Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, is to launch a philanthropic fund with a $2 billion initial commitment to help homeless families and set up nursery schools in deprived areas.

Bezos, now the world's richest person, asked Twitter followers a year ago for ideas about how he should shape his "philanthropy strategy".

The "Bezos Day One Fund" created by Bezos and his wife MacKenzie will focus on two areas: helping "existing nonprofits that help homeless families" and funding "a network of new, nonprofit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities", he wrote.

The fund will also seek to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities", he wrote.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seems to be Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant's arch-nemesis, so it only makes sense that she would have something to say about the entrepreneur's $2 billion charitable fund toward homelessness and education. "The secret sauce of Amazon - the number one thing that has made us successful has by far is obsessive, compulsive focus on the customer. The child will be the customer".

Insanely rich human being Jeff Bezos announced today his intention to do something he rarely ever does: philanthropy. (The foundation was formed from the merger of two smaller, pre-existing efforts: the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation.) The organization, which is focused on global health and education, has distributed $46 billion to grant recipients through previous year.

"It's unsafe to demonise the media", Mr Bezos said.

As with most investment decisions by the Amazon founder, this one was likely grounded in data and science.

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He added that "we live in a society where it's not just the laws of the land that protect us.it's also the social norms that protect us".

"I don't know how much I'm going to give away", he told economic club president David Rubenstein.

Bezos said early childhood education is a critical area and that "the money spent there is going to pay very big dividends for decades".

While the online retail giant's presence made Seattle the fastest-growing big city in the U.S., it also has taken a toll on its residents, driving up rent prices, clogging traffic and overwhelming public transportation.

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Michael Bloomberg, the owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News, also is a signatory. Bezos was previously criticized for giving relatively little to charity. Amazon is designating 47,000 square feet of space at its new corporate office for a permanent Mary's Place shelter.

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