MacKenzie Scott, formerly known as MacKenzie Bezos, has donated $1.7 billion to a number of deserving charities.
In a Medium post published Tuesday, the 50-year-old novelist — who settled her divorce from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last year — announced she has donated large sums of money to 116 organizations that are driving positive change in society.
Last year, after it was announced that she would walk away with almost $38 billion from her split, Scott joined the Giving Pledge — an initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates in 2010 where billionaires pledge to donate half of their fortune to charitable causes.
“Last year, I pledged to give the majority of my wealth back to the society that helped generate it, to do it thoughtfully, to get started soon, and to keep at it until the safe is empty,” Scott began her message. “There’s no question in my mind that anyone’s personal wealth is the product of a collective effort, and of social structures which present opportunities to some people, and obstacles to countless others.”
While noting that she “watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror,” Scott is hopeful that true change can occur “if each of us reflects on what we can offer.”
“Opportunities that flowed from the mere chance of skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or zip code may have yielded resources that can be powerful levers for change. People troubled by recent events can make new connections between privileges they’ve enjoyed and benefits they’ve taken for granted,” she continued. “From there, many will choose to share some of what they have with people whose equal participation is essential to the construction of a better world.”
After consulting with a team of nonprofit advisors “with key representation from historically marginalized race, gender, and sexual identity groups” last fall, Scott compiled a list of organizations to donate to.
Scott’s donations included $586.7 million to racial equity groups; $46 million to LGBTQIA+ equity groups; $133 million to gender equity groups; $399.5 million to economic mobility groups; $55 million to organizations promoting empathy and bridging divides; and $72 million to organizations that strive for a functional democracy.
From the list, 91 percent of the racial equity organizations are run by leaders of color, 100 percent of the LGBTQIA+ equity organizations are run by LGBTQIA+ leaders, and 83 percent of the gender equity organizations are run by women.
“All of these leaders and organizations have a track record of effective management and significant impact in their fields. I gave each a contribution and encouraged them to spend it on whatever they believe best serves their efforts. Unless organization leadership requested otherwise, all commitments were paid up front and left unrestricted to provide them with maximum flexibility,” she concluded.
In a tweet announcing her massive contributions, Mackenzie revealed that she changed her last name from Bezos to Scott — her middle name and her grandfather’s moniker.
Following up on the commitment I made last year to give away the majority of my wealth in my lifetime: https://t.co/Ocb8eU5UR1. (Note my Medium account is under my new last name -- changed back to middle name I grew up with, after my grandfather Scott.)— MacKenzie Scott (@mackenziebezos) July 28, 2020
Per Bloomberg, Scott’s net worth is currently estimated to be around $60.4 billion as of July 28.