MacKenzie Scott announced on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, her second major charitable contribution of the year, giving away nearly $4.2 billion to 384 organizations as part of a plan to donate a majority of her fortune.
Faye Washington said: “As we find ourselves at the height of a Global Pandemic that is ravaging marginalized and underserved communities of color, Mackenzie’s extraordinary gesture comes at a time desperately needed and serves as an endorsement of the incredible work we have done thus far to serve our community. The YWCA GLA is deeply humbled by this life-altering donation which will help us redouble our advocacy efforts, sustain the pivotal work we do as social justice advocates and create long-lasting transformative opportunities as a response to systemic inequities and racial injustice.”
Scott announced her pandemic-era philanthropy in a Medium Announcement-on Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020. She described the coronavirus pandemic as “a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” and noted it has been worse for women, people of color, and those living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.” Yesterday’s announcement brings Scott’s 2020 philanthropic investments to over $6 billion.
“Meanwhile,” Scott, who divorced Jeff Bezos in 2019, wrote, “it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”
After donating $1.68 billion to 116 nonprofits, universities, community development groups, and legal organizations last July, Scott asked a team of advisers to help her “accelerate” her 2020 giving with immediate help to those financially gutted by the pandemic.
She said the team used a data-driven approach, identifying organizations with strong leadership and results, specifically in communities with high food insecurity, racial inequity and poverty rates, “and low access to philanthropic capital.”
Scott and her team started with 6,490 organizations, researched 822, and put 438 “on hold for now,” waiting for more details about their impact, management, and how they treat employees or community members.
In total, 384 organizations in 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., will share $4,158,500,000 in gifts, including food banks, emergency relief funds “and support services for those most vulnerable.” Other organizations address “long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis,” such as debt relief, employment training, credit, and financial services for under-resourced communities and education for historically marginalized and underserved people. The money will also support legal defense funds “that take on institutional discrimination.”
Scott noted that she was “far from completing” her giving pledge, and urged others to follow her lead in whatever way they could: time, a voice, or money.