MacKenzie Scott donates $ 2.7 billion, says social progress groups ‘deserve center stage’


Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott said on Tuesday she had donated $ 2.7 billion to 286 organizations across the country, her latest round of unrestricted giving meant to strengthen racial and social justice groups, institutions educational and artistic activities of the country.

Scott, who was married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, broke the news in a blog post on Tuesday, saying she was deeply troubled by the increase in wealth among the billionaire class over the past year. Despite the size of her donation, she added that she hoped the focus would remain on the groups she supports.

“The people who fight inequality deserve a central place in the stories of the change they create,” Scott said Tuesday. “This is also – perhaps particularly – true when their work is funded by wealth. All wealth is the product of a collective effort that has included them.

The gigantic figure adds to an even bigger figure: In 2020, Scott donated nearly $ 6 billion to 500 organizations, saying the donations were intended to support groups tackling “complex challenges. which require sustained efforts over many years ”. Recipients included environmental groups, human rights and social justice organizations, and donations have been largely unlimited, meaning recipient organizations can use the money as they see fit.

The new list includes similar stipulations, focusing on categories and communities that Scott says “have been historically underfunded and neglected.”

She particularly highlighted a recent increase in discrimination and hate crimes against ethnic and religious minorities, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scott said the giving, without any strings, was meant to make recipients “feel valued … by unlocking their best solutions.” The average grant was just under $ 10 million.

“These are people who have spent years successfully advancing humanitarian goals, often not knowing if there will be money in their bank accounts two months from now,” Scott said. “What do we think they could do with more money on hand than they expected?” Purchase the necessary supplies. Find new, creative ways to help. Hire a few more team members that they know they can afford for the next five years. Buy them chairs. Stop working every weekend. Sleep a little.”

Scott, whose fortune has skyrocketed to some $ 60 billion in the past year despite her donations, wrote on Tuesday that she hoped to downplay her personal role in giving.

“Putting big donors at the center of social progress stories is a distortion of their role,” she said in an article on Medium. “In this endeavor, we are governed by the humble conviction that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a few hands, and that solutions were best designed and implemented by others.”

Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, both signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate the majority of their wealth in their lifetime.

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