Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan plan to donate 99% of their Facebook shares


Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan plan on donating 99% of their Facebook shares to charitable causes. Zuckerberg made this announcement on Tuesday after his daughter, Max, was born.

by Michael Sikand, Reporter

Mark Zuckerberg, president and co-founder of social media giant Facebook, revealed in a public letter to his newborn daughter on Tuesday that he and his wife will donate 99% of their company shares to a long-term initiative devoted to worldwide charitable causes.

Recently inspired by the birth of their new child Max, Chan and Zuckerberg hope to change the world for the children of her generation.

The couple is basing their philanthropy through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) which will serve as the basis the financial management for the charitable endeavors.

“Having this child has made us think about all the things that should be improved in the world for her whole generation,” said Zuckerberg in his video announcement.

The first issues that the duo plans to tackle are curing disease, education and creating strong communities.

Contrary to popular belief, the billionaire is not creating a nonprofit organization. These organizations have laws regarding transparency of action and a minimum annual donation requirement.

Despite his altruistic motives, many have criticized Zuckerberg’s use of an LLC corporation to receive tax benefits, invest in profitable companies, lobby for changes in legislature, and have complete control of his holdings.

From a financial point of view, Zuckerberg’s intentions appear to be a transfer of funds from one side to the other and a public relations stunt.

Though Zuckerberg seems to be turning over a new page in charity, the CEO’s experience with philanthropy has been relatively rough. In 2010, he attempted to donate $100 million to the New Jersey Public School System, an act quickly opposed by activists, parents, and teacher’s unions.

At the moment, their plans do not appear immediate but their project is one that will stretch over many years in the future. There is no information which details where the money will be spent or the rate at which it will be used in the charitable pursuits. The estimated $45 billion that Zuckerberg currently holds in stock could vary in years to come.

Shannon Hong (12) had the opportunity to interview Zuckerberg earlier in the year, she shared her views on he and his wife’s intentions.

I believe that he and Priscilla both are genuinely good people, concerned for the wellbeing of the next generation,” she said. “I am cheered and happy that he decided to use his immense wealth and broad platform to change the world for the better.”

Alike many other Silicon Valley billionaires such as Sean Parker, Sergey Brin and Nicholas Woodman, the Menlo Park CEO has set the tone for the growing trend of philanthropic pursuits in the bay area and the rest of the world.