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Jeff Bezos seeks spending advice from Twitter followers

3 min read

16 June 2017

Former deputy editor

Social media is a powerful tool, but it can also be a doorway for trolling. However, that didn’t stop Jeff Bezos asking his Twitter followers how to spend his money on philanthropic causes.

As reported on VentureBeat, Bezos, the Amazon boss worth $84.5bn at the time of writing, reached out to his 242,000 Twitter followers on Thursday 15 June for financial counsel.

He claimed that a “long term philanthropy strategy” is something he tends to focus on, with Amazon and his other businesses, newspaper Washington Post and aerospace firm Blue Origin, “contributing to society and civilisation in their own ways”.

As a result, he told his Twitter followers that he wants to concentrate philanthropic activity on short term too. “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 said.

Of course, Mark Zuckerberg, a fellow member of the billionaire boys’ club alongside Bezos, launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative back in December 2015 with his wife Priscilla and promised to donate their $45bn fortune.

Additionally, Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, has guzzled water made from waste as part of his philanthropic movement.

All Bezos’ Twitter followers had to do to offer their ideas was reply to his tweet – and reply they did.

One facetious response saw someone say: “I could need some money and I would consider it very philanthropic. And I guess everybody else would, too.”

However, some of the more serious suggestions saw Twitter followers putting forward everything from school lunch support, education enhancements, LGBT care and more.

Meanwhile, another of Bezos’ Twitter followers suggested that providing free access to Amazon tools in developing markets such as Africa would be a massive help.

Someone else noted how detrimental student loans can be and that wiping them would create instant impact in line with Bezos plan for short term, here and now support.

Of course, if he still isn’t satisfied with the feedback from his Twitter followers, he can always seek inspiration from our Philanthropic 30 – a ranking of the most caring companies in the UK.

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