These days, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has made a surprising announcement. He declared that he and his wife want to give 99 percent of their Facebook shares.
Of course, they also added that they will donate this amount of shares “during our live.” This means that during their entire life they will donate the announced number of their shares. However, it is a surprising announcement, knowing the fact that the holdings are currently worth approximately 47 billion dollars. To be added that these shares will be donated to charitable purposes.
The questions that emerge in this context are why did they make this announcement and why they are willing to donate their shares? Well, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, made this announcement through an open letter to their newborn daughter, Max. As a reminder, their daughter was born about a week ago. So, they also declared that they are forming a new organization, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities,” they declared.
However, these charitable plans are commonly met among billionaires, but now it looks like it also started to grow interest among Silicon Valley’s billionaires. Moreover, compared with previous generations of business philanthropists, these young and famous billionaires are willing to spread their money while they are still young. To be added that Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are 30. So, with this announcement, they have entered on the charity area, but they have not yet declared how the money will be spent or where they will give the money.
To be added that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are not at the first charitable act. In 2010 they gave approximately 100 million dollars to improve the public schools in Newark.
“We must build technology to make change. Many institutions invest money in these challenges, but most progress comes from productivity gains through innovation,” they also wrote in the letter to their daughter. “We must participate in policy and advocacy to shape debates. Many institutions are unwilling to do this, but progress must be supported by movements to be sustainable.”