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Jeff Bezos Copyright David Ryder, Getty Images
Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos Finds His Cause

Jeff Bezos donates to the dreamers, the Edelmans donate to an equine therapy program and impact investors sustain responsibility post investment.

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who this summer famously tweeted that he was accepting suggestions for how to give away his wealth, has found at least one scholarship fund to support. Bezos, recently named the wealthiest man in the world due to the rising value of his stake in Amazon, said he is donating $33 million to TheDream.US, a scholarship fund for young “dreamers,” immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as children, according to The Washington Post. The fund was established in 2014 by Donald E. Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post which Bezos now owns. It has awarded more than 1,700 immigrants more than $19 million in assistance since its inception. Graham said he reached out to Bezos about the fund after seeing his tweet. TheDream.US has also received grants from the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The Edelmans Donate to Equine Therapy Cause

Jean and Ric Edelman

Jean and Ric Edelman, founders of Edelman Financial Services, have given $500,000 to the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, which will allow the program to offer year-round equine therapy, with a range of treatments using activities with horses for physical and mental health. The money will go towards building an indoor riding arena, featuring a climate-controlled observation area and education room. “Through the experience of one of our family members, we’ve seen the positive impact therapeutic horseback riding can have,” said Jean Edelman. “Seeing the dedication and strength from the participants, whether it is at-risk youth seeking a more positive experience or veterans overcoming issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, inspires us to do what we can to ensure riders can continue to benefit from NVTRP’s great work.”

 How to Continue the “Impact” of Impact Investing Post Exit

More than eight in 10 investors who direct their dollars toward projects meant to further social or environmental causes feel a responsibility to ensure that impact continues even after they’ve exited their investment, according to a 2016 study by the Global Impact Investing Network. A new report by the group provides investors with practical strategies to make that happen. For example, investors can take into consideration the likely growth trajectory of a business and determine how to ensure the business retains its mandates, perhaps by retaining management or working with longer-term co-investors. “Impact investing has huge potential to generate positive long-term outcomes for society and the environment,” said GIIN Research Director Abhilash Mudaliar. “But investors need to have the confidence that they will be able to exit responsibly.”

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