Zuckerberg Donates Half-Billion Dollars to Charity

The Palo Alto resident is making good on his Giving Pledge, unloading a sizable chunk of his personal assets.

Palo Alto residents Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg made this a very Merry Christmas for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

They donated 18 million shares of Facebook stock to the non-profit. When the market closed Tuesday, shares were worth $27.71—making the value of the gift nearly $499 million.

"We are thrilled to be able to partner with Mark and Priscilla on this extraordinary gift," said Emmett D. Carson, chief executive officer of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation on his Facebook page. "This is a great inspiration for the next generation of philanthropists."

Zuckerberg made the announcement on his Facebook page:

Today, in order to lay the foundation for new projects, we've made a contribution of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Together, we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next. I'm hopeful we'll be able to have as positive an impact in our next set of projects.

This gift is part of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by wealthy Americans to donate the majority of their money to charity. Zuckerberg first donated to the Newark, NJ school system for work on education reform.

The SVCF helps individuals and corporations set up charitable funds whether local, national or international areas. According to their factsheet, the foundation manages $2 billion in assets.

In all of 2011 the foundation received $470 million—this one gift surpasses that total by nearly $30 million.

What do you think of Zuckerberg's donation? What charity would you create with that kind of money? Tell us in comments!


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