Mark Zuckerberg Donates 99 Percent Of Facebook Fortune

The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, made a surprising announcement in a post on Facebook. Titled “A Letter to Our Daughter,” Zuckerberg’s post states that he and his wife will be donating 99 percent of their Facebook shares to the cause of human advancement. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s donation will go to Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the donation will be made during the course of their lives. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be operated as a LLC that will manage the money.

“As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

“We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.”

According to Verge, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will focus on two goals, promoting equality and advancing human potential. The goals will include initiatives on medicine, economic opportunity, access to information, alleviating poverty, and empowering traditionally underrepresented groups. The goals and initiatives to be carried out by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative actually fit into a few charitable projects that Zuckerberg and Chan are currently participating in. In 2014, on the verge of the Ebola outbreak, Zuckerberg and Chan made a pledge of $25 million to fight the spread of the Ebola virus, aiming to prevent any larger public health crisis.

Operating the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as a limited liability company will open more opportunities than just making philanthropic grants. As an LLC they will be able invest in companies, lobby for legislation, and seek to influence public policy debates — by law, these options would not be available if the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was operated as a non-profit. The company intends to gain profits from its investments — those profits would then be reinvested into the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for future projects.

In the immediate future, Facebook states that Zuckerberg plans to sell or gift no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years to the Initiative. Zuckerberg also intends to retain his majority voting position in the company’s stock for the foreseeable future.

Zuckerberg and Chan with Max Zuckerberg and Chan welcomes their daughter Max [Image by Facebook]Zuckerberg has stated that Bill Gates is one of his childhood heroes, as he admires his drive in building Microsoft and being a cornerstone of the technology industry. Zuckerberg has always been an admirer of the philanthropic efforts of Bill Gates. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is similar to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, launched in 2000. Just shy of the Zuckerberg pledge of $45 billion, the Gates Foundation currently has an endowment of $44 billion. Bill and Melinda Gates were happy to comment after Zuckerberg made his announcement.

“The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world. We can be confident of this: Max and every child born today will grow up in a world that is better than the one we know now. As you say, ‘Seeds planted now will grow.’ Your work will bear fruit for many decades to come.”

Zuckerberg and Chan’s main aim is to create a greater future for their daughter, Max, and her entire generation to grow and live in.

Zuckerberg has always invested in bettering society. The aims and goals of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiatives is the step in the right direction to give the world a brighter future and will be made possible because of Facebook.

[Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images]