In a surprise announcement (on 1st Dec 2015), Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, announced that he and his wife would donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares (currently worth about $45 billion) to charitable purposes.
Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan, gave birth to a baby daughter last week but the couple didn’t put out the news until Tuesday, when Zuckerberg posted it on his facebook page which is written as a letter to Zuckerberg and Chan’s newborn child.
The pledge was made in the same letter. According to the announcement, the money will go to the Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan’s new organization, ‘the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’. The initiative focuses on two central goals: advancing human potential and promoting equality.
“The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will pursue its mission by funding non-profit organizations, making private investments and participating in policy debates, in each case with the goal of generating positive impact in areas of great need,”
“Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress,”“Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities,” they wrote.
Chan and Zuckerberg have so far committed $1.6 billion to their philanthropy. They have given several donations this year, including to public schools, initiatives to bring better wireless Internet access and to San Francisco General Hospital, where Chan works as a pediatrician.
“It’s incredibly impressive and an enormous commitment that really eclipses anything that we’ve seen in terms of size,” said Phil Buchanan, president of the nonprofit Center for Effective Philanthropy.
Source : The New York Times