Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife has donated $2 billion in the past seven months, she announced Monday — the same day her ex-husband said he too, during his lifetime, would donate his entire fortune.
MacKenzie Scott, 52, became the richest woman in the world when she divorced the Amazon founder in 2019 and walked away with $28.9 billion.
He has since devoted his time and energy to identifying the most deserving and effective charities to donate his money to.
On Monday, Bezos, a $124 billion man – the fourth richest in the world – who has previously been criticized for amassing massive wealth as Amazon workers endured harsh conditions, and for failing to pledge to give away his fortune , said he would give it all away.
Sitting next to his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, 52, the businessman said they were “building the capacity to be able to give this money away”.
Jeff Bezos is pictured with his then-wife MacKenzie Scott in April 2018. The couple divorced the following year, after 26 years of marriage. She became the richest woman in the world, but she has since given away over $12 billion
Bezos was seen in an interview on Monday’s CNN with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, 52. Amazon founder says he intends to donate most of his $124 billion fortune over his lifetime
The mogul didn’t provide specific details about the exact charities he’ll donate to or how much he’ll donate
He told CNN’s Chloe Melas that it wasn’t an easy thing to do effectively, and the accompanying report implied that he didn’t necessarily agree with his methods.
“Bezos has not commented on his ex-wife’s charitable donation, but he feels strongly that there are good and bad ways to donate large sums of money,” wrote CNN trade correspondent Brian Fung.
Bezos, speaking inside his Washington DC home, told Melas: “The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a leveraged way.
‘It’s not easy: Building Amazon hasn’t been easy.
“It took a lot of hard work, a very smart group of teammates, and I’m finding that philanthropy is very similar: It’s not easy, it’s very difficult.
‘We are building the capacity to be able to give this money away. There are a bunch of ways I think you might as well do things that are ineffective.
“So you have to think about it carefully and you have to have brilliant people on the team.”
Scott has taken a different approach to philanthropy, rarely giving interviews and simply giving a semi-annual rundown of the organizations he supports
Bezos and Sanchez are pictured together May 27 at the commencement ceremony at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts
While some interpreted Bezos’ comment about “ineffective” donations as a side jab at his ex-wife, she followed up with her own announcement.
Scott on Monday provided his semi-annual update on his giving, revealing that he has donated $2 billion over the past seven months to 348 different organizations.
Writing on Medium — the platform she always uses to make announcements, rather than give interviews or make statements — she said the groups she supported were “advocating for the voices and opportunities of people from underprivileged communities.”
Scott listed the 348 groups, which included well-known groups like the Girl Scouts, GLAAD, Teach for America and the National Urban League, as well as small community organizations working with immigrants, refugees, women and climate change.
“The funds we’ve selected seek teams with real experience in the issues they’re addressing, as we did when we selected the other nonprofits in this giving cycle and the more than 1,200 recipients before them, many of whom are also funds,” she wrote.
‘Recently I learned a saying used in disability communities: ‘Nothing about us without us.’ For me, it’s another beautiful and powerful reminder.
‘I don’t need to ask those I care about what to say to them or what to do for them.
“I can share what I have with them to support them as they speak up and act on their own.”
Scott added that he is working on a database of all the organizations he has supported, “with information contributed by their own teams and mission statements in their own words.”
While Scott is now ranked as one of the world’s most powerful philanthropists, having already donated 20 percent of his net worth, Bezos is relatively new to the idea.
He has donated more than $2.4 billion to philanthropic causes in his lifetime, Forbes calculated last month, considering only the money actually donated, rather than promises of future support, such as the Amazon founder’s pledge to spend 10 billion dollars to protect the environment.
He made the promise in 2020 and $1.54 billion has since been disbursed through the Bezos Earth Fund.
Bezos has been criticized for not signing the Giving Pledge, which is for hundreds of the world’s richest people to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.
Scott, on the other hand, received five times more than him before the latest round of funding: $ 12.8 billion over the past two years.
Bezos gave Dolly Parton $100 million on Friday for her charity, lauding her “love and compassion at work.”
The mogul also revealed that he presented a $100 million award to singer Dolly Parton for her ‘love and compassion in work’
Jolene’s singer’s foundation — Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library — has donated books to one in 10 children in the United States. It also serves the UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada.
He told CNN on Monday: “Look at what he did and how he led his life. The way she’s done it is by doing bold things, always with civility and kindness.
“She’s a unifier. We have big problems in the world and the way big problems are dealt with is you have to work together.”
Sanchez added, “When you think of Dolly, everyone smiles. All she wants to do is bring light into other people’s worlds.
“That’s it, so we couldn’t have thought of someone better to give this award to.”
Sanchez said on Instagram that Parton is “a woman who gives from the heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work.”
Parton, in a video clip of the ceremony posted online, said: ‘Wow! Did you say 100 million dollars?’
‘I think people who are able to help should put their money where their hearts are. I will do my best to do good things with this money.’
The 76-year-old singer has been a longtime philanthropist.
Donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help develop a vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also handed CNN’s Van Jones and celebrity chef Jose Andres $100 million each to donate to a charity of their choice, just hours after spending $5.5 billion on his 10-minute journey into space.
Jones is a political contributor to CNN and founder of Dream Corps, a non-profit criminal justice reform organization.
Jeff Bezos gave CNN’s Van Jones $100 million on Tuesday for what he called an “award for courage and civility.” While accepting the award, an emotional Jones said: “Sometimes dreams do come true”
CNN’s Van Jones and celebrity chef Jose Andres were both in attendance to accept their $100 million, which was announced after Bezos’ space launch press conference ended
Andres is a Spanish chef who founded World Central Kitchen, a non-profit dedicated to providing meals in the aftermath of natural disasters.
Bezos noted that the two men can donate the money to any charity they choose, including their own.
Jones’ small nonprofit had a total of $2.5 million in assets in 2019, according to the latest available tax documents.
World Central Kitchen had approximately $27 million in assets that same fiscal year.
When accepting the award, a moved Jones said, “Sometimes dreams do come true” and that “headlines around the world should be anything is possible if you believe it.”
‘Lauren and Jeff don’t do anything small — they just don’t. They dream big, they love big, they bet big. You bet on me and I appreciate it.’
He said the billionaire raised “the roof of people’s dreams of humanity”.
“It’s an important thing. Don’t be angry about it. When you see someone reaching for the heavens, be happy, because up there is so much more heaven to reach. And we can do it together,’ said Jones.
“If this small group of people can make miracles happen in space, a bigger group of people can make miracles happen down here, and we will.”