Amazon CEO Bezos looking to give away some of his fortune

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos is not sure where and how to donate his money, and what does he do when faced with such a conundrum?

Bezos, on the other hand, has been more focused on what he describes in the tweet as "long term" investments that "are contributing to society and civilization in their own ways".

His reference to the work done at Mary's Place in Seattle was Amazon's recent commitment to provide a homeless shelter for families - called Mary's Place - with a permanent home in a new Amazon office building, which is to start construction later this year.

Put differently, he's asking his followers of more than 220,000 for philanthropic ideas, particularly any act that can help people in the "here and now".

The online giant's chief executive took to Twitter seeking ideas for a philanthropic strategy that would "be helping people in the here and now - short term - at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact".

His Twitter post had generated almost 4,000 replies within three hours. Mark Zuckerberg, who has praised Gates' example, followed suit in 2015, setting up the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic organisations in the world. Inc.'s billionaire founder tweeted a plea for ideas - from anyone - on how to spur immediate change through charity work. Now at No. 2 with an estimated net worth of $82.8 billion, Amazon's chief executive officer joins other Silicon Valley corporate chieftains such as Bill Gates in exploring ways to share their wealth. He's made donations for health research, and arts and culture, according to Inside Philanthropy, including gifts to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. For philanthropy, I find I'm drawn to the other end of the spectrum: right now.

Bezos has also characterised Blue Origin, the for-profit space company that he is funding with about $US1 billion of his wealth annually, as an effort to help save Earth in the long run by providing means to move heavy industry off the planet.

  • Zachary Reyes