MacKenzie Scott Provides $436 Million to Habitat for Humanity
MacKenzie Scott, who promised in 2019 that she would give away her fortune “till the protected is empty,” has donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity Worldwide and its 84 associates, the group stated Tuesday.
The present is designed to assist alleviate the worldwide housing scarcity and promote “equitable entry to reasonably priced housing,” Habitat for Humanity stated in a press release.
The group stated that it will use $25 million of the donation over the following three to 4 years to create extra reasonably priced housing and assist “the tens of millions of people more and more shut out of the housing market.”
“With this donation, Habitat is nicely positioned to meaningfully advocate for the systemic and societal adjustments wanted to enhance equitable entry to reasonably priced housing,” Jonathan Reckford, chief govt of Habitat for Humanity, stated within the assertion.
Ms. Scott, an creator and philanthropist, pledged in 2019 to give away as much of her wealth as possible, after her divorce from Jeff Bezos, the founding father of Amazon. On the time, her portion of the divorce settlement, some 4 p.c of Amazon shares, was valued at round $36 billion.
However the hovering worth of that inventory has meant that Ms. Scott is accumulating wealth sooner than she may give it away.
By February, she had donated $8.8 billion, and as we speak she is value practically $50 billion, according to Forbes.
In 2020, Ms. Scott gave $1.7 billion to a long list of institutions and causes, together with traditionally Black faculties and universities, organizations that assist ladies’s rights and L.G.B.T.Q. equality, and efforts to combat local weather change and racial inequity.
Final yr, she gave cash to organizations such because the Apollo Theater and Ballet Hispánico, although she didn’t disclose the quantities. Dance Theater of Harlem, which obtained $10 million from Ms. Scott in 2021, stated the present was the most important in its historical past.
Ms. Scott, 51, couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Tuesday. She has struggled with the portrayals of her philanthropy, bemoaning what she described as the main target by the information media on the quantities of cash she provides away fairly than on the work of the organizations that obtain her items.
“Individuals struggling towards inequities deserve heart stage in tales about change they’re creating,” she wrote in a post on Medium in 2021, when she introduced that she was donating greater than $2.7 billion to 286 organizations.
In December 2021, she stated she would not announce the names of the organizations that had obtained donations.
“I wish to let every of those unimaginable groups communicate for themselves first in the event that they select to, with the hope that once they do, media focuses on their contributions as an alternative of mine,” she said in another Medium post.
Ms. Scott graduated from Princeton, the place she studied creative writing under Toni Morrison.
She pursued a profession as a author at the same time as she helped Mr. Bezos begin his enterprise. They had been married for 25 years. Quickly after their divorce, Ms. Scott, nonetheless utilizing her married title, signed the Giving Pledge, noting that she had “a disproportionate amount of cash to share.”
Different rich folks, together with Warren Buffett and Invoice Gates, have additionally signed the pledge, promising to provide away a minimum of half of their wealth earlier than they die.
However observers of such philanthropy have famous that the Giving Pledge does little to a cut back general wealth as a result of massive fortunes continue to grow, typically sooner than philanthropists can cut back them by donations.
And Ms. Scott’s current resolution to not announce the recipients of her items has led to calls for her to be more transparent.
Ms. Scott appeared to deal with that criticism in December, saying on Twitter that she “appreciated seeing curiosity in understanding” how her wealth was distributed and that she was within the technique of “sharing particulars about our first 2+ years of labor, together with current items.”
“Info, too,” she stated, “is a crucial type of giving.”