Ben HaywardDecember 16th
2020

The richest woman in the world, Mackenzie Scott, has revealed that she has donated over £3 billion ($4.1 billion) to hundreds of food banks and charities.

In a blog post, the former partner of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos explained how the global coronavirus pandemic has given her a new perspective on life, driving her to increase the amount of money she donates to those in need. 

Posting on Medium, the 50-year-old said the pandemic has been 'a wrecking ball’ in the lives of people already struggling to make ends meet, and that she wanted to do something to help.

Ms Scott wrote: "After my post in July, I asked a team of advisors to help me accelerate my 2020 giving through immediate support to people suffering the economic effects of the crisis. 

"They took a data-driven approach to identifying organisations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.

"The result over the last four months has been $4,158,500,000 in gifts to 384 organisations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C."

"Some are filling basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for those most vulnerable.

"Others are addressing long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis: debt relief, employment training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities, education for historically marginalised and underserved people, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defence funds that take on institutional discrimination.”

However, it also seems as though Ms Scott may have had a bit of a dig at her ex-husband along  with other multi-billionaires who have benefited from the disastrous year.

She added: "Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of colour, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”

One of the companies to have benefitted from Ms Scott's latest round of donations - receiving a reported £7.4 million ($10 million) is Craft3, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that invests in businesses run by people of colour.

In a statement, Adam Zimmerman, president and CEO of Craft3, said: "We are incredibly honoured by the recognition that comes with this unprecedented gift. Community Development Financial Institutions are the front line of inclusive, equitable finance in the United States."

The latest philanthropic donations come just months after Scott, donated a reported £1.24 billion ($1.68 billion) to 116 not-for-profits, community development groups, and legal organisations. 

Writing in July, Ms Scott wrote: "Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror. Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilisation this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable.

"What fills me with hope is the thought of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer."

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