Mackenzie Scott donates $640 million to non-profit organizations in the United States

  • Written by Madeleine Halpert
  • BBC News, New York

Image source, Getty Images

MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated $640m (£504m) to non-profit organisations, more than double her previously planned donations for this year.

The billionaire announced this week that she would give the money to 361 small groups, out of more than 6,000 organizations that applied for funding.

It had initially planned to offer 250 prizes worth $1 million each this year.

Ms. Scott has donated $16.5 billion since her divorce from Bezos in 2019.

Her net worth is $37.5 billion according to Forbes, which ranks her as the fourth richest woman in the world, and she has pledged to give away half of her fortune over the course of her lifetime. Most of the money comes from a 4% stake in Amazon that was included in her divorce settlement.

Beneficiaries include the ACLU of Alabama, Justice for Immigrant Women, Sacramento LGBT Community Center and Mental Health Advocacy Services.

Ms Scott posted on social media that the money was awarded to groups “for their outstanding work in promoting the voices and opportunities of individuals and families of little or modest means, and groups who have faced discrimination and other systemic barriers”.

This year, Ms. Scott abandoned her previous approach of finding organizations and then secretly contacting them to make large, unrestricted gifts.

After a committee reviewed all applications, 279 nonprofits were awarded $2 million, while 82 groups received $1 million each.

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