Scott on Tuesday provided an update on that effort in a post on Medium
and also announced that she has changed her last name
to the middle name she grew up with, following her divorce
from Amazon (AMZN)
CEO Jeff Bezos last year.
Scott received a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon shares
in the couple’s divorce settlement last year, giving her a 4% stake that was worth more than $35 billion at the time. Her net worth is currently estimated to be around $60 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index
“Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror,” Scott wrote. “What fills me with hope is the thought of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer.”
The $1.7 billion donation was spread across 116 organizations focused on one of nine “areas of need,” she added, including racial equity, LGBTQ+ equity, functional democracy and climate change. Among the organizations she backed are the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Obama Foundation, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, RAINN and the European Climate Foundation.
Scott signed on to the Giving Pledge
initiative last year. The initiative, launched by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, encourages the world’s richest people to dedicate a majority of their wealth to charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.
Bezos, the world’s richest man, has previously been criticized for not contributing more of his wealth to philanthropy, but has donated billions of dollars in recent years to causes including climate change
and food banks
. He has not signed the Giving Pledge.
Scott’s announcement comes a day before Bezos is set to testify in Congress
alongside the CEOs of Facebook (FB)
, Google (GOOGL)
and Apple (AAPL)
to address allegations that their companies are too dominant or have harmed competition.