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Billionaire Jeff Bezos’s recent Tweet for suggestions about how to give some of his fortune away has inspired several media stories, including commentary and an open letter to Jeff Bezos about focusing on immediate suffering vs. creating a long-term strategy. Where, how and in what a philanthropist chooses to invest his or her philanthropic capital are all extremely important decisions. For someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, like Bezos, those decisions will no doubt reflect some new and different thinking. For the field of philanthropy, where many giving practices are deeply entrenched and sometimes outdated, “new and different” can be a very good thing.
But no matter where, how or for how long Bezos chooses to be charitable, and no matter whether his philanthropy is wildly unconventional or follows a more traditional path, I hope that he bears in mind these five rules of philanthropy that will help ensure the greatest impact for his investment.