Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches a $2 bln philanthropic fund

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches a $2 bln philanthropic fund

The second will launch a network of "high-quality, full-scholarship" preschools in low-income communities, which a Day One Fund organization will directly operate. The other part will launch and operate free preschools in low-income communities, where "the child will be the customer".

"We'll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon", Bezos wrote.

Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $160 billion U.S., says that he'll call it the Bezos Day One Fund.

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.

Bezos, and Amazon, have been criticized in Seattle for not doing more to help the needy and have become focal points in the booming region's angry debate about traffic, housing prices and homelessness. Bezos' relative silence was a stark contrast to peers like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett who have given away tens of billions. 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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A spokeswoman for Amazon did not offer further details on the new project. He has not signed on to the Giving Pledge, and the Bezos Family Foundation is reportedly run by his parents; Bezos does not play an active role.

The private non-profit foundation in its 2016 tax filing reported almost $46 million United States in assets, and giving away $30 million USA in grants support its missions in early education, K-12 schools reform and youth leadership development and scholarships.

In the past, Bezos has made political contributions, but not of this magnitude.

Last year Bezos solicited advice from the public via Twitter, asking how he could best use his wealth to help people "right now". It also comes as tech giants like Amazon face the threat of tougher regulations to protect consumer privacy and complaints from the Republican-controlled Congress and White House over alleged liberal bias influencing how their offerings are presented to consumers.

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