Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2bn philanthropic fund

Roman Schwartz
September 14, 2018

Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, said he would begin with an initial commitment of $2 billion to create what he called the Day One Fund. Previous to the creation of the Day One Fund, Bezos and his family had donated only $135 million to charities, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a nonprofit providing scholarships for the children of parents who immigrated the USA illegally and most recently to a bi-partisan organization that gives campaign support to veterans running for political office.

He said the cash will also provide funding to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship" pre-schools in "underserved communities".

In his Instagram post Jeff Bezos said "Amazonians" were wearing pyjamas to work "across the globe" to raise awareness of childhood cancer. "The secret sauce of Amazon - the number one thing that has made us successful has by far is obsessive, compulsive focus on the customer".

Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos took selective aim Thursday at President Donald Trump, choosing not to to engage with him about Amazon, but coming to the Post's defense, according to a Politico report.

Bezos asked for suggestions for philanthropic focuses in a tweet past year.

An Amazon spokesman didn't have details on who would run Bezos' new initiative, or where the group would be based. "It was only a matter of time before Bezos would join this new era of big philanthropy".

These terms of endearment are all things Trump has said about the news media, most of which came out via his Twitter account.

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

Employees at Amazon followed Jeff Bezos example and also started 'PJammin'.

Gates did not fully throw himself into philanthropy until he stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000.

"We live in a society where it's not just the laws of the land that protect us", he added.

"I don't know how much I'm going to give away", he told economic club president David Rubenstein. Zuckerberg's shares in the social network are now valued at about US$61 billion.

In places like China and the Middle East, where public acts of charity are less common, the wealthy are starting to formalise their giving.

Bezos, who founded Amazon as an online book store more than two decades ago, has seen his wealth surge along with Amazon's stock.

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