Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the launch of a new $2 billion charitable fund Thursday, focused on fighting homelessness and providing quality education.
The Bezos Day One Fund will be made up of the Families Fund and the Academics Fund. The first will provide annual leadership awards to existing nonprofits “doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families,” said Bezos in a statement.
The second will launch a network of “high-quality, full-scholarship” preschools in low-income communities, which a Day One Fund organization will directly operate.
“We’ll use the same set of principals that have driven Amazon,” wrote Bezos of the preschool management. “Most important of those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer.”
Bezos asked for suggestions for philanthropic focuses in a tweet last year.
“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 at the time.
Now the richest man in the world, valued at $164 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos has chosen his focuses: homelessness and education.
“It fills me with gratitude and optimism to be part of a specifics so bent on self-improvement,” he wrote in the announcement.