Jeff Bezos' ex-wife MacKenzie Scott to donate US$2.7 billion more

MacKenzie Scott has pledged to give away the bulk of her fortune from her divorce settlement with Jeff Bezos. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - MacKenzie Scott, one of the world's wealthiest women, announced on Tuesday (June 15) a new round of large charitable donations totalling US$2.7 billion (S$3.5 billion) for educational, community and other non-profit organisations.

The ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who has pledged to give away the bulk of her fortune from their divorce settlement, said in a blog post she was donating to "286 high-impact organisations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked."

The announcement marked the third round of big donations from Scott, whose fortune is estimated at some US$59 billion and who previously gave some US$6 billion to hundreds of groups and institutions.

Scott, who has eschewed the idea of creating a foundation and instead has relied on a team of advisers to identify grantees, said the effort is motivated by a desire to address growing inequalities.

"People struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating," Scott wrote on Medium.

She said she and her team "are all attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change. In this effort, we are governed by a humbling belief that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands, and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others."

The unrestricted grants will go to a wide range of organisations in education, the arts, social action, child advocacy and other causes.

They include Amarillo College in Texas, the Apollo Theatre in New York, the Children's Defence Fund, Decolonising Wealth Project, Filantropia Puerto Rico, Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Jazz at Lincoln Centre, PEN America Writers' Emergency Fund and Ubuntu Pathways.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.