Mark Zuckerberg wants to do something good in the world, and that’s more than be the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook. On Tuesday, Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, announced that they would be giving away 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charitable purposes sometime “during our lives.”
Yes, Zuckerberg and Chan will be giving away Facebook shares that have a current worth of $45 billion, and they’re doing it all in the name of their newborn daughter, Max.
A letter was posted on Facebook by Zuckerberg, and it is simply titled, “A letter to our daughter.”
“Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.”
Zuckerberg (31) and Chan (30) are creating a brand new organization called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to essentially manage their money. As reported by CNN Money, Zuckerberg said in a securities filing that he intends to retain his majority voting position in the company’s stock for the foreseeable future, but the money will be going.
They have plans to “sell or gift no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years.”
Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan already make numerous charitable contributions and donations to so many fields, schools, and organizations. Now, they want to help in some rather different and individual ways.
The aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Inititative is “to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.” The areas they will initially target are personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building stronger communities.
Looking at the Facebook post from Zuckerberg, there are some obvious big names that have taken notice of it. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shakira, Katie Couric, and numerous others “liked it.” Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, left a heartfelt comment on the letter to congratulate the couple’s decision.
“Mark and Priscilla: Congratulations—we’re thrilled for both of you! Raising children is a great adventure and the best thing we have ever done together. You will be fantastic parents.
“As for your decision to give back so generously, and to deepen your commitment now, the first word that comes to mind is: Wow. The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world.”
More details will be coming on the plan to give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares when Zuckerberg returns from paternity leave and Chan returns from maternity leave. Young Max was just born about a week ago, and Zuckerberg announced in November that he has taken two months of leave.
Zuckerberg knows that details are scarce right now, and that many will want to know why and how they’re planning on doing this whole “giveaway” of sorts. While not all of that information is yet known, he did say that they want to “share our deep appreciation for everyone who makes this possible.”
One has no idea if they will one day be the beneficiary of some of the donations of the Facebook guru, but only time will tell.
Mark Zuckerberg has already given the world so much with the creation of Facebook and keeping the globe as one big community. He and Dr. Priscilla Chan will have more than enough to give their daughter Max, but now they want to give the world a little bit more and it will all be for a good cause.
[Image via Getty Images – Agence France-Presse/Facebook]