MacKenzie Scott donates $ 2.7 billion and closes the wealth gap

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    (Bloomberg) – MacKenzie Scott, the multi-billion dollar philanthropist and ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, has donated $ 2.7 billion to a variety of charities, she wrote in a blog post on Tuesday, increasing her total donation since her first Fundraiser in July 2020 rose to $ 8.5 billion.

    Scott, 51, rocked the world of philanthropy last year with the pace and size of its giving. This time, she donated to 286 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater organizations for racial equity funds in philanthropy and journalism. This is the first time she has announced donations since remarrying Dan Jewett, a Seattle science teacher.

    Read more: How Bezos’s Divorce Could Transform Philanthropy

    “Me, Dan, a constellation of researchers, administrators and consultants – we are all trying to give away a fortune made possible by systems in need of change,” Scott wrote in the post. “We are guided by the humiliating conviction that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a few hands and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others.”

    The past few years have been an exceptional time for wealth accumulation below the 0.01%. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the world’s 500 richest people increased their wealth by $ 1.8 trillion in 2020 alone. The gains were particularly pronounced among tech titans, including Bezos, the richest person in the world.

    Scott, who owned 4% of Amazon.com Inc. after their divorce, is worth nearly $ 60 billion. Even after her quick donations, this has made her one of the most consistent philanthropists in the world.

    Read more: Billionaires are tapping skyrocketing wealth to fund record donations

    Last year she probably set a record for the largest annual payout by a living person. Scott has received praise from experts and philanthropy critics alike, not only for the speed and breadth of her gifts, but also for the organizations she donates to – smaller ones that are usually overlooked by large donors – and for the straightforward approach to her Gifts.

    “It’s important to note that she’s also just written checks on these organizations, putting her own interests aside and giving power to the organizations she funds,” said Erik Stegman, executive director of Native Americans in Philanthropy, one of the few hand from Indian organizations to which Scott donated this round.

    Eduardo Vilaro, chief executive officer of Ballet Hispanico, another group that received money from Scott in that final batch, also said the unconstrained nature is important to his organization. He became aware of the gift about a month ago when he received a call from one of Scott’s agents out of the blue.

    “‘Mr. Vilaro, we love what you and the organization do,” he remembers the person who said,’ We want to give you this gift. ‘”Vilaro has been referred to the Bridgespan Group, a philanthropic advisor, with the Scott works together to make and follow up on their donations.

    Without disclosing how much they received, Vilaro said the donation was slightly higher than their annual operating budget and the largest in their more than 50-year history. Others cited numbers in the millions – $ 20 million to the Children’s Defense Fund (a record), $ 10 million to the Dance Theater of Harlem (also a record), and $ 1 million to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Faith in Action, a faith-based grassroots network, said it had received a “multi-million dollar gift.”

    Even so, Scott has its critics.

    The seeming randomness of how it selects organizations isn’t good, said Maribel Morey, philanthropy historian and executive director at the Miami Institute for the Social Sciences. Morey said she wished Scott would be more transparent about choosing recipients, especially given the importance of the donations.

    “The public deserves to know how and why certain organizations get funding,” Morey said.

    Bezos, who is worth $ 196 billion, has increased his own donations since they split up. He provided US $ 10 billion to combat climate change last year and has donated US $ 791 million to date. He also plans to go into space for the first time next month.

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