MacKenzie Scott, the wealthy ex-wife of billionaire Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, announced her latest billion-dollar donation to nonprofit organizations — making this her third hefty donation since last July.
According to her Tuesday, June 15, blog post, Scott and husband Dan Jewett plan to donate $2.739 billion to "286 high-impact" organizations "in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked."
Scott began her post by emphasizing that the media should focus on the organizations that people are donating to rather than the person with the paycheck.
"Sitting down to write this post, I felt stuck. I want to de-emphasize privileged voices and cede focus to others, yet I know some media stories will focus on wealth," Scott wrote, saying she would prefer it be headlined "286 Teams Empowering Voices the World Needs to Hear."
"Putting large donors at the center of stories on social progress is a distortion of their role," Scott insisted, adding that large amounts of wealth should not be concentrated within a small group of individuals but rather shared with the masses.
"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," she continued. "In this effort, 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."
Bezos' first wife shared that her focus was to donate to "equity-oriented non-profit teams," adding that "discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities has been deepening." She noted that "arts and cultural institutions" are pivotal for communities, as they can strengthen, transform, and reflect community identity.
Of the recipients who will obtain a portion of Scott's latest donation include art funds and other education programs such as programs for impoverished children and gang rehabilitation. At least nine universities and colleges will also receive a hefty sum, according to the blog post.
The 51-year-old said she and her hubby — a Seattle science teacher from a private school — know the importance of education, so they "looked for 2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved."
This is the third billion-dollar pay check Scott has handed out over the past few months. Last July, she donated $1.7 billion followed by a $4.2 billion donation in December to 384 organizations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"These 384 carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others, working and volunteering and serving real people face-to-face at bedsides and tables, in prisons and courtrooms and classrooms, on streets and hospital wards and hotlines and frontlines of all types and sizes, day after day after day," she explained in December.
This is also the third release of funds since she and Bezos — who made her one of the richest people in the world — divorced in 2019 after 25 years together. Scott was reportedly given a quarter of her ex-husband's Amazon shares, and according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index, she has an estimated net worth of about $60 billion.