Philanthropist and novelist MacKenzie Scott is lifting the veil that has shrouded her more than $14 billion in gift-giving since her 2019 divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and her signing of the Giving Pledge that same year.
With 1,604 grantees to date by her account, Scott has launched a website listing each of these beneficiaries for the first time along with the donation amounts that some of them have received. Those without a dollar amount shown are accompanied by a cryptic notation: “Disclosure delayed for benefit of recipient.”
The website — dubbed “Yield,” which Scott defines as increasing the value of something by giving up control — follows what has been a spate of mostly unrestricted gift-giving by her. The site also features reflective essays by her on the theme of giving and offers a vague outline of the process by which she plans to select future grant recipients.
The site indicates Scott will issue an “open-call process” with a “pathway for information about organizations to reach us” in the future, something she has not provided a way to do thus far in what could signal a move toward greater transparency in the selection process. Scant details are given on the site, other than that “future open calls will focus on one or more specific themes, geographies, and types of organizations at a time.”
As has been the case previously, Scott will not respond to “unsolicited messages suggesting candidates” for future grants. In keeping with her practice of deferring to grant recipients in how and whether they choose to disclose their gifts, the site also comes with a disclaimer that “we choose not to participate in events or media stories.”
The grants and dollar amounts that are listed are “added after consultation with the organizations themselves to afford them an opportunity to share it in the ways that best serve their efforts,” according to a statement on the site.
Scott signed the Giving Pledge shortly after walking away with an estimated $38.3 billion stake in Amazon as part of her 2019 divorce settlement with Bezos. The pledge is a campaign to encourage billionaires to give away most of their wealth to charitable causes before or when they die.
In a posted essay containing her thoughts about the pledge, Scott described her wealth as a product “of social structures which present opportunities to some people, and obstacles to others.” She wrote that she chose “to give the majority of my wealth back to the society that helped generate it, to do it thoughtfully, to get started soon, and to keep at it until the safe is empty.”
Scott’s largest reported gift to date was a $436 million to Habit for Humanity and 84 of its U.S. affiliates in March. She also recently, in October, donated $84.5 million to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 of its local councils.
The website’s address is https://yieldgiving.com/