Amazon boss Jeff Bezos asks Twitter how he should spend $82bn fortune on good causes

210 2017-06-17

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is asking Twitter how he should spend some of his $82.8bn fortune. The second richest man in the world is looking for charity ideas that will spark “immediate change” in the world.

Social media was not short of responses. The billionaire, would-be philanthropist has received 15,000 responses within 24 hours.

Predictably, responses ranged from sensible to stupid. While some thought the Silicon Valley entrepreneur should funnel his cash into helping homeless young people and supporting LGBT rights, others hopefully requested personal cash payouts.

Mr Bezos tweeted to his 230,000 followers: “I find I’m drawn to the other end of the spectrum: the right now. I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”

The Amazon boss is already a benefactor of Princeton University, his alma mater, and supports efforts such as cancer research and the Marys Place homeless shelter in Seattle.

Whatever philanthropic endeavours he decides to spends his money, it seems unlikely he will run out of cash any time soon. Mr Bezos is closing in on becoming the richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

His $82.8bn puts him $7bn behind Bill Gates but another year like this one and Mr Bezos will surge into the lead. His net worth has increased by an estimated $17.4bn this year.

He joins other corporate bosses, including Mr Gates, in seeking ways to put their money to use helping various causes.

Last month it was announced that 14 billionaires from around the world had pledged to give away the large majority of their wealth, by signing up to an initiative started by Mr Gates, along with his wife Melinda and famed investor Warren Buffett. It now has 168 signatories from 21 countries around the world.

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