Amazon's Jeff Bezos asks Twitter users for philanthropy ideas


"This tweet is a request for ideas," said Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon. "I'm thinking of a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time - working on the long term."

Bezos that owns about 17 percent of Amazon, enjoyed one of the fastest-wealth gain in history. As Amazon's share price tripled since 2015, Bezos and some others have added more than $50 billion to their net worth. As for Bezos himself, he is at $84 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

When Bezos tweeted his request on Twitter, Bezos is only $6 billion from taking the title of the world's richest man from Bill Gates, who has held the crown for 18 times since the past 23 years.

But for all this time, Bezos has been more focused on what he described as a long term investments that contribute to the society and civilization. These include his efforts at Amazon as well using his considerable personal resources to buy The Washington Post and fund Blue Origin, his own space company.

While the Bezos family has their own family foundation, called Bezos Family Foundation, but it's more focused on cancer research and education. While he and his family have donated around $100 million in total, that is only a small portion of Bezos wealth.

Jeff Bezos has never really been into philanthropy. And as a matter of fact, he never appeared on the Philanthropy 50, a list of the United States' 50 largest donors. He is also the only top five billionaires in the U.S. who has not signed the Giving Pledge, the promise created by Gates and Warren Buffett for the super rich to give away at least half of their wealth for philanthropy.

At one public event on October 2016, Bezos was asked if he planned to pursue philanthropy like Bill Gates. He responded: "Yeah, if there's anything left after I finish building Blue Origin." But what appeared to be his plan, Bezos rethought his approach.

"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," he wrote.

As an example, Bezos cited Mary's Place, a Seattle charity working to empower homeless families. Amazon partnered with the nonprofit to build a homeless shelter in its headquarters.

Quickly after Bezos tweeted the post, suggestions poured in. Out of the thousands of Hearts and Retweets that mostly came from the U.S.- or Seattle-based, the comment recommendations include:

Signing in to the Giving Pledge, funding clean drinking water, funding affordable housing and refugee assistance, buying up peoples' medical or student loan debts, help fight homeless LGBTs, supporting education and women's health, invest in public transport, create hospitals, help those in Africa and many others.