Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2 billion philanthropic fund

The Bezos Day One Fund will contribute to "existing non-profit organisations that help homeless families" and also fund "a network of new, non-profit, tier-one pre-schools in low-income communities", he wrote.

Bezos made the announcement on Twitter a year after asking for ideas on how he could use his personal fortune - now estimated at more than $160 billion - for charitable efforts.

The first one, "The Day 1 Families Fund" will provide grants to organizations and groups that help accommodate homeless families, while "The Day 1 Academies Fund" will run a network of Montessori-based nurseries in impoverished communities.

Mr Bezos, who is the world's richest person with a net worth of $164bn (£125bn), said: "We'll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon". Citing the Amazon mantra of customer obsession, Bezos said in a tweet here: "The child will be the customer". Since March 2016, Amazon customers have also been able to order items from the Mary's Place's wishlist on the site, such as diapers and socks.

The staggering fortunes of the likes of Bezos, Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have created a second Gilded Age in the United States and "a new generation of megagivers", Callahan said. Amazon warehouse employees are known to have terrible working conditions, pitiful wages, and have even been forced into homelessness after workplace injuries.

Earlier this year Amazon played a pivotal role in diminishing and ultimately defeating a Seattle business tax to fund homelessness services and affordable housing.

"Another way we're raising awareness is through our special #GoGold boxes - you may receive one during September", he added.

More than a year after putting out an open call for suggestions about what to do with his spectacular wealth, Jeff Bezos has come back with a decision.

Zuckerberg, 34, and his wife Priscilla Chan said in 2015 that they planned to give away 99 per cent of their Facebook stock.

It also falls short of the "giving pledge" initiative launched by Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who have encouraged wealthy individuals to pledge half their fortunes for philanthropy.

The Amazon chief's wealth has become problematic for some. Earlier this year, the company partnered with the Seattle nonprofit Mary's Place to build a permanent homeless shelter in its headquarters.

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