MacKenzie Scott is giving away her fortune at an unprecedented pace, donating more than $4 billion in four months after announcing an additional $1.7 billion in gifts in July.
The world's 18th-richest person with a $60.7 billion net worth announced the latest gifts in a blog post, saying she asked her team to figure out how to give away her fortune faster. Scott's wealth has climbed $23.6 billion this year alone, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as Amazon.com Inc, the primary source of her fortune, has surged.
After considering almost 6,500 organizations for possible contributions, her advisers ultimately zeroed-in on 384 groups to receive gifts, Scott said in a post on Medium.
"This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling," she wrote. "Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires."
The donations were focused on groups "operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital."
Scott, 50, who was formerly married to Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, promising to give away the majority of her fortune.
"I have a disproportionate amount of money to share," she wrote in her pledge. "My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won't wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty."
The rate at which she's been giving it away rivals many other philanthropists, despite her being a relative newcomer.
"Other billionaires should draw inspiration from her approach to move funds to urgent needs, to historically marginalized groups, to share decision-making with non-wealthy people, and avoid warehousing funds in private legacy foundations," Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, said in an email.
This year has also been an active year for Bezos's philanthropy. In February, he committed $10 billion to issues related to climate change and last month announced the first of those grants, totaling nearly $800 million to 16 groups. He also disclosed another round of grants for his Day One Fund, giving away more than $100 million to 42 organizations that combat family homelessness.
Bezos, 56, kept three-quarters of the couple's Amazon shares in the divorce, maintaining his status as the world's richest person with a fortune of $185 billion, according to the Bloomberg index. His net worth has increased $70 billion this year.