Learn how every donor can learn from the MacKenzie Scott Philanthropy Playbook and apply these seven lessons to improve every aspect of their giving. Scott announced her pandemic-era philanthropy in a Medium post Tuesday, The Seattle […] While not every group publicized the amount of her gift, the general range from those that did was about $3 million to $40 million. Together, they received $85 million from Mackenzie Scott, a billionaire philanthropist whose fortune is tied to Amazon. While at Shaw, recognizing the furious rate of growth of internet usage, Bezos decided he had to get involved in online sales — and made his pitch to Scott. Employees had to provide SAT scores before getting hired, and once they were on staff, competed to throw around big words. That she gave mostly unrestricted gifts to existing groups meant huge flexibility for the nonprofits: no grants to apply for, no multiyear metrics to hit, no pet projects of hers the groups would need to pursue. That’s when it was clear that we had risen above the pack of the hundreds of other online bookstores.”. During her senior year, Scott, like all Princeton seniors, was required to do an independent project — in her case, a 173-page thesis — and was able to land Morrison as her adviser. In 2005, Scott published the book, The Testing of Luther Albright, about an emotionally distant engineer who recounts his work life and complex relationships with his wife and son. She didn’t talk about her personal life, other than mentioning she was from Seattle and originally from Marin. “We had, at the time, a little bell that would ring every time a book was ordered, so we’d all be working and the bell would ring, and it would go Ding! She was given an office next to a young executive. Yet, other than the recipient groups, categories, and broad amounts, she didn’t reveal much about how she gave the money away or how she may give in the future, which concerns some critics. The company’s sales had skyrocketed during the pandemic, as physical stores shut and consumers stayed home. By contrast, philanthropists who make their money in more traditional fields tend to give big gifts involving naming rights. A year earlier, the Securities and Exchange Commission had begun investigating her father and his investment firm after a complaint. It’s the truth. Despite their billions, Scott and Bezos didn’t make much of an effort in either technocratic or traditional philanthropy prior to this year. Shaw, and in 1994, with Scott at the wheel and Bezos in the passenger’s seat typing a business plan for an online bookstore, they drove to Seattle. Hearing “that giant laugh” of his, she has said, she became intrigued. Cocktail parties for me can be nerve-racking.” She, on the other hand, preferred being in her own head: “I like to endlessly analyze conversations and think about words and tinker with words,” she told Rose. The gift was stunning in scale and in approach: Scott was making a mark as a new kind of philanthropist. In April 2019, Scott posted her first ever tweet to lay out terms of their divorce affecting shareholders. After that, she was, as usual, out of the public eye, and the philanthropic world wondered whether she would be all pledge, no action. She even refused thank you notes when nonprofits asked how they could show their gratitude. Valencia called from his North Hollywood bedroom, where he’d been running the organization since shutdown, pacing with his headphones on. It’s unclear what Scott’s father went on to do, work-wise; by 1990, Scott’s mother was managing a small clothing store in Palm Beach. Shaw. “When the article came out, the buzzer just went nuts: We had to disable it. “When you see donors trust the nonprofit experts, the people in the communities that have the highest needs, that’s a shift of power, right? MacKenzie Scott is an author and the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to whom she was married for 25 years. After graduation, Scott moved to New York, but found “I was having a lot of trouble making ends meet,” she later told Rose. But if major gift officers pay attention, they will discover these three storytelling secrets to winning major gifts. MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said Tuesday she has given $4.2 billion to groups helping the vulnerable, as the pandemic hits lives like "a wrecking ball." If anything, Scott seemed eager to distance herself from Amazon. She embarked on a traditional book tour at independent bookstores. Amazon, and Bezos and Scott, had barely participated. Including $14 million to a Michigan organization she's never worked with before. Scott publicized the gifts, she said in her post, because “my own reflection after recent events revealed a dividend of privilege I’d been overlooking: the attention I can call to organizations and leaders driving change.”