Before the $2 billion fund and compared to fellow billionaires like Gates and Warren Buffett, Bezos' charitable contributions have been relatively limited. In March 2017, Bezos gave $35 million to Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, reports The New York Times. And, Bezos also gave $1 million to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press last year.
According to Weath-X, in 2015 the Bezos Family Foundation had more than $54 million in assets. In 2017, the foundation pledged to donate $25 million to the New York University Langone Hospital — Brooklyn. Other recipients of the foundation's money include Teach for America, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, the Long Now Foundation, Aspen University and Woodland Park Zoological Society.
Bezos also donated $2.7 to the University of Washington Foundation (2013), $2.5 million to Washington United for Marriage (2012) and $15 million to Princeton University, his alma mater, according to Wealth-X.
In January, Bezos also donated $33 million for college scholarships for "dreamers" — undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children and granted stay in the country under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. And, in September, he gave $10 million to a nonpartisan super PAC that works to elect military veterans to office.
It would appear that Bezos' latest, and most significant philanthropic effort, is the culmination of a request he made in 2017, when he posted a tweet asking for ideas for areas of focus for his future charitable spending. In June, Bezos followed up on that request with another tweet announcing that he'd identified two areas of focus, and that he would reveal them before the end of the summer. Now, it seems like he's settled on using part of his fortune to help homeless families and to establish preschools in low-income communities.
This is an updated version of a previously published story.
Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.
Inside Jeff Bezos' multibillion-dollar empire