MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, said in a blog post that he donated $ 4.2 billion of his fortune in the past four months. Scott said she had accelerated her charitable plans due to the “devastating ball” of the pandemic, which also indicated a “significant increase in billionaire wealth”.
Scott is one of those billionaires whose fortunes have skyrocketed since the pandemic crippled the United States for the first time in March. His fortune is now estimated at more than $ 60 billion, which is an increase of nearly $ 24 billion since the start of the year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Its wealth is linked in large part to that of Amazon.com, whose shares are up 67% this year as more consumers shop online due to the pandemic. Scott’s charitable contributions come immediately after he signed on to Giving Pledge, a charitable campaign founded by celebrity investor Warren Buffett, in May 2019, who has promised to donate most of his fortune to charitable causes during his lifetime.
On December 15, Scott announced his latest series of charitable gifts in a post on Medium, writing that he was inspired by popular efforts to help people in need, such as community fridges and “Venmo’s temporary person-to-person gifts”. . Scott said she started by looking at 6,490 organizations and then narrowed her list to 384 organizations with “high potential for impact.”
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Many of these organizations, such as food banks, cater to basic needs, while others focus on what Scott called “long-term systemic inequalities exacerbated by the crisis.”
He wrote, “We share each donation decision with program leaders for the first time over the phone and invite them to spend money on what they think is best for their endeavors.” “The responses of people who responded to the calls often included personal stories and tears.”
“Acts of Mercy”
Chuck Collins, director of the Philanthropic Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies, said Scott’s approach to philanthropy is remarkable, and not just because of the volume of the donations. Collins, heir to Oscar Mayer’s food empire, gave away much of his fortune.
“Scott, a newcomer to the multi-million dollar wealth scene, has surrounded himself with advisors who come from low-income communities, not the people who typically sit on founding boards,” Collins said in a statement sent. By email.
“As a result, most of these gifts are for acts of mercy during this pandemic: food banks, direct social service organizations, emergency funds, and support services for the most vulnerable groups,” he added.
This isn’t the first time Scott has given away a portion of his fortune. In July, he said he donated $ 1.7 billion of his personal fortune to charity. These donations went to organizations committed to race and gender equality, economic mobility, public health, climate change, and more.