MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated over $4 billion to food banks and emergency relief funds in the last four months. This is Scott’s second major charitable contribution for this year.
Scott has signed a commitment to donate the majority of her fortune after her split from Bezos – the world’s richest man – left her with a four percent stake in Amazon.
“The pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” Scott wrote in a Medium post. “Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”
The donation announcement comes just months after Scott donated a total of $1.7 billion to 116 organizations, including four historically Black colleges and universities in July. She also donated to causes including LGBTQ rights, public health and climate change.
In the latest round of giving, Scott donated $40 million to Morgan State University, an HBCU in Baltimore. The gift is the largest single private donation in the university’s history, and roughly doubles the school’s endowment.
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Morgan State University receives a historic gift of $40M from philanthropist @MackenzieScott.— Morgan State University (@MorganStateU) December 15, 2020
This is the largest individual donation in Morgan history and will support student success, spur research and further our strategic plan ➡️ https://t.co/7FR5d0yQtx
Other organizations on the list included the local chapters of Goodwill, Meals on Wheels, YMCA and United Way; the NAACP; Global Fund for Women; and ACE (Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs), which provides affordable loans to under-served small businesses.
MacKenzie Scott, a philanthropist and an author, noted that her team examined more than 600 organizations to determine which groups would receive the generous donations.
“We do this research and deeper diligence not only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached,” Scott said in the post.
“Because our research is data-driven and rigorous, our giving process can be human and soft.”
Scott is the world’s 18th richest person, with a net worth of $60.7 billion, according the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.