'disproportionate wealth' systems and has donated huge sums of money to hundreds of organizations tackling a variety of causes in the recent past. The billionaire philanthropist and ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that she has given away more than $2.7 billion last year. The 51-year-old shared that the money was given to 286 underfunded organizations in the hopes that they will be able to flourish. Since her divorce, the billionaire has been encouraging other wealthy individuals to donate. Bezos and MacKenzie announced their separation on January 9, 2019, in a joint statement on Twitter. She later married Dan Jewett.
"People struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating," she wrote in a lengthy Medium blog post, as per PEOPLE. "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. 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."
Scott went on to say, "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." She also noted the "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.
MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos' Ex-Wife, Donates $2.7 Billion to Address 'Disproportionate Wealth' Systems https://t.co/UaOCHhRwuU— People (@people) June 15, 2021
Scott has donated to all kinds of groups ranging from universities, arts and culture organizations, and refugee settlement groups to police reform programs and LGBTQ organizations. "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.
In 2019, Scott signed onto the Giving Pledge, committing to give away at least half of her fortune to charity. At the time, she was worth $37 billion. By the next year, she revealed that she had given away nearly $1.7 billion to various charities until July 2020. She added an additional $4.2 billion donation to 384 organizations by December 2020. Last year Scott was ranked as the 22nd richest person in the world, while Bezos remained at No. 1 with a wealth of $195.2 billion. According to Forbes, “Mackenzie Scott has distributed at least $8.6 billion in less than two years to 780-plus organizations. Ex-husband Jeff Bezos has ramped up philanthropy since transitioning from Amazon CEO to chairman, announcing $1 billion in donations in 2021.”
Mackenzie Scott has distributed at least $8.6 billion in less than two years to 780-plus organizations. Ex-husband Jeff Bezos has ramped up philanthropy since transitioning from Amazon CEO to chairman, announcing $1 billion in donations in 2021 https://t.co/ehQjdqmUyq pic.twitter.com/FQerGq37pu— Forbes (@Forbes) January 19, 2022
Cover image source: Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images