Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott donates $NZ1b to US non-profits

By Madeline Halpert for BBC

Scott announced this week she would give the money to 361 small groups, out of the more than 6000 organisations that applied for funding.

She had initially planned to make 250 awards of NZ$1.6m (US$1m) each this year.

She has given away NZ$27.1b (US$16.5b) since her 2019 divorce from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Scott has a net worth of NZ$61.6b (US$37.5b), according to Forbes, which rates her as the fourth richest woman in the world, and has pledged to give away half of her wealth over the course of her life. Most of the money comes from a 4 percent stake in Amazon that was included in her divorce settlement from Bezos, the company founder.

Some of the recipients include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama, Justice for Migrant Women, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center and Mental Health Advocacy Services.

Scott posted on social media that the money had been given to groups “for their outstanding work advancing the voices and opportunities of individuals and families of meager or modest means, and groups who have met with discrimination and other systemic obstacles”.

This year, Scott broke with her past approach of finding organisations and then contacting them secretly to offer massive, unrestricted gifts.

After a panel reviewed all of the applications, she gave 279 non-profits NZ$3.2m (US$2m) a piece, while 82 groups were given NZ$1.6m (US$1m) each.

The “incredible work” of many applicants led the team overseeing the donations to increase the number and amount of awards, according to Lever for Change, the group managing the applications.

– This story was first published by the BBC.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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