Jeff Bezos Donates Nearly $600 Million in Amazon Shares in 2022 (So Far)

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As NPR stated back in 2020, “there’s rich, and there’s Jeff Bezos rich.” Last week, Bezos — founder and former president of Amazon, and fourth richest person in the world — donated $174 million in Amazon shares to unnamed nonprofit organizations.  

According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission report, Bezos filed two common stock transactions totaling 1.9 million shares as contributions to charitable organizations on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4, 2022.

As Forbes noted, Bezos has upped his charitable giving since stepping down as Amazon CEO last year and makes most of his charitable donations through his Amazon stock holdings. With no capital gains tax restraints, nonprofit recipients can sell the stock at any time.

Bezos’ current net worth is estimated at $112.6 billion, according to Forbes. He still owns approximately 10% of Amazon shares, which are worth approximately $90 billion. Last year, Bezos sold more than $8.8 billion of Amazon stock, and since taking his company public in 1998, the billionaire has sold $29 billion worth of Amazon shares.

To some, Bezos’ philanthropy is quite notable among his peers — but as Forbes indicated, a few of his fellow billionaires are outpacing him in this regard.

While Forbes doesn’t count future donation promises (like the Bezos Earth Fund’s $10 billion commitment) or “black box” gift transactions (which might be transactions to a donor-advised fund that requires no legal “donation,” per se), it is estimated that Bezos has given away $2.4 billion to charities in his lifetime.

This might seem like an enormous total, but it’s around what most multi-billionaires give — less than 5% of their personal fortunes.

In contrast, Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, has committed big donations to Planned Parenthood and the Boys & Girls Club of America ($275 million and $281 million, respectively) per Forbes. In total, she’s awarded $12.7 billion in donations to more than 1,200 organizations since 2020. Scott is listed as one of nine members of the Forbes 400 who have given away more than 20% of their wealth to charity.

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