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Jeff Bezos is searching for philanthropic ideas

Amazon's CEO, the world's second-richest person, is looking for ways to give back.

"I've got over $80 billion. Now what?"
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jeff Bezos, the world's second-richest person, is asking the public for charitable ideas.

In a tweet Thursday afternoon, the Amazon founder and CEO called on people to respond with their thoughts. An hour later, the tweet has already received more than 2,700 comments, including pitches to fund women's health care and help military veterans repurpose their skills.

"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," he wrote.

Bezos, who is currently worth $83.7 billion, isn't a big name in philanthropy, at least not yet. He's made donations for health research, and arts and culture, according to Inside Philanthropy, including gifts to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. His parents run the Bezos Family Foundation, which regularly donates to causes.

Thursday's tweet, though, could hint at Bezos becoming a more active philanthropist.

In comparison, several of Bezos' peers on the world's richest list have gained significant notoriety for their charity work. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the world's richest person, and his wife started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Warren Buffett, the world's fourth richest person, pledged most of his fortune to that foundation. Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the fifth-richest person, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Bezos likes to focus on long-term projects, including his space exploration company Blue Origin and a clock that's meant to last for 10,000 years. But for his charity work, he said he wants to make a more immediate impact. He referenced Mary's Place, a homeless shelter in Seattle, Amazon's hometown, as an example.

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