Bezos, the world's richest person, announced the launch of the "Day One Fund", which will begin with a commitment of $2 billion and will focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families and creating a network of nonprofit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.
The new philanthropic effort is called the Bezos Day One Fund, a nod to the executive's management philosophy that organizations must view every day with the fervor of a new start, or face stagnation and decline.
The money will be divided between the Day 1 Family Fund, geared toward helping homeless families, and the Day 1 Academies Fund, which will open and operate "full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in under-served communities", according to Bezos' tweet. 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.
Earlier this year, under pressure from Amazon and other large employers, Seattle's City Council repealed an employee head tax created to provide housing and services for the homeless. It previously helped the nonprofit temporarily house 200 homeless people. "September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month", he wrote in an Instagram post shared about 10 hours ago, explaining that every year, Amazon ties up with the American Childhood Cancer Organisation to raise awareness of childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death for kids in the United States between ages 4 and 14.
Until now, Bezos has made only small initial steps into giving. In 2012, he donated $2.5 million to uphold Washington state's same-sex marriage law. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a massive philanthropic initiative tackling issues such as infectious diseases and improving education. Bezos also plans to pay a visit to The Washington Post, which he owns.
But then he changed his tune.
Bezos solicited ideas on Twitter a year ago for ways to donate some of his wealth.