It was 1992 when MacKenzie Scott worked as a waitress and he suffered from “the unbearable drudgery of making and selling sandwiches.” One of his biggest worries was paying the rent. with the few coins she earned as a waitress in New York, where she had moved to pursue her dream of being a writer, something that was impossible for her because all her time was dedicated to her work. “I ran into little unpredictable periods of time during which I collapsed from exhaustion and frustration,” she recalled in a letter she sent to her mentor, the late novelist and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison.
Nevertheless, 30 years laterThe picture is very different for MacKenzie Scott. She is the fourth richest woman in the world, and in his head is only to keep going down that list. “I would keep donating until my safe is empty“, she declared to Giving Pledge, a campaign where rich people promise to give away at least 50% of their wealth and which she joined.
MacKenzie Scott was the 22nd richest person in the world in 2020, worth $36 billion, and the 22nd richest in 2021, worth $53 billion, according to Forbes estimates. Now, fell to 30th place on the list of the richest that has already left out, for example, Donald Trump. And he plans to keep falling, even more than Bill Gates fell. Where did you get so much money from and why do you want to donate it all?
Jeff Bezos, an inescapable past
The beginning of his economic well-being dates back to the early ’90s, whentook a job at DE Shaw’s hedge fund, largely out of financial need. As usual, he had to go through a series of interviews to join the companyY the person in charge of making them was, nothing more and nothing less, Jeff Bezos.
Scott was accepted into the company and fell in love with Bezos. The couple married in 1994 and moved to Bellevue, Washington to start what would become Amazon. Scott worked at the startup part-time, spending his free time working on a novel—his own dream. In a letter to Morrison, Scott called Amazon “an interesting business” and wrote that “having a part-time job has been good for writing.”
Coins and sandwiches were no longer a concern. Scott had time to write and publish two books: one in 2005 and one in 2013. In the 25 years that he was together with Jeff Bezos, Amazon became the world’s richest company, with a market capitalization of $1.5 trillion. However, love came to an end, and in 2019 the couple divorced. As part of divorce settlement, Scott kept 25% of the shares of Amazon, which are equivalent to 4% of the company. Now, his net worth is estimated at more than $46 billion.
Donations and gifts
With 52 years and many dollars in his safe, MacKenzie Scott promised to donate most of his fortune. The 36th annual list of the world’s billionaires Forbes, ranks her behind L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, Walmart heiress Alice Walton, and Koch Industries heiress Julia Koch. But that doesn’t matter to him.
“I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” Scott wrote in a letter made public in May 2019. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time, effort and care. But I will not wait. And I will continue to do so until the safe is empty,” she warned.
For now, his promise is on the right track: In all, his shell company, Lost Horse, donated at least $12 billion to more than 1,200 charities. He was ranked fifth on Forbes’ 2022 list of the biggest lifetime donors, behind philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates and Michael Bloomberg, who have been giving for decades. Forbes estimated that he donated at least 4.75 million shares of Amazon, almost a quarter of what he received in divorce, towards charitable causes.
Where do you donate? There is no specific organization. Collaborated with smaller grassroots organizations and larger, established nonprofit networks addressing issues around gender equality, racial justice, reproductive rights, the arts, and more.
Planned Parenthoodfor example, was one of the beneficiaries, with more than 275 million dollars, the greatest gift in its history. The organization Habitat for Humanity International, that builds houses for low-income people, received 436 million dollars. The organization Madre, which supports women around the world, received 15 million, the largest donation ever received.
Noble and silent gifts
One of the qualities of MacKenzie Scott that stands out the most in the media is that he constantly seeks to evade the spotlight. It does not have a website with contact information and does not speak to the media. It also doesn’t have a base, so organizations that want money can’t fill out a funding application. In December, she announced that she would no longer publicize her donations to draw attention away from herself and her wealth.
His modus operandi is different from normal. When you decide to donate, your team sends an email or calls the chosen organization. She gives them the money and lets them spend it how they want, because she is not the one who decides. “We don’t assume that we, or any particular group, know how to fix it. We don’t advocate for particular policies or reforms,” Scott wrote on his blog.
And so, quietly, many organizations received the largest donation in their history. “I was literally crying in the lobby of that hotel because it meant that our plans to expand for growth would actually come trueChong-Hao Fu, CEO of Leading Educators, a New Orleans-based nonprofit organization, recalled to Forbes.
“People fighting inequalities deserve center stage in stories about the change they are creating,” Scott wrote. “This is equally, perhaps especially, true when your work is financed by wealth. Any wealth is the product of a collective effort that included them. The social structures that inflate wealth present them with obstacles. And despite those obstacles, they are providing solutions that benefit us all, ”he justified.
“We have what we need to solve our shared problems. It’s like the antidote is there waiting in the middle of all that poison. We are all humans. And we all have enormous energy to devote to helping and protecting those we love,” Scott concluded in his message.
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The fourth richest woman in the world promised to give away a large part of her fortune and is fulfilling