American author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced Tuesday her second significant charitable contribution of the year, giving nearly $4.2 billion to 384 organizations as part of a plan to donate a majority of her fortune.
The announcement came just four months after Scott donated $1.7 billion to 116 organizations, including four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), in July. The latest round of philanthropic gifts totals more than $4.16 billion donated to organizations nationwide in the past four months.
“The pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires,” Scott wrote in a Medium post.
She continued to say, “It would be easy for all the people who drew the long demographic straws in this crisis to hole up at home feeling a mix of gratitude and guilt, and wait for it to be over – but that’s not what’s happening. The proliferation of community fridges, COVID relief funds, impromptu person-to-person, Venmo gift, viral debt relief campaigns, and mutual aid initiatives has been swift and uplifting.”
Scott’s medium post also included a list of hundreds of organizations that received funds, including seventeen HBCUs, financial service providers for under-resourced communities, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defense funds.
Scott donated $40 million to Morgan State University, an HBCU in Baltimore. The gift is the largest single private donation in the university’s history, and roughly doubles the school’s endowment.
Also, Scott gave $50 million to Prairie View A&M University, an HBCU in Texas – the school’s largest donation ever, and nearly doubling its endowment, according to the university.
Other HBCUs includes:
- Alcorn State University
- Bowie State University
- Clalflin University
- Clark Atlanta University
- Delaware State University
- Dillard University
- Elizabeth City State University
- Lincoln University (PA)
- Norfolk State University
- North Carolina A&T State University
- Tougaloo College
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore
- Virginia State University
- Voorhees College
- Winston-Salem State University
Scott is the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, from 1993 to 2019. Also, she served as the executive director of Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization she founded, since 2014. Scott is included in Time Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People of 2020. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, she is the world’s 18th-richest person with a net worth of $60.7 billion.
Scott stated, “We do this research and deeper diligence no only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strong attached.”