Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donates over $30 million to LGBTQ+ non-profits

LGBTQ Entertainment News

MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott Photo: screenshot of Charlie Rose interview video

Billionaire philanthropist, Amazon stakeholder, and author MacKenzie Scott is donating over $640 million to over 360 non-profits, with $30 million set aside for LGBTQ+ organizations.

At least 14 LGBTQ+ non-profits were selected for inclusion in this round of Scott’s donations. Among them are Gender Justice, OutFront Minnesota, EDGE New Jersey, Carolina CARE Partnership,  NC Counts Coalition, The Wall Las Memorias, Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation, Oasis Legal Services, GLAD, Pacific Center for Human Growth, and Openhouse. These nonprofits are in addition to various community centers throughout the country.

This is only Scott’s first round of donations for this year, with more to be determined.

Scott gained her wealth following her divorce from Amazon founder and former CEO Jeffrey Bezos in 2019, in which she received a 4% stake in the company. Since then, she has donated over $16 billion to non-profits across the United States.

“From a pool of over 6,000 applicants, each of these 361 community-led non-profits was elevated by peer organizations and a round-two evaluation panel for their outstanding work,” Scott said in a Tuesday statement. She praised the non-profits for “working to improve access to foundational resources in their communities,” adding, “They are vital agents of change.”

Scott hasn’t revealed much about her evaluation process for assessing non-profits, including how she selects non-profits or the identities of her various advisors. Some have criticized Scott for a lack of transparency. “It is insulting to democratic citizens because of the kind of power she wields,” Rob Reich, a Stanford University political scientist, told The Economist in 2021.

Scott has a record of donating to LGBTQ+ organizations and has previously donated over $163 million to other organizations, according to the Movement Advancement Project.

“One of the best things about prize philanthropy is that it surfaces people and organizations and institutions that otherwise wouldn’t have access to the people in the power centers and the funding,” said Renee Karibi-Whyte, senior vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, according to the Associated Press.

“This grant will increase [our] impact capacity … in a powerful way,” Lasara Firefox Allen, executive director of the San Francisco-based LGBTQ+ advocacy organization the Pacific Center for Human Growth, said of Scott’s donation. “It will support us in continuing our expansion of services for trans and queer community members, from our youth programs to our programming for elders, in Alameda County and beyond… It is a tremendous honor to reflect on our application being rated in the highest segment among so many incredible applicant organizations.”

Denise Spivak, CEO of CenterLink, a nonprofit that supports local LGBTQ+ community centers, said in a statement, “We are glad that a prolific donor like MacKenzie Scott has recognized the important role that LGBTQ centers play in their communities and has included a number of centers in her latest round of funding. In the face of a wall of anti-LGBTQ bills and legislation this year, donations like this are needed now more than ever.”

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