MacKenzie Scott Donates $123 Million to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

From a Wall Street Journal story by Jennifer Calfas headlined “MacKenzie Scott’s Latest Donation Brings Total Giving to More Than $12 Billion”:

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $122.6 million to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the organization said Tuesday.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a mentoring organization with chapters across the nation, said it will use the money to bolster mentoring programs, pair more children with mentors, increase staff and training resources, and create and improve relationships with other groups. The unsolicited gift benefits the national organization and 38 local chapters, the group….

Ms. Scott is one of the richest women in the world, with a net worth of $31.8 billion. She was formerly married to Amazon Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, with whom she played an instrumental role in creating the retail giant. She received 4% of the company’s shares as part of their divorce settlement.

Ms. Scott vowed to give away the majority of her wealth in 2019, signing the Giving Pledge created by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chief Executive Warren Buffett to encourage the world’s richest people to give more than half of their wealth to philanthropic and charitable groups and causes.

“I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she wrote at the time.

Since then, Ms. Scott has given away more than $12 billion to more than 1,000 organizations, relief efforts and other causes, according to her Medium posts. She said in March that she gave $3.86 billion to 465 groupsover nine months, with the goal of supporting the needs of underrepresented groups through supporting organizations that work in education, climate change and criminal justice. Earlier this year, she donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity, which said it will use a portion of the gift to increase affordable housing in communities of color.

Artis Stevens, of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, said he received a call informing him of Ms. Scott’s gift while in his kitchen. “My jaw dropped,” he said. “I actually got up and started dancing and my girls yelled to my wife that something was wrong with dad.”

He said the gift will allow the organization to expand mentoring options and find more volunteers. One in three youths “don’t have access to a positive adult mentor in their lives,” he noted.

A number of organizations that received donations from Ms. Scott described them as the largest single gifts given in their history. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and various affiliates received their largest gift ever from Ms. Scott, who donated $281 million to the group. Ms. Scott’s $275 million donation to Planned Parenthood Federation of America was also the organization’s largest gift from a single donor.

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