MacKenzie Scott, the billionaire philanthropist and Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife, has given $2.7 billion to a variety of charities, she wrote in a blog post Tuesday, bringing her total donations since her first giving spree in July 2020 to $8.5 billion.
Scott, 51, shook up the philanthropy world last year with the pace and magnitude of her giving. This time she donated to 286 organizations from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre to racial equity funds in philanthropy and journalism. This is her first time announcing donations since she remarried to Dan Jewett, a Seattle science teacher.
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“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, who is worth almost $60 billion, wrote in the post. “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, who ended up with a 4% stake in Amazon.com Inc. following her divorce with Bezos, has quickly become one of the most consequential philanthropists in the world.
Last year she likely set a record for the largest annual distribution by a living person. Scott has been lauded by experts and philanthropy critics alike not only for the speed and scope of her gifts, but also for what organizations she’s giving to — smaller ones typically overlooked by big donors — and for the no-strings-attached that come with her gifts.
“Because we believe that teams with experience on the front lines of challenges will know best how to put the money to good use, we encouraged them to spend it however they choose,” she wrote in her post Tuesday. “Many reported that this trust significantly increased the impact of the gift.”