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Jeff Bezos Asks For Help Giving Money Away

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Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder, Chairman and CEO, is asking for ideas to help the world in the short term.

Bezos on Thursday tweeted a request for ideas to his more than 222,000 followers for new philanthropic projects, and has already received thousands of responses. He said that some of his initiatives, such as Blue Origin, are contributing to society and civilization in the long term, but he wants something more immediate.

In the tweet, Bezos said, "I'm thinking about a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time -- working on the long term.... I'm thinking 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."

Bezos mentioned that he is inspired and moved by Mary's Place in Seattle, a non-profit that helps homeless women, children, and families in emergency situations, for which Amazon is already a sponsor. He offered to match up to $1 million in donations to Mary's Place through a one-day match challenge in 2016.

According to Forbes, Bezos is the third richest billionaire in the world with assets worth more than $80 billion.

Bezos reportedly has already donated millions of dollars to the arts, medical research and education. He and his family have donated $15 million to Princeton University, his alma mater, and $35 million to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

According to Forbes, Bezos had given approximately $100 million in lifetime charitable gifts through the end of 2015, mostly focused on science. Meanwhile, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the richest billionaire, had reached $32.9 billion in lifetime giving and Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett had given $25.5 billion as of the end of 2015.

Gates and Buffett founded the Giving Pledge in 2010, asking billionaires to commit to giving away at least half of their fortune to charitable causes. Bezos reportedly is not included in the 169 persons who have signed the pledge.

by RTT Staff Writer

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