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Mackenzie Scott donates $436 million to Habitat for Humanity

(Bloomberg) — In his biggest known gift, Mackenzie Scott donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity as the housing crisis intensifies across America.

The gift was disclosed Tuesday in a statement to the Greater San Francisco chapter of the home-building nonprofit, one of 84 housing affiliates that will share the contribution.

“This incredible act of generosity and investment in our work will impact our entire region for decades to come,” said Maureen Sedonain, head of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.

The 51-year-old, philanthropist and ex-wife of Inc founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $54.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. She is single-handedly reshaping nonprofits, with donations to organizations dealing with social welfare, education, the arts, health and more.

With a team of advisors and donor-aided fund sponsors, she has proven adept at her philanthropy, turning the target of her gifts around the country when those in need. The vast majority are for domestic reasons, although some have gone to internationally focused organizations. Since pledging to donate most of her wealth through the Giving Pledge in 2019, she has raised more than $9 billion in grants.

‘Never wavered’

Scott initially asked organizations to keep his gifts a secret until he made his announcement in the form of a Medium blog post, where he shared the cumulative amount of all his gifts. Late last year he said it was up to organizations to share their grants. In his most recent blog post, Scott said that his team is working on a website that will launch sometime this year and include more information about his giving, including a searchable database of his grants.

“My commitment to sharing information about my own giving has never waned,” Scott wrote. “I will continue to post updates twice every twelve months.”

Scott’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Last year, a Bloomberg analysis of their giving — which totaled close to $8.6 billion at the time — found that more than $1.6 billion went to education nonprofits, including historically black universities. He has also contributed to social aid organizations like Sadbhavna and YMCA. For nearly 90% of the groups that responded to the Bloomberg survey, Scott’s gift was the biggest gift they’ve ever received, with donations ranging from $750,000 to $60 million.

Read more: Here’s how billionaire Mackenzie Scott is making a fortune out of his

His gift to Habitat for Humanity will help address historical disparities in homeownership rates in the area around San Francisco, Sedonaine said in the statement. Affordable housing has been a significant issue in Northern California, where Silicon Valley’s wealthy workers have contributed to skyrocketing home values, excluding working-class residents, especially people of color.

According to the statement, the donation will help build homes for more than 250 working families in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin.

“Investing in affordable homeownership is a solid and effective response to California’s housing crisis,” Sedona said. “I see every day the impact it has on families that endure congested living conditions or take horrifyingly long journeys.”

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