MacKenzie Scott gives away $4.1 billion to 384 organizations, including 4 Washington state groups

By: Nicole Brodeur - Dec 16, 2020
Source: The Seattle Times

MacKenzie Scott, the philanthropist, author and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, announced Tuesday that she has given away $4.1 billion in the past four months to 384 organizations, part of a giving pledge she announced last year.

Four Washington state organizations were included: Craft3, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused on investing in Black- Indigenous- and people of color-owned businesses, which received $10 million; Easterseals Washington, one of 22 child-centered affiliates from around the country, received an undisclosed sum; Walla Walla Community College; and the YMCA of Greater Seattle.

Neither the college nor the YMCA disclosed how much it received. Cathy Bisaillon, president and CEO of Easterseals Washington, also did not reveal how much her affiliate was granted, but described the gift as “transformational.”

“We want time to process it,” Bisaillon said. “We need some time.”

In a statement, Craft3 called Scott’s donation “extraordinary,” and said it will “catalyze” investments in communities of color. It is one of several CDFIs nationally to receive an investment from Scott.

“We are incredibly honored by the recognition that comes with this unprecedented gift. Community Development Financial Institutions are the front line of inclusive, equitable finance in the United States,” Adam Zimmerman, president and CEO of Craft3, said in a statement. “Our industry’s collective value as part of the financial ecosystem has been validated and catalyzed with this remarkable generosity.”