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MacKenzie Scott's philanthropy sparks controversy as Elon Musk criticises her donations

MacKenzie Scott's philanthropy sparks controversy as Elon Musk criticises her donations

Image source: © Instagram
Marta Grzeszczuk,
20.03.2024 16:45

Billionaire MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’s former wife, is known for her immense philanthropic contributions. Her organisation, Yield Giving, has already distributed billions of dollars from Scott's private wealth. However, Elon Musk has criticised her efforts, claiming they are "destroying Western civilisation."

MacKenzie Scott, previously married to Jeff Bezos, one of the world's wealthiest people, has become heavily involved in philanthropic activities since their divorce in 2019. Her organisation, Yield Giving, recently announced their plan to donate $640 million to 361 NGOs through a project for which they were eligible to apply. The announcement was made on March 19.

MacKenzie Scott distributes billions of dollars to NGOs

More than 6,000 non-profit organisations have applied for funding, CNN reports. MacKenzie Scott ultimately awarded more than twice as much funding as originally planned. The initial plan was for 250 awards of $1 million each. You can read the full list of organisations and the support awarded at yieldgiving.com.

Scott mentioned on the website that she doesn't identify herself as one of the wealthy individuals who believe they possess the knowledge to solve other people's issues. Unlike other billionaires, she hasn't established her own foundation; instead, she provides support to existing organisations.

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Mackenzie Scott has been generous in providing grants to NGOs. Last year, Yield Giving donated $2.15 billion, and the year before that, in 2020, it was as much as $3.8 billion. One of the beneficiaries of her philanthropy is Habitat for Humanity, an organisation that builds homes for the world's poorest people, which received $436 million from Scott. Other beneficiaries include organisations that support women, children, refugees, immigrants, and the LGBTQ+ minority. In total, they have received more than $12 billion from Scott.

Elon Musk criticises MacKenzie Scott's philanthropic endeavours

Despite giving away a significant amount of her wealth, Scott’s net worth has not depleted considerably. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, she still has a fortune of $36.2 billion. Scott has stated that she plans to donate most of her funds. On 6 March, Elon Musk's post on X was widely seen as a criticism of MacKenzie Scott's philanthropic activities.

"'Super rich ex-wives who hate their former spouse' should be listed among 'Reasons that Western Civilization died,'" Musk said in a now-deleted X post on March 6.

The wealth doubled.
The wealth doubled. (Oxfam)

Since 2020, five of the world's wealthiest men, including Elon Musk, have doubled their wealth. However, according to the NGO Oxfam, in January 2024, pandemics, climate crisis, inflation, and armed conflict caused 5 billion people to become poorer during the same period. The current combined wealth of Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bernard Arnault, Larry Ellison, and Elon Musk is $869 billion. The list of the five richest individuals changes from month to month, with Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates also frequently appearing in the top five.

Source: cnn.com, oxfamamerica.org, yieldiving.com

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