Amazon billionaire MacKenzie Scott donates millions to San Antonio organizations

Record-breaking donations intended to help San Antonio fight poverty

SAN ANTONIO – MacKenzie Scott, a novelist and philanthropist, has broken records while making donations to several San Antonio organizations that address income inequity and poverty

Scott first announced news of a $4.2 billion donation to 384 organizations across the United States on social media.

“I asked a team of advisors to help me accelerate my 2020 giving through immediate support to people suffering the economic effects of the (COVID-19) crisis,” Scott said in her announcement. “They took a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”

Scott, who recently divorced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is the world’s 18th richest person, according to Bloomberg.

Included in Scott’s donations are a $20 million pledge to the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, an “eight-figure” donation to Palo Alto College and a $10 million donation to LiftFund. Other San Antonio organizations included in Scott’s list are YWCA San Antonio, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, the San Antonio Food Bank and Easterseals Rehabilitation Center.

Officials at Palo Alto College and United Way San Antonio and Bexar County both said her donation is the largest one ever made to their organizations.

United Way officials said the money will be used to help address economic, educations and social disparities in the community.

“We are so grateful for this incredibly generous gift. It is unparalleled for our United Way and for its ability to create transformational change,” said Kim Lubel, chair of the nonprofit’s Board of Trustees. “We are honored, humbled, excited and ready to invest strategically to make a lasting difference in thousands of lives in our community.”

Part of the donation will initially be used for the United Way’s Dual Generation Partnership, which aims to improve the community by helping families break the cycle of poverty. The partnership combines solutions for housing, education, childcare and employment.

LiftFund officials said the donation allowed them to continue helping small businesses, especially ones run by women and entrepreneurs of color.

Palo Alto College plans to use its donation to fund scholarships through AlamoPROMISE, increase resources at the college’s S.H.A.R.E. Center and start up an initiative that will be announced in early 2021.


About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.