Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to start two billion dollar charitable fund

17 September, 2018, 16:23 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Here’s why the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos wore pajamas to a board meeting

Jeff Bezos, president and CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, speaks at the Economic Club of Washington DC's "Milestone Celebration Dinner" in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2018.

"It's risky to demonize the media", Bezos said.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said on Thursday that he will commit US$2 billion to helping homeless families and starting pre-schools for low-income communities, Reuters reports.

He said the schools would "use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon" and that "the child will be the customer".

Demonizing the media and calling them "the enemies of the people" is risky, Bezos said. It was the result, he said in a statement, of a months-long campaign to solicit philanthropic ideas from the public. Where are the opportunities to make things better?

In June, Bezos posted another tweet announcing that he had identified two areas of focus, and that he would reveal them by the end of the summer.

The Amazon founder, whose fortune has risen by $64.7bn (£49.3bn) in the a year ago alone, "has long faced scrutiny for his lack of a major philanthropic initiative", says The Guardian.

Amazon is one of the top employers whose workers receive food stamps. In January, he said he would donate $33 million to a scholarship fund for young "dreamers", immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

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On Twitter Thursday, Bezos said he would create a "Families Fund" that would "issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families". In 2010, Buffett and Gates created the Giving Pledge, which calls on billionaires to pledge the majority of their wealth to charity.

By choosing to focus his philanthropy on homelessness and early education, Bezos is likely influenced both by his parents' Bezos Family Foundation and by his adopted hometown of Seattle, however mixed some natives may feel about the city's growing affordability crisis that's been largely attributed to the success of Amazon.

"I do defend the Washinton Post", he said.

"I don't know how much I'm going to give away", he told Economic Club President David Rubenstein. "You're going to get scrutinized, and it's healthy. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession", he wrote on Twitter. "We're going to push through this".

In a phone interview Friday, Lillard said her research indicates that 3- to 6-year-old children taught in "high-fidelity Montessori classrooms" advanced significantly more on all measures - executive functioning, reading, math, social problem solving-than those in low-fidelity environments.

Avo Makdessian, a vice president at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a non-profit that manages donations for philanthropists including many tech billionaires, said he hoped Bezos' pledge would help inspire other wealthy Americans - as well as the government - to take similar action.

Bezos vowed to build an organization that will start and operate the preschools, adding that, "I'm excited about that because it will give us the opportunity to learn, invent, and improve".

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