Science

Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

The new philanthropic effort is called the Bezos Day One Fund, a nod to the executive's management philosophy that organizations must view every day with the fervor of a new start, or face stagnation and decline.

The new "Bezos Day One Fund" is the result; it'll work to issue "awards" to existing nonprofits that provide shelter and food to homeless young families.

The Day 1 Academies Fund will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.

Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $160 billion USA, says that he'll call it the Bezos Day One Fund.

Citing the Amazon mantra of customer obsession, Bezos said in a tweet "the child will be the customer". In addition to Amazon, my area of focus so far have included investment in the future of our planet and civilization through the development of foundational space infrastructure, support of American democracy through stewardship of the Washington Post, and financial contributions to the dedicated and innovative champions of a variety of causes, from cancer research, to marriage equality, to college scholarships for immigrant students, to decreasing political polarization through cross-partisan support of principles, next-generation military vets running for Congress.

Last year Bezos solicited advice from the public via Twitter, asking how he could best use his wealth to help people "right now".

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An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the money will all come from Bezos, though there are few details about how the fund will operate.

"The answer is very simple", Bezos told David Rubenstein, the president of the Economic Club, when asked about the topic.

Among the world's top tech CEOs, Bezos is not known for his philanthropy.

Since then, he and his wife have built the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which had an endowment of US$51 billion at the end of 2017 and pledges to spend all its resources within 20 years of its founders' deaths. Some activists and politicians have partly blamed the city's problems on Amazon.

Earlier this year Amazon played a pivotal role in diminishing and ultimately defeating a Seattle business tax to fund homelessness services and affordable housing. In 2016, it renovated a vacant hotel on land designated for its new headquarters so it could be used temporarily by the nonprofit group Mary's Place to give shelter to 200 homeless families.


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