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Bezos asks Twitter how to donate his money

Amazon's billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos, has turned to an unusual source of inspiration for how to donate part of his wealth: Twitter.

"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," Bezos, one of the world's richest people with a net worth of more than $US76 billion, posted.

"If you have ideas, just reply to this tweet with the idea (and if you think this approach is wrong, would love to hear that too.)"

The request signalled a shift for Bezos, who has invested in longer-term bets such as space exploration and kept quieter about other givings.

His Twitter post had generated nearly 4000 replies within three hours, with recommendations ranging from food programs for children to protecting forests and fighting homelessness.

"Repurpose shipping containers to provide micro-homes for the homeless," tweeted journalist and analyst John Koetsier.

"Give them a safe, dry place to sleep, then work on further needs."

© RAW 2017