Mackenzie Scott, one of the richest women in the world and ex-wife of the second richest man has donated a sum of $436 million to Habitat for Humanity, an NGO addressing housing shortages in the US and around the world.
The gift was announced by the organization earlier this week, and this donation is one of her largest disclosed donations.
In 2019, the billionaire philanthropist, who is valued at $54.4 billion pledged to give away the majority of her wealth saying that she has “a disproportionate amount of money to share.”
According to Jonathan Reckford, Chief Executive of Habitat for Humanity International, the organization received $25 million from the gift from Ms. Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, and the remaining $411 million will be shared among 84 local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.
He stated that most of the $25 million donated will be used to increase the supply of affordable housing, particularly in communities of colour.
The local affiliates will use the gift to contribute to the organization’s global ministry, which has already committed $200,000 to offer housing support to refugees fleeing Ukraine after Russia’s invasion.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 and created to partner with local communities in all 50 states of the United States and 70 countries around the world in order to address housing shortages.
Other philanthropic gestures
The same year she divorced her husband, billionaire Jeff Bezos, she signed the Giving Pledge, an initiative started by Bill and Melinda Gates in 2010 created to encourage the world’s richest individuals and couples to give more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetime or in their will.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in June 2021, she stated that she would donate $2.7 billion to 286 organizations. Since then, Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett worked with researchers, administrators and advisers to identify historically underfunded nonprofits that work in neglected areas.
She stated “We chose to make relatively large gifts to the organizations…both to enable their work, and as a signal of trust and encouragement, to them and to others,”
In July 2020, she gave $1.7 billion to an array of causes and organizations, including historically black colleges and universities as well as groups that support women’s rights, LGBT rights and efforts to fight climate change.
Later that same year, she announced on Medium that she had donated about $4 billion over four months to 384 groups focusing on food insecurity and systemic inequality.
In December 2021, Ms. Scott said she would stop going public about her philanthropic gifts and let recipients decide if and when they want to announce the donations, as Habitat for Humanity just did.
Other organizations that have publicly announced her donation includes the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, one of the largest youth-serving organizations in the US, which announced that it received $281 million from the billionaire.
The Fortune Society, a New York-based group offering support to formerly incarcerated people, which stated Ms. Scott had donated $10 million to the organization.
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