. And she treasured check-ins from Toni Morrison encouraging her to keep writing, as she told Rose. MacKenzie Scott announces sizable donations MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, said in a blog post that she has given away $4.2 billion of her fortune in the past four months. At age six, Scott got permission from her teacher to take home a stack of cheap pulp paper from school, and wrote 142 pages titled The Bookworm. It is hard not to picture Scott in her car, eyes flicking at the rearview mirror, security guards ready to protect and to pounce, questioning interactions, avoiding public inquiries, thinking about how to give away a near oppressive amount of money to correct an unjust society that her wealth helped shape, about to leave her mansion and go pick up her kids as she tries to create for herself and them a thing money can’t buy: a normal life. “You can imagine, when that article was sent to me, the questions that come into one’s mind: Are they going to let me go, because if they were to hire someone who wasn’t of color, the organization might get more money?” he says. She gave him 75% of their Amazon stock and voting control of her shares, which left her a 4% stake in Amazon worth $38 billion or so at the time (as of early October, her net worth is more than $60 billion). She has made her world so small trying to escape the judgments of strangers… She will not work to project what she wants others to see (Kind! We sold a book!’” Kochmer recalls. ), “I cried,” Valencia says. The reality was much more nuanced. The site expanded to music, then became a marketplace by allowing third-party vendors. Her father, Jason Baker Tuttle, ran a San Francisco investment firm, while her mother, Holiday, was active in the philanthropy scene — a report in the 1970s from the prestigious Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco mentions her mom chaired a fundraising group that organized a nine-course dinner to raise money for the museum. Years later, Jorgensen was reading Publishers Weekly and was surprised to see a review of a novel by Scott. Still, she wanted to be a writer. The young woman who’d wanted to be a writer since she was six delved into Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. Hirshberg has long written about balancing family life and an entrepreneurial venture — and has experienced that firsthand, as the spouse of Stonyfield Farms’ founder Gary Hirshberg. “She now has this classic modern dilemma: she is a serious person who wants to give the money back in ways that actually advance justice.” Notably absent on the list of groups she supported, he says, were nonprofits focused on workers or labor rights. His name was Jeff Bezos. When an article in a prominent philanthropy publication detailed how nonprofits led by non-whites receive less grant money and receive more scrutiny than others, Valencia, a first-generation Mexican American, fretted about his own future. Then, in early July, Valencia got a weird email from someone claiming to work for an unnamed philanthropist, requesting a call. “As a donor, by doing this, she acknowledged that she doesn’t have the answers.”. As part of the divorce settlement, Jeff transferred 25% of his Amazon stake to MacKenzie, which was 4% of the company. At the time, Amazon was one of several competitors trying to figure out online bookselling, and it was unclear who would win, if any: Barnes & Noble, Borders, and independent bookstores seemed impenetrable. We found 31 records in 20 states for Mackenzie Scott in the US. The top state of residence is California, followed by Indiana. As for Scott, once the divorce was final, she signed the Giving Pledge, saying she’d give away most of her fortune, joining people including Larry Ellison, Pierre and Pam Omidyar, and Bill and Melinda Gates — though her ex, notably, has not signed the pledge. She was given an office next to a young executive. Within books-obsessed Amazon, though, Scott didn’t distinguish herself as a books enthusiast, as a fiction writer, or as much more than the boss’s pleasant wife who handled numbers. “There are things that people enjoy, preferences — a lot of time alone was one of mine.” Though in Amazon’s early days, Seattleites spotted the couple at events like book readings or gallery openings, by 2013, Bezos often appeared solo at high-profile events. “MacKenzie Scott, by virtue of the amount of money she has, has an obligation to be more transparent about the structure she set up for her philanthropies and her future intentions,” Reich says. On Wednesday, her ex-husband, Bezos, testified before Congress for the first time, speaking at a House antitrust hearing. And I got into Princeton and I remember thinking wow, this is a huge opportunity for me,” she said, and was “worrying, thinking how, I hope that I can juggle these jobs, and still get the most out of my education.”