Jeff Bezos donates US$99 million to homeless organisations

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, has donated US$98.5 million to 32 organisations in 23 states that are helping homeless families in the US.

The financial donations by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and CEO, to each organisation ranged from US$1.25 million to US$5 million, Forbes reported.

Bezos donated the money through his Bezos Day One Fund, which he launched in September last year. At the launch, Bezos pledged US$2 billion to the fund, which focuses on funding the work of organisations who help homeless families and create Montessori-inspired preschools across the US.

The day that the new gifts were announced, Forbes reported Bezos filed with the Securities Exchange Commission that he was ​donating 56,702 shares of Amazon stock — worth ​just under US$99 million — to non-profits.

Last year Bezos gave US$97.5 million to organisations fighting homelessness to 24 organisations in 16 states. This year Bezos donated an extra million dollars to the cause and increased the number of recipients.

Bezos is worth US$109 billion and the donation accounts for just short of 1% of his wealth.

Amazon paid US$0 in US federal income tax in 2018 despite making US$11 billion. Amazon was not alone – General Motors also paid US$0 in tax in 2018.

Amazon’s low tax bill mainly stemmed from the US government tax cuts of 2017, carry forward losses from years when the company was not profitable, tax credits for massive investments in Research and Development and stock-based employee compensation.

While Bezos has posted on Instagram several times in the last year about visiting Montessori-inspired schools, no official announcement has been made regarding the Bezos Day One Fund’s progress on creating a network of preschools. According to the Bezos Day One Fund’s website, the Day 1 Academies Fund is currently hiring.

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