Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced a donation of $2.7 billion to 286 organizations on Tuesday.
Scott said she and her husband Dan Jewett, a Seattle science teacher, selected the 286 “high-impact” non-profit organizations focused on arts, racial justice, higher education and combatting domestic violence as well as serving “communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”
“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 said. “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,” said Scott, the former wife of billionaire Jeff Bezos who has a net worth of around $59 billion.
Scott also commented on the broader distribution of wealth and the focus placed on billionaire donors like herself rather than “people struggling against inequities.”
“Any wealth is a product of a collective effort that included them,” she said. “The social structures that inflate wealth present obstacles to them. And despite those obstacles, they are providing solutions that benefit us all.”
Scott became one of the world’s wealthiest women after her divorce from Bezos.
She has previously said she consulted with her team on how to give away her fortune more quickly, with two prior large donations in less than a year.
In July 2020, she donated $1.7 billion to historically Black colleges and universities and in December gave $4.2 billion to food banks, educational institutions and other charities.