Mackenzie Scott 2020 philanthropy in Phila area focuses on institutions serving low income groups

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lizkat

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One good thing about Jeff Bezos is that in divorcing him, his ex-wife has acquired plenty Amazon-related dough to give away.


MacKenzie Scott, one of world’s richest women through her Amazon shares, donated tens of millions this week to local groups, including the Reinvestment Fund and Community First Fund, two Philadelphia-area organizations dedicated to boosting the economic power of people and businesses in low-income areas.

Scott, the former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, announced the recipients Wednesday, the culmination of a plan conceived in 2019 to give away most of her wealth, which Fortune estimates at $60.9 billion. She announced $1.7 billion in gifts in July and $4.2 billion this week.

Scott did not say how much each group received, and the money was awarded without restrictions on how it was used.

The Inquirer reported Wednesday that Scott had given $20 million to Lincoln University, the largest gift from a single donor to the 167-year-old historically Black university. A number of other historically Black universities also received money, including Delaware State University.


....the Reinvestment Fund, awarded $20 million, and Community First Fund, awarded $10 million, were among the area’s big winners.

The Reinvestment Fund plans to use the money to benefit early childhood education, help provide access to fresh food in low income areas, and support historically Black colleges. Gray said the organization has learned a lot about helping small business that were hurting during COVID-19 shutdowns and hopes to apply those lessons in future programs funded through Scott’s gift.

Meanwhile, Dan Betancourt, president and CEO of the Community First Fund, said Scott’s $10 million donation came as a surprise. Betancourt said there was no application process, only a nomination. He said he does not know who nominated Community First.

The Community First Fund helps businesses and individuals in low-income communities through loans, economic development, and other assistance. In July, Community First Fund joined with Kensington nonprofit FINANTA.

“We have three major initiatives that we are looking to grow,” Betancourt said.

Community First plans to start a credit union. The first office will open in Lancaster, with a second location in Philadelphia, most likely in Kensington or Hunting Park. The credit union would serve people with incomes below the median.


This part really got me...

“We’ll focus on families that have not been part of the mainstream banking system,” Betancourt said.

It also plans a policy center that would, among other things, research wealth disparity, examine bias in the banking system, and educate government officials about those issues.

Betancourt said Community First would put most of the money toward a $50 million campaign to lend capital to small businesses across the region, with a focus on Kensington, West and South Philadelphia. An average small business loan runs about $100,000, and up to $2 million for a community organization. The interest is set below market rates. Many entrepreneurs in underserved communities face interest rates on the open market of 12% to 15%.
 
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Gutwrench

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Just shows how greedy her ex is in comparison.

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thekev

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Yeah plus his wealth appreciated 65% in the past year so... he's not even missing whatever it was she got.
Just shows how greedy her ex is in comparison.

How much of those assets are tied up in Amazon stock? I would imagine he holds onto quite a lot for the purpose of voting rights.


Granted, I hate moves like that ^
 

lizkat

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How much of those assets are tied up in Amazon stock? I would imagine he holds onto quite a lot for the purpose of voting rights.



Granted, I hate moves like that ^

You have a point w/ the voting rights. Ol' Jeff could be one of those guys short on liquid assets, wearing shabby clothes and using an alias down at the food pantry some time? Or is that a stretch with a guy who could put up unencumbered collateral that most people including me cannot even imagine.
 

thekev

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You have a point w/ the voting rights. Ol' Jeff could be one of those guys short on liquid assets, wearing shabby clothes and using an alias down at the food pantry some time? Or is that a stretch with a guy who could put up unencumbered collateral that most people including me cannot even imagine.

Scott has not indicated interest in voting against her ex-husband on matters concerning Amazon. She doesn't seem that vindictive, or she has her financial well being in mind. I imagine it's easier for her to unload some amount of shares. I can't personally recall philanthropic efforts by Bezos, and I'm not suggesting he's poor in any sense. It's more that I doubt he could make donations on the same scale as Scott's recent ones without giving up significant control.

