MacKenzie Scott: Billionaire donates nearly £2bn to organisations as she calls out wealth gap

·2-min read

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated another $2.7bn (£1.9bn) to a range of organisations in areas such as education and the arts as well as working to combat racial discrimination.

The ex-wife of one of the world's richest men, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said she decided to give money to 286 recipients "in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked".

It is the third round of contributions she has made, donating a total of more than $8bn (£5.6bn).

Last year, the 51-year-old gave over $4bn (£2.8bn) to food banks and emergency relief funds amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Just months earlier she announced $1.7bn (£1.2bn) in grants to causes such as racial equality, LGBTQ rights and climate change.

As part of her 2019 divorce, Ms Scott received a 4% stake in Amazon and she is worth around $60bn (£42.6bn), according to Forbes, making her the world's 20th richest person.

She has promised to give away the vast majority of her fortune and in a blog post on the Medium website on Tuesday, Ms Scott wrote she and husband Dan Jewett made the latest donations so recipients can continue their work and as a "signal of trust and encouragement" to them and others.

The groups range from higher education institutions such as those in the California and Texas state university systems and community colleges, to arts centres like the Apollo Theatre, and organisations dedicated to racial and gender equality.

And she suggested she disagreed with the increasing concentration of vast wealth among a small number of individuals.

She and her Seattle science teacher husband, who married in March, have worked with a team of researchers and philanthropy advisers as they try "to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change".

She added: "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."

Shortly after she split with Mr Bezos, she signed the Giving Pledge.

This is a commitment developed by Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett to get the world's richest people to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes during their lifetimes or in their wills.

Mr Jewett also became a signatory earlier this year.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting