Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott will not disclose charity donations

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Her lips are sealed.

MacKenzie Scott — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife and one of the wealthiest women in the world — announced this week that she won’t say how much money she’s donated since her last disclosure in June or who the recipients have been.

“How much or how little money changes hands doesn’t make it philanthropy,” she wrote Wednesday in a blog post titled, “No Dollar Signs This Time.”

Since divorcing Bezos in 2019, Scott has donated billions of dollars of her estimated $59.6 billion fortune to various charities. She’s frequently released public letters announcing her givings over the prior six months and explaining why she chose to donate to certain causes and organizations.

But in her most recent letter, published Wednesday, Scott — the 23rd wealthiest person in the world — said she won’t disclose her latest round of donations, and it’s unclear when or if she’ll put out specific updates in the future.

Jeff Bezos (left) and MacKenzie Bezos attend the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos divorced two years ago.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

“Intention and effort make it philanthropy. If we acknowledge what it all has in common, there will be more of it,” she said, saying that’s “why I’m not including here any amounts of money I’ve donated since my prior posts.”

“I want to let each of these incredible teams speak for themselves first if they choose to, with the hope that when they do, media focuses on their contributions instead of mine,” she wrote. 

In the lengthy treatise, Scott insisted that there ought to be less focus on large donations by very wealthy people, and more media attention give to the small, day-to-day acts of generous “informal person-to-person giving” that are more common.

“A lifetime of cultural references associated it with financially wealthy people who believed they knew best how to solve other people’s problems,” she wrote, referring to the word “philanthropy.”

“Since I did not believe myself to be such a person, I had always felt more kinship with people who offered a couch when someone said they needed a couch.”

“I hope any attention from this writing falls on what I have in common with every person who ever acted on an impulse to help someone.”

Jeffrey Bezos' ex-wife MacKenzie Scott has said that she will not reveal how much money she has donated to charities since June.
MacKenzie Scott has said that she will not reveal how much money she has donated to charities since June.
Scott went on Twitter to compose a thread adding to her blog post on donating.
Scott went on Twitter to compose a thread adding to her blog post on donating.

At the same time, Scott’s former hubby, Bezos, has been criticized for not giving a large proportion of his own $202 billion fortune away to charities and for not signing on to The Giving Pledge, a public declaration for billionaires to give the majority of their wealth away before they die.

Scott signed on to the pledge shortly after announcing her divorce from Bezos in May, 2019.

Bezos has ramped up his charitable promises in recent years, but he’s still faced criticism for not doing more.

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