MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, has spent the past four months of the pandemic giving away money at a staggering pace.
Currently the fourth-richest woman in the world and the 18th-wealthiest person on planet Earth, she has seen her fortune balloon during the pandemic, just like some of the richest men on the planet, including her ex-husband.
She received billions when they divorced, and the pile of cash she had has grown $23.6 billion this year alone, putting her in the top 20 richest people worldwide, with a net worth of $60.7 billion.
Say this about Scott, she’s intent on helping people who are less fortunate. Since July of this year she has given away almost $6 billion. “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” she wrote in a post on Medium. “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.”
In 2019, she signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away the majority of her fortune, and she took it very seriously. Her advisors helped her zoom in on 384 groups to receive financial gifts, focusing on charities that work with people facing food insecurity, racial inequity, poverty and limited access to philanthropic funds.
Maine-based Coastal Enterprises Inc. received a $10 million gift from Scott, which is the same as their operating budget for an entire year.
It’s safe to say that the money she gives away makes immediate differences in people’s lives. Scott is self-aware enough to know how blessed she is and generous enough to make sure she makes a difference where she can. “I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she wrote. “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.”