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MacKenzie Scott Eyes Faster Giving As Amazon's Value Surges

Editorial Staff, December 17, 2020


Writing on her blog, Scott said that she has taken advice since July on how to build a range of causes to support, and wants to accelerate her giving. She noted a contrast between how ultra-wealthy individuals' wealth has actually increased while that of many people has been hammered by the pandemic.

MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos, has given away almost $4.2 billion to 384 organizations in the US over the last four months, to help deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Ironically, the market value of Amazon has surged as people have turned to online shopping during the crisis. 

Scott, updating the public about her philanthropic activity via her blog, is the 18th richest woman in the world. She said she has asked her team of advisors how to accelerate her giving. Bloomberg said that her wealth has gone up by $23.6 billion this year, reaching $60.7 billion. 

“This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. 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,” Scott said.

“Some are filling basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for those most vulnerable. Others are addressing long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis: debt relief, employment training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities, education for historically marginalized and underserved people, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defense funds that take on institutional discrimination,” she wrote.

The trend of big gifts is regularly tracked by this news service (see an example here) because of the light it sheds on UHNW philanthropy. It also speaks to the issue sometimes dubbed “wealth justification” – the way that ultra-wealthy individuals seek to reconcile others, and themselves, to vast wealth when such largesse is often under political attack.

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