Even in Scott's case, it's not clear that these are cash donations, as opposed to structured ones. In both cases, you typically see the expected value of whatever is donated for ceremonial purposes. In some (not sure of prevalence) cases, the charity may not have the means to obtain that amount in cash over a short period of time.
 

lizkat

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Scott has not indicated interest in voting against her ex-husband on matters concerning Amazon. She doesn't seem that vindictive, or she has her financial well being in mind. I imagine it's easier for her to unload some amount of shares. I can't personally recall philanthropic efforts by Bezos, and I'm not suggesting he's poor in any sense. It's more that I doubt he could make donations on the same scale as Scott's recent ones without giving up significant control.

Even in Scott's case, it's not clear that these are cash donations, as opposed to structured ones. In both cases, you typically see the expected value of whatever is donated for ceremonial purposes. In some (not sure of prevalence) cases, the charity may not have the means to obtain that amount in cash over a short period of time.

Bezos on the business side lets customers direct some money from Amazon itself to a range of 501(c)(3) organizations if they log in to the Amazon Smile rather than Amazon when making a purchase.

Half a percentage point on the cost "of eligible items" then goes to whatever charity the person has chosen from the large group Amazon has selected as options. Amazon makes the accumulated donations quarterly.

Of course Amazon also gets the tax writeoff. That's fine but the problem to me would be if people start thinking they've "done enough" for charity by shopping that way and end up not bothering to kick in $20 or $50 of their own money directly to a charity the way maybe they used to do. After all half a percent on a $50 purchase is a whole big 25 cents...
 

lizkat

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Guardian had a piece about MacKenzie Scott's 2020 philanthropy as well... and info on increase of her own net worth. No wonder she has decided to accelerate the rate of her charitable giving. The jump in market value of her Amazon stuff alone gives new meaning to "can't even spend the interest"...


In July, Scott said she had donated $1.7bn to 116 charities. On Tuesday, the 50-year-old said she had decided to “accelerate” her donations this year, and in the past four months had given a further $4.15bn to 384 organisations across the US and Puerto Rico, taking her total donations this year to $6bn.

“This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” she wrote in a blogpost titled 384 Ways to Help. “Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of colour, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”

Bezos, who was married to MacKenzie for 26 years, is the world’s wealthiest person, with a fortune estimated at $185bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, up from $113bn before the pandemic.
 

SuperMatt

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Guardian had a piece about MacKenzie Scott's 2020 philanthropy as well... and info on increase of her own net worth. No wonder she has decided to accelerate the rate of her charitable giving. The jump in market value of her Amazon stuff alone gives new meaning to "can't even spend the interest"...

Jeff is the living embodiment of greed. Despite those billions, he does crap like spy on his workers to prevent them from organizing a union. He makes scrooge look like a nice guy.
 

thekev

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Guardian had a piece about MacKenzie Scott's 2020 philanthropy as well... and info on increase of her own net worth. No wonder she has decided to accelerate the rate of her charitable giving. The jump in market value of her Amazon stuff alone gives new meaning to "can't even spend the interest"...


I don't disagree with you here at all. If Scott's donations were mentioned as being around 4 billion this week. If Bezos is worth around $160, this would be 2.5% of it. Bezos is reported to own around 10%. Amazon's market cap is somewhere around the trillion mark. I'm skeptical as to whether he could liquidate that much in a short period of time. If he wanted to unload a particularly large position in Amazon, real estate, or some other asset, there can be costs in doing so, meaning he might need to unload a higher slightly percentage to accomplish this.

I'm really with you regarding their business practices though. They're garbage. I don't buy much from Amazon though.

edit: meant to type business practices


 
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P_X

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It’s both easy and fun to spend other people’s money.
Or to shit on other people's time. (I'm talking about Amazon's workers largely, who produced that wealth).

(I thought you liked the "donor class").
 
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P_X

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I just don’t live in the cheap seats.
Why? Those seats are adequately priced for the show.

BTW, I'd love to understand how this is not a heavy double standard:
The ex-wife spends HER money on "philanthropy" and you insinuate it's not her own (hard earned) money, but this logic doesn't apply to the people whose physical and intellectual work generated the wealth.

Don't worry, I don't expect more than a line.
 
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