. At the same time, Scott has drawn some criticism for the opaque nature of her giving and for the source of her great wealth: Amazon, which has grown during the pandemic to a nearly $1.6 trillion market cap in early October, and has become notorious for paying relatively little in corporate taxes. Among the recipients are six HBCUs and a number of educational organizations dedicated to increasing access for historically underrepresented groups. Even after their divorce last year, accompanied by a public affair and scandal, thrust MacKenzie Scott (the name she took after the split) into the spotlight, she remained a private and elusive figure. (The Tuttles, these days, are regularly photographed on the Palm Beach fundraising circuit, and Scott dedicated her second book to them. They didn’t have to hit metrics she named; they didn’t have to create programs she favored. Scott, who has published two novels, was a student of author Toni Morrison at Princeton and worked as a research assistant for her. MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, said she donated over $4.2 billion in the last four months to 384 organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C., that address pressing needs amid the coronavirus pandemic, … At the school, Scott has said, she became even more enthralled with fiction. (A Wall Street Journal report pinpointed Sanchez’s brother, who it said sold the texts for $200,000.). Leaders from those companies, and their spouses, tended to sit on nonprofit boards and donate generously, while the companies themselves also made major contributions. “Maybe 30 hours a week on top of my course load. Her hope was to go to Princeton and study writing with Toni Morrison. In 2013, Scott published her second book, Traps. She chose another route. The “announcement is an announcement of her power, and power, wherever it is wielded in a democratic society, deserves scrutiny.” An undisclosed detail — whether she gave directly, through a foundation, or through an LLC — translates into important tax advantage distinctions, different disclosure requirements, and other specifics like whether or not she can support political causes. A rare 2013 Vogue interview described Scott’s mother as someone “who cheerfully stayed home to cook meals and decorate the house” and her father as a “financial planner.”. Meanwhile, Bezos was working to expand Amazon beyond its bookish roots. And almost immediately she started working to give the money away, and in a way that could change philanthropy. Many of the interview questions centered around her husband. But will her gifts have any more impact? Recently, the company has done more giving. They often create foundations or limited liability corporations focused on fixing specific problems with the entrepreneur’s answer. “For a fairly small organization like ours — we have 15 employees — you become a little suspicious,” he says. This stood out particularly in Seattle, where the corporate culture, shaped by hometown companies Nordstrom, Microsoft, Costco, Starbucks, and others, was of giving back. In the Traps interviews, Scott, who friends and acquaintances say dresses in an understated manner and avoids flashy security, cars, or clothing, emphasized that she drove a Honda minivan to take their kids to school and to soccer practice. Once they’ve made money, tech entrepreneurs and their families tend to give it away in a particular fashion. The caller told him Point Foundation was getting a major gift — one of the largest it had ever received, Valencia says — from MacKenzie Scott. Normal!).”. When campuses shut down due to coronavirus, he and his staff scrambled to find students a safe place to stay, meals, and even Wi-Fi to connect to remote learning. Meanwhile, Bezos was just getting started. When Valencia asked Scott’s representatives how he could thank Scott, “while they were very gracious,” he says, “the response was, ‘You know, Ms. Scott really just wants to be able to provide you the support and then step back and let you do what you do best,’” he says. The family moved from California to Florida, and although Scott’s father applied to start another investment firm, an administrative judge denied the application. By Friday, the value of Scott’s shares in Amazon had gone up so much that it more than replaced what she had given away. And she specifically chose organizations led by people with “lived experience,” as Scott put it: women leading women’s groups, people of color leading racial equity groups. MacKenzie Scott, shown with then-husband Jeff Bezos at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in 2018, has been giving away her fortune at a historic clip — and says she would like to do it faster. While Jeff Bezos was building Amazon from a garage into one of the most powerful companies on earth and becoming the richest businessmen of this age, the world knew very little about his wife, MacKenzie, a novelist and a mother of four who helped start Amazon from that garage. She’s done this in a simpler, more trusting way than most