MacKenzie Scott sets new ‘open call’ to donate $250 million

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has announced a new “open call” initiative to donate $250 million to charities across the United States.

Scott, who is the ex-wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, made the announcement on her website Wednesday. She said she had already donated $1.7 billion to 386 organizations over the past four months.

The initiative is aimed at helping those in need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scott said she is looking to partner with organizations that are “urgently addressing the needs of people and communities who are facing increased hardship in 2020.”

The philanthropist said she has already identified and begun working with a number of organizations, including those focused on racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and fighting poverty.

“It is not lost on me that I am able to make these investments because of the extraordinary advantages I have had in my life,” Scott said in a statement. “My wealth exists only because of a long chain of people who have invested in me, starting with my parents.”

Scott said she plans to continue making donations to worthy organizations, and is inviting anyone interested to submit a request for funding.

“I'm also happy to announce an open call for applications from any organization that is addressing the urgent needs of its communities,” she wrote. “If you are a leader in your community and are looking for financial support, I hope you will apply.”

Scott said she plans to continue making donations in the coming months, and will continue to “seek out more opportunities to help more people in more places.”

The philanthropist's generosity has been praised by many, including former President Barack Obama.

“MacKenzie Scott's approach to philanthropy is both impressive and inspiring,” he tweeted Wednesday. “It's a great example of how a meaningful impact can be made when people of means are thoughtful and generous.”