Amazon founder Bezos announces $2B charitable fund

Amazon founder Bezos announces $2B charitable fund

Amazon founder Bezos announces $2B charitable fund

Jeff Bezos, the world's richest person, is launching a $2 billion fund to help homeless families and create a network of non-profit preschools in low-income communities.

Mr Bezos asked on Twitter last year for suggestions on how he might use his personal fortune, which this year has soared due to Amazon's surging share price and United States tax cuts.

The first will fund existing nonprofits and issue annual awards to organisations doing "compassionate, needle-moving work" to shelter and support the immediate needs of young families.

The Day 1 Academies Fund will establish full-scholarship Montessori-like preschools where "the child will be the customer".

"It's hard to remember for you guys, but for me it's like yesterday I was driving the packages to the post office myself, and hoping one day we could afford a forklift", Bezos said. "But it turns out in life that your most important decisions are always made with instinct, intuition, taste, heart".

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to open and fund nursery schools in low income areas, promising that poor children would be treated like Amazon customers.

When asked if he is "worried" that the federal government is going to crack down on Amazon with more regulations, Bezos said, "All big institutions of any kind are going to be and should be examined, scrutinized and inspected". It was the result, he said in a statement, of a months-long campaign to solicit philanthropic ideas from the public.

Interviewed by the club's president, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, Bezos also discussed his new charitable commitments, defended the media and his purchase of the Washington Post, and disappointed the D.C. -connected audience by declining to reveal a winning city for Amazon's second headquarters. But in the world of ultra-rich tech philanthropists, it's roughly on par with other do-gooding efforts. And he also hasn't signed The Giving Pledge, an initiative created by the Gateses and Buffet that encourages billionaires to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. "It's also the social norms that protect us".

American billionaire philanthropy is spreading elsewhere. Last night, Bezos once again affirmed that he has not "feel the need to defend Amazon" from the president's criticism. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the money will all come from Bezos, though there are few details about how the fund will operate. Some activists and politicians have partly blamed the city's problems on Amazon.

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