education philanthropists. This is an important moment, says Dale. “For Jeff, books were a test case for a grander vision of being an everything store,” he says. “That money, as she very well knows, was made through tax avoidance, by wage theft, by union busting, by driving workers into the ground at every turn,” says Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All. At Princeton, she had to “work a variety of jobs to put myself through school,” she told Charlie Rose in 2013. “I don’t remember him getting excited about authors coming: He was just focused on the business — he was more into the numbers of how many visitors the website had,” remembers Jorgensen. The former couple has, too: In 2018, Bezos and Scott, still married, announced a “Day One Fund” committing $2 billion toward homelessness and preschools. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Despite scrutiny about whether Amazon was taking proper safety precautions for its warehouse workers, senators questioning whether it had fired whistleblowers for raising questions about working conditions, the House antitrust investigation, and growing concern that Amazon and Bezos held far too much power and money, Amazon stock rose; so, as a result, did Scott’s fortune. “I don’t think it occurred to me for a long time that she herself was a writer,” Jorgensen says. Though she could’ve chosen financial stability and predictability after all the upheaval she had been through, Scott instead embraced the risk. But the bigger concern, some critics say, is the very source of Scott’s money, and what she owes the public as a result. The ex-wife of Jeff Bezos gave away more than $4 billion in the past four months, according to … Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is the richest woman in the world and recently donated more than $4.1 billion to 384 colleges, universities and charitable organizations. There’s a scene in Scott’s novel Traps where a movie star, who’s become reclusive after her father sells her out to tabloids, thinks about the security apparatus it takes to make her life possible. This time, she promoted the book with high-profile interviews with Vogue and Charlie Rose. MacKenzie Scott's huge recent donations stunned the recipients. She “is grateful every day for the protection they provide from the shadows her job has cast on her family — the predatory photographers, the stalkers, the few famous kidnappings of children of stars, but the truth is she does not go whole days or even whole hours at home without wondering what these kind people think of her,” Scott wrote. This summer, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, gave away $1.7 Billion to a variety of nonprofit organizations. Though there was a haute-preppy set at Hotchkiss, Scott wasn’t in it, remembers Elizabeth Meyer, who was a year behind Scott there; her friends were more the hardworking, brainy sorts. The camera stayed on Jeff, and didn’t pan to Scott — a published novelist, at her alma mater, watching her husband from the second row. ), The family’s financial troubles reverberated in Scott’s life. The quiet, literary, 50-year-old billionaire, who overnight became one of the most influential philanthropists in the world, and who set a new bar for giving, has learned from experience what money can accomplish — and what it can’t. Kochmer agrees: “Jeff was very much, get big fast, make history.”. To say that the donation can be transformative is an understatement. This year the American Indian Graduate Center celebrates its 5oth anniversary of service to college-bound Native American students. “I picked books as the first, best product to sell online after making a list of, like, 20 different products,” he told an interviewer in 1997. “Is this one of those send-money-to-whatever” scams? Amid all the talk of books, few co-workers knew of Scott’s literary pedigree and ambitions. She even asked to swap out sports requirements for writing projects. In 1990, that judge barred Tuttle, who’d worked in the securities industry for almost 25 years, from advising on investments again. In July, via a Medium post, Scott announced she’d given away $1.7 billion of her money to 116 organizations, including Point Foundation. Munroe said yes, and at this point, he said, he was imagining perhaps a 25, 50, maybe even a $100,000 donation. She “told me I should go for it,” Bezos said. In a post on Medium, Scott -- the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos -- called the pandemic a “wrecking ball” in the lives of Americans already struggling, and lists all the organizations she donated to. Three months after meeting at Shaw, Bezos and Scott got engaged. When Verigin met Scott — who didn’t mention her Amazon connection — in person, she told him she was writing a book about a dam engineer. “Entrepreneurs, they and their stories suck up all the oxygen — in a family, in a gathering, with friends, in any kind of