Amazon Owner Jeff Bezos Steps Up His Philanthropic Game Through Twitter


By Pamela A. Muñoz, PR Consult

With the news that Amazon bought Whole Foods today, I was also fascinated by Jeff Bezos’ philanthropic activities. Like many of today’s tech tycoons (i.e. my former big boss at Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg) he has said his mission in life is changing the world and satisfying customers rather than getting rich.

Bezos has been unconventional with his business and continues that trend through his philanthropy. He has refused charitable pledges common among billionaires, and instead funds not-for-profits through Amazon stocks. According to The New York Times, the Bezos Family Foundation has given away tens of millions of dollars, mainly to causes related to child brain development and early education.

He is one of the richest people in world, with a net work of more than US$80 billion but has never been forthcoming about how he plans to donate his fortune. This past week, Bezos posted a “request for ideas” for philanthropy on Twitter. In true Bezos style, he is doing away with convention by consulting with his Twitter followers for guidance on how he could reinvent philanthropy.

He is looking for ideas on how his philanthropic activity could be “helping people in the here and now – short term – at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”

Now, who am I to advise Mr. Bezos on ideas on how to spend his money? I have yet to participate in that conversation but more than 30,000 people have responded to his request. They range from helping animals in the Amazon, to funding local libraries to a new public service model for journalism. The possibilities are endless.

With Bezos stepping up his philanthropic game through Twitter, I also feel that Summit 4 Change is aiming to accomplish like-mind change in Alberta – looking at urgent needs today with programmes that have a lasting impact. Just like Bezos, the Summit is asking the question on how to do things differently than how they’ve been done before. Social media has been at the forefront of the journey towards philanthropy for Bezos, and November 16 & 17 will be a chance for our community to come together in person to discuss new ideas on how to evolve the for-profit/not-for-profit partnership seamlessly.

I’m ready to step things up. Are you?

About Pamela A. Muñoz : Pamela has more than 15 years of international public relations and communications experience across tech, e-commerce, automotive, broadcasting and not-for-profit industries, with a strong focus on helping multinational corporations communicate in and from Asia. She also has a deep understanding of social media and its role in strategic corporate communications. Pamela aims to get more socially-minded organizations working across borders, nationally and internationally.

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