Mackenzie Scott Gave Away More Than a Billion Dollars a Month in the Last 4 Months

Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife is donating her Amazon fortune at a rapid clip

Marker Editors
Published in
2 min readDec 18, 2020
$4,158,500,000: How much Mackenzie Scott has donated to 384 different organizations over the last four months.
Photo illustration, source: Jörg Carstensen/dpa/picture alliance/Getty Images

$4.2 billion: That’s the amount MacKenzie Scott has donated to 384 different organizations over the past four months.

The first Amazon employee and former wife of founder Jeff Bezos, Scott ended up with about 19.5 million shares (roughly 4% of the company, valued at around $38 billion at the time) following the couple’s divorce in July 2019, and has quickly established herself as an original force in philanthropy. Notably, as Stephanie Clifford explained in a profile on Scott for Marker in October, her giving has come in the form of few-strings-attached grants, a break with the more technocratic strategies tech philanthropists favor. Apparently, she doesn’t even need a thank-you note, let alone reports back on benchmarks and goals.

This latest tranche of gifts — roughly $260 million given per week — followed that same pattern, and underscored another notable aspect of her giving: its speed. Instead of focusing on a long-term foundation, one charitable expert commented, “she’s disrupting the norms around billionaire philanthropy by moving quickly.” Almost as quickly as Amazon’s stock: It’s not known how many shares Scott has sold, but her original post-divorce stake would be worth more than $63 billion today.

Heads up, charities: that email about MacKenzie Scott giving away her fortune may not be spam after all!

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