setting,” she says. It had an IPO in 1997; after that, employees watched the stock price on their computer terminals and “some people wrote little tools to monitor how much they were worth by the minute,” Kochmer says. “She wanted me to follow my passion.” They both quit D.E. She gave him 75% of their Amazon stock and voting control of her shares, which left her a 4% stake in Amazon worth $38 billion or so at the time. A review of the biggest individual donors of 2019, according to Forbes, illustrates this tendency: a couple with a fruit-and-nut fortune pledged $750 million to Caltech to fund a climate change research center named after them; Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry now bears the name of a hedge fund founder who made a $125 million donation. When the George Floyd protests gathered strength, the organization announced new scholarships for LGBTQ students of color. Then, in May 1996, the Wall Street Journal printed a front-page story about Amazon. All Rights Reserved, Photo by Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance/Getty Images. MacKenzie Scott announced $4.1billion gift to more than 380 charities Move comes months after Jeff Bezos's ex gave away $1.68billion to nonprofits Scott … This week on The Countdown, we're taking a look at the five richest American women, led by Alice Walton and Mackenzie Scott. Take a look, https://marker.medium.com/inside-the-surreal-and-emotional-, The Real Reason So Many Companies Are Ditching Trump, The Inside Story of How the Lowly PDF Played the Longest Game in Tech, Actually, That Absurd Axe Tweet Is Important, Scott Galloway’s 7 Business Predictions for 2021, Slack’s Outage Was the Best Thing That Could Have Happened to the Company, What Investors See in Affirm, the First Big Tech IPO of 2021. “And for me, there was no joy in helping to sell diapers at a lower price.” By then, he recalls, Scott was gone, but neither he nor other employees we spoke with could pinpoint when she left. Even though billionaires thrived during the pandemic and massively grew their fortunes, the amount they donated to charitable causes remained at historic lows last year. “I hopped on my Schwinn and rode to the library to hunt down a botanical encyclopedia, and for the next year, all my stories were stuffed with extraneous mentions of trees and flowers,” Scott wrote in an addendum to her first novel. Most of the first crop of Amazon employees were “book nerds,” says Erica Jorgensen, who joined in 1997 as a copy editor. Years later, reading an in-flight magazine article about Bezos that mentioned Scott, it hit Verigin that the author he’d met was the very rich wife of a prominent businessman. SEATTLE (AP) — MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist, author and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has announced that she has given away $4.1 billion in the past four months to hundreds of organizations as part of a giving pledge she announced last year. Then he sat down, hard. Bezos responded with a Medium post saying he had been extorted by the National Enquirer’s publisher, and vowing to find out who had leaked the texts to the Enquirer. MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist, author and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has announced that she has given away $4.1 billion in the past four months. “My reaction was, ‘Oh, gosh, I hope it doesn’t stop her from writing,’ because I so much liked the enthusiasm and the obvious love she had for the craft.”. “When somebody says it’s unrestricted, they’re saying to you as an organization, ‘I trust the way you are running the organization.’”. They married the next year and moved to Seattle in 1994. READ MORE: Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, donates millions to HBCUs theGrio previously reported that Scott gave between $40 and $50 million to historically Black college or universities. MacKenzie Scott became one of the richest woman on the planet the moment the ink dried on her divorce settlement in 2019. The wealth she didn’t seek, which she was starting to give away, kept coming in, bigger and bigger waves crashing against the shore. Among the groups she funded were Facing History and Ourselves, which provides resources to teachers on complex historical topics involving bigotry or hate, and Oweesta, a group focused on economic opportunities for Native people. That draws accolades from nonprofit experts. This spring hadn’t been a great one for Jorge Valencia. They divorced in mid 2019. Plus, the speed with which she reviewed the nonprofits and gave the money, with little tracking, raises some concern that the groups won’t use it well — although it also means money gets where it’s needed faster (and perhaps indicates that the slow, deliberate grantmaking that philanthropists often do isn’t necessary). It was “a huge shift in how philanthropy is done,” says Elizabeth J. Dale, an assistant professor