McKenzie Scott Schools Other Billionaires On How to Behave During a Pandemic
McKenzie Scott, author, philanthropist, and the planet's third wealthiest woman, notified the press that she had given away more than $4 BILLION dollars in the last four months. Unrestricted donations were made to 384 different organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, to support to organizations that provide for basic needs. Some of the funds went to non-profits handling longer-term problems, such civil rights advocacy groups.
Ms. Scott wrote in a post on Medium, "This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling... Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires." Talk about calling a spade, a spade, while elegantly throwing some shade.
Another interesting component in this round of giving (coming after $1.7 billion in July of 2020 to universities and civil equity groups) is that the organizations were carefully researched and whittled down from 6,490 non-profits to 822, and then to a final list of 384. Scott's team took a data-driven approach to identify organizations with strong leadership teams and results, "... with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital," Scott wrote.
To date, no other major philanthropic effort can match Ms. Scott's. Sometimes it takes fresh blood to bring a burst of new energy to an old and stodgy system — in this case the individual philanthropy from the crazy-rich. Thank you, Ms. Scott. We will watch for creative giving from your 650 American billionaire peers.