It's easy to be cynical in this business when you see millions and even billions of dollars exchanging hands, and Mark Zuckerberg
has certainly received his fair share of criticism. In the grand scheme of things, is Facebook
really worth over $60 billion, as its market capitalization suggests? Probably not, but let's not overlook the fact that charities benefit from these massive companies as well.
is a big philanthropist, and despite what you may think of him from the way he was portrayed in The Social Network, so is Mr. Zuckerberg. There's no punchline, but there is respect for Mark and his wife Priscilla, who just donated 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a public benefit organization that provides grants for various local needs.
Their charitable donation is worth almost half a billion dollars. Here's the post as it appears on the Mr. Zuckerberg's Facebook Timeline:
Two years ago, Priscilla and I signed The Giving Pledge, committing to donate the majority of the money we earn to charity.
Our first major project has been around education reform with Startup: Education in Newark, NJ. I'm really proud of the work we've done there, helping leaders like Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Cory Booker sign the most progressive teachers contract in our country, opening four new district high schools, 11 new charter schools and more.
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 ranks as Mr. Zuckerberg's largest donation to date, and his second big donation since joining The Giving Pledge, a philanthropic campaign spearheaded by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates that encourages the world's wealthiest people to donate their riches to charity.