Amazon's Jeff Bezos to start $2 billion charitable fund

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

The initiative will be called the Bezos Day One Fund, borrowing from Amazon's corporate mantra to approach tasks with the initiative of a startup's first day.

The fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing work to "move the needle" in providing hunger and shelter support to young families.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the launch of a new $2 billion charitable fund Thursday, focused on fighting homelessness and providing quality education.

It's good that Bezos understands that there is a poverty problem, but by throwing his money at third-party organizations-and not focusing on fixing the systemic income gaps his company creates-he is only further proving the point of those who critique the tone-deafness of tech billionaires. The $2 billion, he said, is a starting point.

The announcement, made through a statement from Bezos, comes after the executive reached out previous year to ask for suggestions on approaches to philanthropy. The following week, Bezos will speak at the Air Force Association conference in National Harbor, an appearance tied to his rocket company, Blue Origin.


Bezos is worth $164 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a sum mostly derived from the about 16 percent stake in Amazon that he owns.

The Bezos cash injection follows the philanthropic efforts of other billionaires including Microsoft's Bill Gates, who has donated tens of billions to his foundation. Dominance in e-commerce and the nascent field of cloud computing has made Amazon the world's second-most valuable public company.

"Our lives are better than our great grandparents' lives, and their lives were better than their great grandparents' lives before them", Bezos said Thursday on Twitter. "September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month", he wrote saying Amazon employees around the globe will be wearing pjs to work to show their solidarity and support to children suffering from the deadly disease.

The Seattle City Council went ahead with a lower tax of $275 per employee, which would have raised $47 million a year - including an estimated $12.5 million from Amazon.

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