FORBES: Two Of The Recipients Of MacKenzie Scott’s Recent Philanthropy Share Details About The Partnership And How It Can Influence Philanthropy Going Forward

This past summer, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, gave away $1.7 Billion in philanthropic dollars. In the public eye since their divorce in 2017, MacKenzie pledged to give away the majority of her wealth “back to the society that helped generate it” and this was her first big step towards doing so. In a statement released on the platform Medium, Scott shared the details of her philanthropic process, highlighting that for her, this moment was not only about giving away money to a cause, but influencing philanthropy to trust those most impacted by inequity to design solutions for change.

Many are still curious what this experience was like for the recipients of Scott’s philanthropy since, to many nonprofit leaders, it seemed like a dream scenario: large, unrestricted amounts of capital given to nonprofits to shape a vision for the future plus, transparency around the amounts of capital and other grantees to help build an ecosystem of support. To look further into this possibility, I connected with two grantees, Aleyamma Mathew, of the Collective Future Fund and Kimberly Bryant, of Black Girls Code.

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INSIDE PHILANTHROPY: Emptying the Safe: MacKenzie Scott Makes Her Debut—and Takes a Stance

It isn’t often that a novelist gets to dispense with $1.7 billion in less than a year. But that’s exactly what happened since MacKenzie Scott—formerly Bezos—began working with a team of nonprofit advisors to give away the majority of her wealth. And with a fortune in Amazon stock estimated at $57 billion earlier this year, she has a lot to give.

Collaborations abound. Joining funder collaboratives and intermediaries can be an effective way for big donors to gain knowledge and synergize with ongoing efforts. Scott appears more than willing to do so. The collaboratives she’s now funding include Blue Meridian Partners, Co-Impact and the Collective Future Fund. She’s also partnering with Melinda Gates to fund Equality Can’t Wait, a $30 million grand challenge to advance gender equity.

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CEO MAGAZINE: Mackenzie Scott donates US$1.7 billion since Bezos divorce

MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, has donated US$1.7 billion to “116 organisations driving change”.

MacKenzie Scott, who was MacKenzie Bezos for 16 years before divorcing Jeff Bezos for adultery in 2019 and becoming the third-wealthiest woman in the world largely due to her US$38 billion divorce settlementhas given an update on Medium that reveals she has changed her surname from Bezos and the causes she has already supported.

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FORBES: What Covid-19 Means For Equity And Inclusion

“In many ways, Covid-19 has hit the poorest and the most deprived the hardest. Whether it is the daily-wage migrant workers in India who have now lost their jobs and are stranded in the cities, or the garment workers in Bangladesh whose wages have not been paid after brands and retailers cancelled orders, or working women, especially single mothers, who need to juggle work and childcare. Evidence and stories are emerging that Covid-19 is perpetuating the injustices that already exist across societies.”

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FORBES: Leading Gender Justice Funders Share Visions For Philanthropy’s Future After COVID-19

In the past two months, philanthropic funders from across the world have adapted to COVID-19 pandemic to support their grantees. In particular, gender justice funders have shown their leadership in addressing the inequitable impact of COVID-19, providing flexible and emergency funding, and showing solidarity. Some of the shifts in philanthropy may be temporary, but leading gender justice funders also see the pandemic as an opportunity to build a better philanthropic sector.

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INSIDE PHILANTHROPY: Women Face Amplified Risks in the Pandemic. Funders Are Responding

“Many women face multiple challenges during the pandemic, including increased family responsibilities, domestic abuse, job loss, poverty, and risk of illness in frontline jobs. Women are carrying out essential work like nursing, food service, child care or cleaning without adequate protective equipment, paid leave or healthcare. And women are taking on even more of society’s informal caretaking roles, even as their access to support networks, social services and reproductive healthcare diminish.

Black women and other women of color, women who are poor, undocumented, LGBTQ+, those who have differing abilities, are elderly or homeless, girls, and people who don’t conform to the gender binary often face barriers to wellness during normal times. The pandemic has put them at greater risk.”

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FORBES: Gender Justice Funders Lead The Way In Providing Flexible Funding

“Funding for non-profits has traditionally been restrictive – only 20% of funding in the U.S. is not designated for specific activities. Grant funders often have only one funding cycle per year, and take at least a few months to process funding applications. With the disruption coming from the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of civil society organisations find themselves cut off from existing funding, while meeting with increased demand for services from vulnerable groups. A group of philanthropic funders, rooted in feminist funding principles including flexibility and self-determination, are leading the way in providing flexible for their grantees during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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THE CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY: Major Grant Makers Continue to Ramp Up Aid for Pandemic Relief (Coronavirus Grants Roundup)

Here are notable new grant awards for the Covid-19 outbreak, compiled by the Chronicle.

Collective Future Fund

$2 million to its current grantees to address the specific needs of queer, trans, and cis women and girls of color, including indigenous and immigrant survivors of violence, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read the full piece here.