How Giving Back Is Becoming Hip: Mark Zuckerberg Donates Facebook Shares

Posted on: 5th February 2016

We all know giving back is good for other people, good for society, and good Karma, but did you know it’s also becoming hip? Mark Zuckerberg, father of the hippest social media platform out there, has pledged to donate 99 per cent of his Facebook shares to charity.

At $45 billion US, it marks one of the largest charitable grants in history. Along with his wife, Priscilla Chan, they plan to found the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which will attempt to “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation”.

“The company 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,” states Zuckerberg in a Facebook announcement.

“It will focus on personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.”

The announcement also conveyed an empowering message, “Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress.”

However, the $45 billion fortunate isn’t going all at once. Zuckerberg and Chan have pledged to release it gradually, and where it’s needed most. In the immediate future, the Initiative will involve a series of three annual donations made from the sale of Zuckerberg's stock, at a maximum of $1 billion each year. 

Community education and childhood healthcare are at the top of Zuckerberg and Chan’s list of priorities. Last year, they donated $25 million to fight the spread of Ebola, to prevent a larger public health crisis similar to polio or HIV. In addition, Zuckerberg donated $100 million to the Newark public school system.

Interestingly enough, a chunk of the donation will go to Facebook’s project; an agenda aimed at providing zero-rate internet in poorer countries.

"Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the internet," he stated.

"The internet is so important that for every 10 people who gain internet access, about one person is lifted out of poverty and about one new job is created."

So there you have it. Zuckerberg and Chan have set the perfect public example of what it is to give back. Why not take a leaf out of their book and do the same? On, you have the option to donate part of your winnings to charity, if you win a big cash prize. You never know the difference you make to somebody’s life!

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