MacKenzie Scott has donated more than $12 billion. Here's where some of the money has gone.

·5 min read

Since pledging to give away most of her wealth in 2019, MacKenzie Scott has donated an estimated $12 billion to more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations.

The writer and philanthropist revealed in March she has handed over $3.9 billion to hundreds of organizations in the last nine months alone, funding areas such as climate and education, as well as Ukraine relief efforts.

Scott donated $122 million to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the organization said Tuesday in a statement.

Scott's philanthropy is unique not only because she's giving away large sums of money in a small amount of time but also because of the type of organizations she's choosing, said Tyrone McKinley Freeman, associate professor of philanthropic studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

"She really is distinguishing herself as a giver because she's giving away this these large amounts of money to organizations that do not typically have access to these types of donors or these types of gifts," Freeman said, noting her donations come with no strings attached.

Scott's round of donations announced in March included $436 million for the home-building nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, the largest publicly disclosed donation from Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, so far.

Latest donation: MacKenzie Scott gives $122M to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Also in March, Planned Parenthood announced it received a $275 million gift from Scott, the largest gift from a single donor in the organization's history.

"Our team’s focus over these last nine months has included some new areas, but as always our aim has been to support the needs of underrepresented people from groups of all kinds," Scott said in a blog post published on Medium. "The cause of equity has no sides."

Smaller sums making big change

Though Scott's bigger donations receive the most attention, smaller groups consider the amounts they have received from her large by their standard.

Scott's $5 million donation to Migrant Clinicians Network surpasses its annual budget, said Deliana Garcia, director of international projects and emerging issues at organization.

Migrant Clinicians Network is a health nonprofit that services migrants, immigrants and asylum seekers.

"This money is going to let us help migrants, immigrants and refugees who come to this country, most of who are workers in low wage, high risk labor groups," Garcia said. "Another portion of it is going to be directed to let us help health care providers who have committed their lives to caring for folks like migrant farmworkers."

For the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit aiding veterans and service members who sustained injury or illness on or after 9/11, Scott's $15 million donation marks its largest individual gift.

"We're just very grateful and humbled to be part of a group of organizations that are focused on really removing obstacles," Jennifer Silva, chief program officer at Wounded Warrior Project, said. "We particularly focus on removing obstacles for wounded veterans who have served our country and providing access to life saving support and programs."

The money will help fund mental and brain health programs.

The landmark $25 million donation education nonprofit City Year received from Scott will help it expand its reach in schools across the country, said Tasha Booker, senior vice president for external engagement.

"We could not do this work without the generosity of donors like MacKenzie Scott and others," Booker said. "This is a transformative gift that will have a long term impact for years to come, particularly as we look to answer President Biden's calls for more mentors and tutors in our public school system."

Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, last year donated $2.7 billion to 286 charities.

In July 2020, Scott announced in her blog she had given about $1.7 billion to 116 groups, including historically Black colleges and universities. In December that year, she handed an additional $4.2 billion to 384 diverse organizations.

Even after her multibillion dollar donations, Forbes magazine estimates Scott's net worth at $31.5 billion.

In her blog posts, Scott shared the total in donations and lists the recipients, but did not disclose the individual amounts.

Among the latest recipients, Scott said about 60% of the organizations are led by women and 75% are led by "people with lived experience in the regions they support and the issues they seek to address."

"Communities with a habit of removing obstacles for different subsets of people tend to get better for everyone," Scott wrote.

Here are some of Mackenzie Scott's largest donations so far:

Habitat for Humanity – $436 million

“With this donation, Habitat is well-positioned to meaningfully advocate for the systemic and societal changes needed to improve equitable access to affordable housing,” Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, said in a statement.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America – $281 million

"Thanks to this generous gift, Boys & Girls Clubs can continue to reach even more youth, as we guide millions of kids and teens on their journeys to great futures,” Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood – $275 million

“We are incredibly grateful for Ms. Scott’s extraordinary philanthropic investment in Planned Parenthood, as a critical part of the public health infrastructure," said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement.

Communities in Schools – $133.5 million

"This unrestricted gift allows us to combat the inequities in public education and reimagine the way schools operate and show up for all students," said Rey Saldaña, president and CEO of Communities In Schools, in a statement.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America – $122.6 million

“We are incredibly grateful and humbled by MacKenzie’s generosity and acknowledgement of the incredible work of our passionate professionals and volunteers who are unwavering in their commitment to create meaningful outcomes for young people today and for generations to come,” said Artis Stevens, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, in a statement.

National 4-H Council – $50 million

“National 4-H Council is grateful to MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, for their belief in Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and its life-changing outcomes for youth,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of National 4-H Council, in a statement. “Their generosity will sustain 4-H’s commitment to ensuring all young people—regardless of their background or beliefs—are empowered with the skills to lead for a lifetime.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MacKenzie Scott has donated $12 billion to charities

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