DENVER – MacKenzie Scott donated $20 million this year to Mile High United Way – the largest single donation in the organization’s 133-year history – and also gave to Goodwill of Colorado as part of her 2020 philanthropy.
The author and philanthropist has given away more than $4.1 billion over the past several months to hundreds of organizations struggling or helping people who are struggling during the pandemic, she announced Tuesday.
Scott, who divorced Jeff Bezos last year and received a reported $35 billion settlement, said in a Medium post that she and a team had looked at thousands of organizations to potentially receive the contributions and had picked an initial list of 384 to which to donate.
“Some are filling basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for those most vulnerable. Others are addressing long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis: debt relief, employment training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities, education for historically marginalized and underserved people, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defense funds that take on institutional discrimination,” Scott wrote.
Mile High United Way President and CEO Christine Benero said the organization had “deep gratitude” for Scott’s donation and that the money would go toward more “transformational work” in Colorado.
The Denver chapter was the first United Way in the world, according to the organization, and there are now more than 1,800.
“Ms. Scott’s transformational gift in support of our work tells us that she, too, believes in Mile High United Way. She believes in the vision of our Board of Trustees. She believes in the meaningful work of our staff, partners and volunteers. She believes in the generosity and commitment of our donors and is adding her support to stand alongside them in the meaningful work they fund each year in the hopes that it will inspire others to join us,” Benero said in a statement.“We are humbled and thankful for this show of confidence in our work and are thrilled with the knowledge that this gift will allow us to continue to invest in our programs and positively impact Colorado’s children and families,” Benero added.
Bradd Hafer, a spokesperson with Goodwill of Colorado, confirmed Wednesday Scott had also donated to the organization and said further details would be released likely this week.