Amazon CEO Bezos looking to give away some of his fortune

Andrew Cummings
June 17, 2017

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is giving Twitter users the chance to help decide where to focus his charitable efforts. In the tweet, Bezos said, "I'm thinking about a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time - working on the long term".

"I like long-term-it's a huge lever: Blue Origin, Amazon, Washington Post-all of these are contributing to society and civilization in their own ways", Bezos added.

In the tweet, he lauded Mary's Place's homeless program in Amazon's hometown for which Amazon helped raise United States dollars 2 million last month.

He's requesting people tweet at him with their ideas and says he wants it to be "here and now, short term, at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact".

Put differently, he's asking his followers of more than 220,000 for philanthropic ideas, particularly any act that can help people in the "here and now".

The post generated more than 2,500 responses within two hours. He and his family have donated $US15 million to Princeton University, his alma mater, and recently gave $US35 million to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, the largest donation in that institution's history. He has also supported the Bezos Family Foundation run by his parents.

Of course, Mark Zuckerberg, a fellow member of the billionaire boys' club alongside Bezos, launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative back in December 2015 with his wife Priscilla and promised to donate their $45bn fortune. Now at No. 2 with an estimated net worth of $82.8 billion, Amazon's chief executive officer joins other Silicon Valley corporate chieftains such as Bill Gates in exploring ways to share their wealth.

The Amazon founder is on track to be richer than Bill Gates, who is by far the most famous technology billionaire philanthropist.

Harold said that he "would be anxious if every donor was saying this", but that Bezos' approach could have a meaningful effect.

Additionally, Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, has guzzled water made from waste as part of his philanthropic movement.

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