MacKenzie Scott gifts $436 million to Habitat for Humanity—her largest publicly disclosed donation to date 

MacKenzie Scott, an author and philanthropist donated $436 Million to Habitat for Humanity International.

Jonathan Reckford is the CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.

“This incredibly generous gift will allow us to dramatically increase capacity and implement programs that will have a multi-generational impact on communities around the U.S. and our global mission for many years to come.”

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The organization said it would dedicate $25 million of the donation to produce more affordable housing and help “the millions of individuals increasingly shut out of the housing market” over the next three to four years.

“With this donation, Habitat is well-positioned to meaningfully advocate for the systemic and societal changes needed to improve equitable access to affordable housing,” Reckford said.

The money will also go towards research and measurement efforts to find the best practices for housing innovation and affordability.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers building a home
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Habitat International will also receive funding to help them explore new and existing programs that can improve outcomes for families and individuals.

The cash gift will also support the nonprofit’s international work through its tithe program, through which U.S. affiliates are expected to give a portion of their unrestricted revenue every year to aid Habitat’s global ministry.

Last year, U.S. Habitat organizations tithed almost $14 million to support Habitat’s work worldwide.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers building a home
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“Habitat works to break down barriers and bring people together — to tear down obstacles and build a world where everyone, no matter who we are or where we come from, has a decent place to live,” Reckford said. “This tremendous gift helps make that work possible.”

Soon after her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019, Scott, 51, promised to give away her wealth “until the safe is empty” by signing the Giving Pledge, following in the footsteps of other billionaires such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett.

At the time, Scott’s portion of the divorce settlement was 4% of Amazon shares, which was valued at around $34 billion. Scott was able to make more money than she could give away due to the stock’s increasing value.

MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett
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In February, she had donated $8.8 Billion to charity. Forbes estimates that she is worth close to $50 billion today.

In 2020, Scott, now married to Dan Jewett, also gave $1.7 billion to different causes and institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities, organizations that support LGBTQ equality and women’s rights, and efforts to fight racial inequity and climate change.

In 2021, she provided funding to organizations such as the Ballet Hispánico and the Apollo Theater, although she didn’t reveal the amounts. Scott also donated $10 million to the Dance Theater of Harlem last year. It said that the gift was its largest in history.

MacKenzie Scott
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Scott has struggled with the media’s narratives of her philanthropy. Instead of focusing on the work that Scott does for the organizations she supports, the news tends instead to focus on how much she gives.

“People struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating,” Scott wrote in a post on Medium last year, when she announced that she was giving away more than $2.7 billion to 286 organizations.

In December 2021, the generous philanthropist declared that she would no longer reveal the recipients to her gifts.

“I want to let each of these incredible teams speak for themselves first if they choose to, with the hope that when they do, media focuses on their contributions instead of mine,” she wrote in another Medium post.

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