Without knowing the exact structure of the fund, it is unclear where the 2 billion will come from. If it comes directly from Bezos' own pocket, which many assume, he will be entitled to steep tax deductions. Thirty percent of the gift is deductible when setting up a private foundation; 50 percent, if it is a fund financed by donations.
The bigger question is the size of the fund, which is smaller in comparison to what other wealthy private individuals in the tech industry, such as Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, have promised to return. Bezos also has not joined the Giving Pledge, a popular campaign in which some of the richest people in the world commit to giving away most of their wealth.
However, Bezos hinted in an interview on Thursday that he might be able to add more than $ 2 billion in pledges as the initiative grows. Leslie Lenkowsky, a professor of philanthropy at the University of Indiana, said that Bezos' idea of getting small before it spreads, commonly known as the "acorns to oaks" approach, is not uncommon among wealthy individuals.
"There is a good argument to start with a relatively small amount, and then, if you see that it succeeds, expand it," said Lenkowsky.