Alms for the needy was the starter charity. It was succeeded by professionalized philanthropy - a baroque edifice of foundations and perpetuities and strategies and naming rights and social impact metrics.
"People who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions," writes Scott.
How it works
When Scott chooses a cause, she just gives them cash. No schedules, no promises, no strings. (Jack Dorsey's #startsmall initiative is similar, if smaller.)
By the numbers
Scott has given $587 million to racial equity organizations, 91% of which are run by leaders of color. $46 million went to LGBTQ+ equity organizations all of which are run by LGBTQ+ leaders.
The philanthro-industrial complex did help: Scott was advised in her giving by Bridgespan Group, one of the largest big-philanthropy advisors. But their job was clearly just to identify worthy recipients - and then get out of the way.
The easy way to give away hundreds of millions or billions of dollars is to funnel the cash into architecture or endowments, rather than trying to get it directly to those who need it. Scott has avoided that.
Scott is only getting started in her philanthropy, and the $1.7 billion she's given away so far is extremely impressive. Still, her net worth has managed to increase by $25 billion this year alone, thanks to the rise in Amazon's share price.
“I am using the term “box tickers” to refer to employees who exist only or primarily to allow an organization to be able to claim it is doing something that, in fact, it is not doing.”
― David Graeber, Bullshit Jobs: A Theory