Since first pledging in 2019 to give away her entire fortune, billionaire MacKenzie Scott has given away more than $12 billion to nonprofits, according to a count of her publicly announced giving since 2020. This enormous sum propelled her to the forefront of philanthropists worldwide.
In her latest essay on the Medium website on Wednesday, Ms Scott described an additional $3.9 billion in donations to 465 nonprofits in the past nine months alone, including funds dedicated to areas she had given in the past, such as climate and education, as well as urgent new needs, such as relief efforts in Ukraine.
“Over the past nine months, our team has focused on new areas, but as always, our focus has been on meeting the needs of underrepresented people from groups of all kinds,” Ms. Scott wrote.
On Wednesday, Habitat for Humanity International announced that Ms Scott had donated $436 million to the group and 84 affiliates. She also gave $275 million to Planned Parenthood’s national office and 21 affiliates across the country, in what the group called the largest donation from a single donor in its history.
“At such a critical time for reproductive health and rights, this investment and expression of trust in Planned Parenthood will help us be as strong as possible to face the moment,” said Melaney Linton, President of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and president. of the Affiliate Council, in a statement Wednesday.
A total of 1,257 organizations have received donations from Ms. Scott since 2020. Even the amounts she has given to smaller groups are often large by their standards, in many cases equal to an organization’s total annual budget.
Such was the case when Ms. Scott donated $15 million last week to Madre, a New York-based human rights and relief organization that supports women’s groups around the world, according to the report. ‘organization. “This is the largest grant we have ever received from a donor by orders of magnitude,” said Yifat Susskind, executive director of Madre.
Ms Susskind celebrated what giving can do for the people the organization serves – but also wanted to make sure small donors know they are valued too. “We’re doing what we can to tell people that it’s everyone’s faith in our work that has gotten us to the point where we can be on someone like MacKenzie Scott’s radar,” he said. she declared.
Wednesday’s announcement was a reversal of course for Ms Scott, who has grappled with the conflicting demands of her desire for confidentiality and her aim to publicize the work done by the groups she helps. Unlike foundations, which must file detailed and publicly available tax returns, Ms Scott gave through the charitable vehicles known as donor-advised funds, which do not require her to file separate returns. .
Even after her many gifts, Forbes magazine still estimates Ms. Scott’s net worth at $49.4 billion.
In December, she released a donation letter titled “No Dollar Signs This Time,” in which she declined to name the organizations she had donated to or the total amount of money she had given away.
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Two days later, facing criticism that she had become less transparent than more transparent, she wrote an addendum in which she said she was working on a website that would include a “searchable database of giveaways”.
Ms Scott seemed to anticipate any potential criticism that the website had yet to be created, writing that it “will only go live after reflecting the preferences of each of these non-profit teams on how whose details of their donations are shared”.
Although Ms. Scott has written extensively about her goal of promoting equity and in particular her efforts to prioritize groups led by women, people of color and LGBTQ people, she has not been shy about helping more general direct in times of need, such as when she gave to food banks and YMCA and YWCA chapters during the first acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
This time around, she listed seven groups working directly on Ukraine after the Russian invasion, including the Norwegian Refugee Council, HIAS and CARE.
“Helping one of us,” she concluded, “can help all of us.”