Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, owner of the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers, and the 51st richest person in the world, has given a colossal donation to save sharks.
Paul Allen has reportedly donated over $4 million to Global FinPrint to assist their efforts in the preservation of sharks worldwide. Allen announced his assistance to the organization via Twitter.
I've seen the impact of @ElephantCount, now I'm supporting @GlobalFinPrint to help #SaveSharkshttp://t.co/lVGNP1lX8epic.twitter.com/DoVZSAvOvKThe Global FinPrint organization that Paul donated the money to lists the following as its mission statement on its official website.
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) July 8, 2015
"[Global Fin Print is] the first global, multi-institutional effort to combine existing baited remote underwater video (BRUV) data sets to create the largest and most comprehensive data-collection and analysis program of the world's populations of reef-associated sharks and rays to provide insight that is essential to conservation efforts."It should be noted that the Global FinPrint website is powered by Vulcan, Paul Allen's company that oversees his investments and philanthropic ventures - a sure sign (as if the staggering donation wasn't enough) that the Microsoft co-founder is firmly behind the organization.
Paul Allen's philanthropy is often geared towards "big picture" endeavors, tending towards overall, global - and sometimes interstellar - projects. Paul Allen has reportedly donated over $1.8 billion to "science, technology, education, wildlife conservation, the arts and community services in his lifetime."
In 1988, Paul Allen established the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Between 1990 and 2014, the Allen Foundation gave away over $494 million to 1,500 nonprofit organizations, mostly to those that have a focus on science and technology. However, Paul also made sure that a portion of it went to organizations focusing on arts and culture and community development. More than half of the donations went to organizations near Paul Allen's home turf - that being the Seattle, Washington State and the Pacific Northwest at large.
Last year, when Ebola was ravaging Western Africa, Paul Allen pledged over $100 million to stave off the epidemic, easily making Allen the largest private donor in the entire crisis.
According to Global FinPrint, sharks are a vital part of the ocean's food chain, the their declining numbers could spell disaster for underwater ecosystems, especially those near the world's valuable coral reefs. Over 100 million sharks are killed each and every year by humans, either by accident or intentionally.
What do you think? Is Global FinPrint the best use of Paul Allen's money, or do you think another charity would be more worthy of his multi-million dollar donation? What would you do if you had the kind of money that Paul Allen has?
[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]