Jeff Bezos’ Open Call to Spend His Money

Jeff Bezos is known as a long term thinker. As the world’s second richest man (only behind the likes of Bill Gates), the Amazon and Washington Post owner is an intense and meticulous planner, and thus he shocked many when he recently posted an appeal on Twitter for suggestions about short-term philanthropic investments… the kinds of things that can affect change now. Though Bezos claims his businesses “are contributing to society and civilization in their own way,” his tweet said he aims to find a cause that he could contribute to “at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”

It’s an interesting strategy, asking the public to give you ideas of how to donate your billions. Virtually no matter which cause Bezos chooses, he’ll gain positive press for hearing what people are calling for and what matters to the general public. However, Bezos’ silence on the Giving Pledge – the commitment of many of the world’s wealthiest individuals to give the majority of that wealth away – and his low-key philanthropic endeavors in the past has created a skepticism around the mogul’s tweet. It doesn’t help that the day after Bezos sent this call out into the web, Amazon announced that it had purchased Whole Foods, a move that is estimated to add $2.8 billion to Bezos’ $75.6 billion net worth.