Friday, June 18, 2021

Think Tanks Snag Part of MacKenzie Scott's Billions

MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has just donated nearly $2.8 billion to 286 different organizations, the latest round of her massive donations which have left a handful of think tanks with piles of surprise cash.

The two most recent beneficiaries: Roosevelt Institute and Urban Institute.

Here is a clip from a Roosevelt Institute press release:

Today, the Roosevelt Institute’s efforts to move our nation toward a more equitable, democratic, and green future received a major boost from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who announced Roosevelt as one of 286 recipients of new funding—directed to nonprofits identified as centering equity, social progress, and community engagement.

“By creating more democratic institutions and empowering disadvantaged communities to make decisions about their priorities and futures, we can seed civic engagement and rectify racial, gender, and economic inequalities,” said Felicia Wong, president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute.


As of this writing, the Urban Institute has not released a statement on the donation.

Last year, Jeff Bezos gave the World Resources Institute (WRI) $100 million, the largest single donation a think tank has every received. 

David Callahan, founder of the website Inside Philanthropy, said that Scott has so far shown little interest in think tanks and research institutions that often shape policy in Washington and statehouses around the US.  "She just doesn't seem to be tuned in to that kind of stuff at all," he said.