of nonprofit leadership at Seattle University. In American society, wealth often equals power, so a very wealthy donor can have tremendous influence over an organization unless they’re taking these very intentional steps not to,” she says. “Jeff is the opposite of me,” she told Vogue. Amazon’s stock, on the day of its 1997 IPO, closed at just under $2 (after adjusting for stock splits). “I’ll tell you the strongest reaction I had,” he says. In the week through October 9, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was the second biggest gainer, up $3.5 billion. Hearing “that giant laugh” of his, she has said, she became intrigued. Bezos supports well-resourced environmental non-profits. Mackenzie Scott's second round of philanthropic giving brings her total close to $6 billion for social justice causes and Covid-19 relief. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Billionaire novelist and venture philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated nearly $4.2 billion to 384 organizations as part of a plan to donate a majority of her fortune. The actress, trying to feel like a regular person, drives herself around, but this creates more work for the guards who have to protect her than just chauffeuring her would. The “announcement is an announcement of her power, and power, wherever it is wielded in a democratic society, deserves scrutiny.” Higher education is once again having a banner year in terms of donations of $100 million or more, the new standard for defining the mega-gift. All Rights Reserved. “Opposites attract,” she told Rose. The former wife of Jezz Bezos gave a record-setting donation to Prairie View A&M University. Here's what makes it unique. The extra publicity didn’t lift book sales much; Traps sold about the same as Luther. “I’m a typical engineer, pretty introverted, and she was someone that I was immediately comfortable talking to,” he says. Getting a high-profile or famous professor to advise a thesis required ambition, says classmate Kari Kohl; students took classes with certain professors, attended office hours, and got to know them before popping the thesis question. “The most important thing she could do is make sure she’s pushing for the kind of structural, systemic changes that would make it impossible for a fortune like hers to arise ever again,” he says. MacKenzie Scott announced this week she has made gifts of almost $1.7 billion to 116 nonprofit entities. “MacKenzie Scott’s investment in Maine is a vote of confidence in the work we are all doing together to end hunger in our great state,” said food bank president Kristen Miale. The “problem we wish we all had” comes after MacKenzie Scott’s recent multi-billion-dollar donation spree reached them with a million-dollar gift. They did not respond to detailed requests for comment. GREAT FALLS, Mont. The average Mackenzie Scott is around 50 years of age with around 45% falling in to the age group of 21-40. Mackenzie Scott in the US . “His lavish spending was the reason the firm was unable to refund much of the funds it owed to clients,” the judge wrote. She is the 18th richest person in the world, with a net worth of over $60 billion. Humble! Among the beneficiaries are Howard University, Xavier University of Louisiana and Hampton University. With that, Scott far outpaced her ex-husband in the giving realm, and rewrote the typical playbook for high-profile tech philanthropists — who often operate as if they know best not just in business, but in solving societal problems, too. She loved Nabokov and Dickens and Melville, according to an addendum to her first novel. 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Request from a novelist regarding an engineer, ” Bezos said addendum to her first novel steady and! The former wife of Jezz Bezos gave a record-setting donation to Prairie View &... She later told Vogue the planet the moment the ink dried on divorce! “ when the article came out, the buzzer just went nuts: had..., who left in 2001 a great one for Jorge Valencia $ 3,000 through October 9, Tesla CEO Musk! The gift was stunning in scale and in a simpler, more way... Scott join 16 other newcomers on our list of the divorce on Twitter, she has,!, unrestricted contribution shift in these gifts toward institutions that are serving more diverse and financially needy students,... Note read, Stephen Verigin, a Sacramento-based engineer at the Vanity Fair Party... A call needed steady money and got a weird email from someone claiming to work for an unnamed philanthropist requesting. Second round of philanthropic giving brings her total close to $ 6 for. Was reading Publishers Weekly and was surprised to see a review of a novel by Scott lives in! Of the interview questions centered around her husband me I should go it. Stacey Abrams, Kamala Harris and mackenzie Scott 's huge recent donations stunned recipients!

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