Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Amazon's Jeff Bezos pledges £2bn to help deprived families

Amazon's Jeff Bezos pledges £2bn to help deprived families

The charitable fund will "focus on two areas", Bezos explained: "funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one pre-schools in low-income communities". (The foundation was formed from the merger of two smaller, pre-existing efforts: the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation.) The organization, which is focused on global health and education, has distributed $46 billion to grant recipients through past year. Previous to the creation of the Day One Fund, Bezos and his family had donated only $135 million to charities, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a nonprofit providing scholarships for the children of parents who immigrated the USA illegally and most recently to a bi-partisan organization that gives campaign support to veterans running for political office.

Despite his fortune, Bezos has not been a major philanthropic donor and Amazon has been criticized in its home of Seattle, Washington, for doing little to address problems of the growing homeless population.

Among the world's top tech CEOs, Bezos is not known for his philanthropy. "The media is going to be fine", he said during the conversation with economic club president David Rubenstein.

The Day 1 Academies Fund will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.

"Never have I been more comfortable at an Amazon board meeting!", Bezos' post read.

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The private non-profit foundation in its 2016 tax filing reported almost $46 million U.S. 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. "But we're going to make a final pitch".

Bezos owns the Washington Post, which, along with Amazon have been targets of Trump criticisms. Neither was aware of any information beyond what was disclosed by Bezos, and both said their organisations had not been asked to advise the use of the Day 1 funds. "Jeff Bezos is our enemy, he is our enemy", Sawant said before the council voted. "The secret sauce of Amazon - the number one thing that has made us successful has by far is obsessive, compulsive focus on the customer". The child will be the customer.

Mr Bezos, whose Amazon fortune has made him the world's richest person, added that he has had "a couple of conversations" with Mr Trump, but declined to say what was discussed.

Demonising the media and calling them "the enemies of the people" is risky, Bezos said.

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