In her short career as one of the world’s most prominent philanthropists, MacKenzie Scott has left an imprint through the sheer scale of what she has to offer and also through her speed, donating nearly $ 6 billion of her fortune this year alone.
Mrs. Scott, a writer who was once married to Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, announced in a Medium participation On Tuesday, it provided nearly $ 4.2 billion to 384 organizations in the past four months alone. Many groups focus on basic needs, including food banks and Meals on Wheels, in a difficult year for millions of people.
“This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans who are already suffering,” Scott writes. “Both the economic losses and health outcomes were worse for women, people of color and people living in poverty. Meanwhile, billionaires’ wealth has increased dramatically.”
Mainstays like NAACP, Easterseals, Goodwill, and United Way made the list. So did more than 100 separate YMCA and YWCA organizations nationwide, which like many nonprofits lost enormous sums of revenue, even as demand for their services increased.
Ms. Scott’s post did not include the amounts paid to the individual organizations, but he said that the amount that has been committed in full is paid in advance and is not restricted, or “without conditions,” as she put it.
Morgan State University, a historically black university in Baltimore, Advertise She received $ 40 million, the largest private gift in the foundation’s history. Ms Scott said the money went to groups in all 50 states, Washington and Puerto Rico.
Chuck Collins, director of the Philanthropic Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies, said that, at least in terms of publicly announced grants, he couldn’t think of anyone donating more this year. “She is responding urgently to the present moment,” said Mr. Collins.
“You think of all these technological fortunes,” said Mr. Collins. “They are the biggest disruptors, but they disrupt the criteria for billionaire philanthropy by moving quickly, not setting up a private foundation for the grandchildren’s grandchildren to donate money.”
The Institute for Policy Studies has pushed for legislation that would double the amount of money required of institutions to pay their endowments from 5 percent annually to 10 percent for the next three years to meet the growing needs created by the pandemic.
For context, the Gates Foundation is, by many measures, the largest and most influential charitable organization in the world, with the fortunes of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren E. $ 5.1 billion In direct grant support in 2019. But the Gates Foundation has decades of experience and over 1,600 employees, while Ms. Scott only referred to a team of advisors helping her find reasons she deserves.
While the Gates Foundation may exceed $ 5.9 billion in bidding through its response to Covid-19, the number illustrates just how quickly Scott has risen to the top of the ranks of donors around the world.
In July, Ms. Scott announced that she had awarded $ 1.7 billion, among other things, to historically black colleges and universities, as well as groups that support women’s rights, LGBT equality and fighting climate change. Howard University said at the time that it had received a donation of $ 40 million She described it as “transformative.”
When Mrs. Scott and Mr. Bezos split last year, Ms. Scott received 4 percent of the shares outstanding in Amazon, or 19.7 million shares. They had been It was valuable at that time At about $ 38.3 billion. These stocks today, after a pandemic rushed into Amazon stocks, will be worth about $ 62 billion; It is not clear how many shares it has sold.