$6 Billion Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott (Formerly Bezos) Emerges as 2020’s Real Superhero

Sharon Waxman
·1-min read

One of the very big things that happened in the Year of Our Misery 2020 was something spectacularly good: an historic distribution of gifts by Mackenzie Scott — ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — of nearly $6 billion to more than 300 nonprofit organizations doing community-based work. These included large gifts to historically black colleges, to groups run by LGBTQ activists and old-school charities like Easter Seals, United Ways and Good Wills across the country. Her gifts — unsolicited and with no strings attached — amount to what is believed to be the most money ever handed out directly to charities in a single year by a living donor, according to the New York Times. Let us pause and note the stunning breadth and scope of this effort. In just a few months, the 50-year-old overthrew more than a century of philanthropic norms, assembling a top-level group of experts, gathering data and then handing out money — and fast. Also Read: MacKenzie Scott Donated $4.16 Billion Over the Last 4 Months Scott explained her approach in a post on Medium in mid-December: “(The team) took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with...

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