MacKenzie Scott Makes A U-Turn On Transparency, Keeps Latest Philanthropy Donations Secret

In this March 4, 2018, file photo, then-MacKenzie Bezos arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The amount of money given away by Scott is almost unheard of in the philanthropy world. She has donated more than $8.5 billion to organizations focused on gender equality, racial justice, public health and more since divorcing Jeff Bezos.
Scott is keeping the latest recipients of her philanthropy a secret.
In a year-end post on Medium, Scott said she has made more donations this year, but is not revealing who gave or how much she gave. Scott hasn't given interviews to the media since her divorce and has only released information about her philanthropy on Medium.

Scott wrote that he wanted to let each of the teams speak for themselves first, with the hope that when they do, media focuses on their contributions instead of his.

At least one nonprofit has decided to make public its donation from Scott. Scott donated $10 million to Public Allies, which runs an AmeriCorps program and offers leadership development for young people. The money will be used to start the racial equity campaign. The Chicago branch of Public Allies was founded by former first lady Obama.

Scott argued that she gets too much attention for her philanthropy. She says that the definition of philanthropy should be more expansive and include smaller donations from everyday people, informal person-to-person support for friends, family or community, and even humanitarian speech like the George Floyd demonstrations.

She writes that money contributions to the welfare of others by financially wealthy people don't merit disproportionate attention.

Forbes believes that people with billions of dollars at their disposal warrant more scrutiny than average Americans because of the power that money has. Forbes tracks both wealth and philanthropic giving of the world's wealthiest people. Forbes named MacKenzie Scott the most powerful woman in the world this week because she has so much money to give away, and because she has operated with a sense of urgency, knowing that so many nonprofit groups are working hard.

Scott is making waves with her no-strings-attached approach to philanthropy and her speed with which she is unloading her fortune. Scott allows the recipients of her donations to spend the money how they please. Scott wants to keep giving away her money until the safe is empty.

Scott wrote in June that the belief is that disproportionate wealth should be spread out among a few people and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others.