Jeff Bezos Sets Charitable Donation Record for 2020

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Bezos committed $10 billion to climate change research.

Jeff Bezos is quite possibly the wealthiest man any of us will ever know of in our collective lifetimes. I’m sure there’s a wealthy oil baron or something out there with a few billion more, but I don’t know their name, so they don’t count. While Bezos’ mildly absurd wealth raises some questions when paired with some complaints coming out of Amazon warehouses, at the very least, he’s not hoarding it all to himself. In fact, he just set a record for charitable donations.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, as of the tail-end of 2020, Bezos donated a whopping $10 billion USD to create the Bezos Earth Fund, a nonprofit organization intended to research and combat the ever-present threat of climate change.

The goal of the Bezos Earth Fund is to send money to just about anyone who could teach us more about climate change and, with any luck, do something about it. Scientists, activists, non-government organizations, and anyone else who could offer a real, concrete shot at saving the planet from itself is eligible for a grant. This donation was first announced back in February of 2020, and in November, the Bezos Earth Fund gave out its first research grants to 16 different companies and institutions for a total of $791 million.

“We can save Earth,” Bezos said back in February. “It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals. ⁣⁣⁣I’m committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together.⁣⁣⁣”

That $10 billion commitment is now the official record holder for largest charitable donation for 2020, beating out others like Phil Knight’s $900.7 million and Fred Kummer’s $300 million by a long shot. If you were curious, $10 billion is about 5.41% of Bezos’ current net worth of approximately $185 billion.

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