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Facebook Founder Makes $45 Billion Charity Pledge

2 December 2015 at 11:35 am
Xavier Smerdon
The CEO and founder of social networking giant Facebook has vowed to give away 99 per cent of his stake in the company to charity.

Xavier Smerdon | 2 December 2015 at 11:35 am


Facebook Founder Makes $45 Billion Charity Pledge
2 December 2015 at 11:35 am

The CEO and founder of social networking giant Facebook has vowed to give away 99 per cent of his stake in the company to charity.

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr Priscilla Chan, welcomed the birth of their daughter Max by making the $45 billion ($A61.4 billion) pledge.

Zuckerberg, who became a billionaire at the age of 23, said in a lengthy Facebook post written to his daughter, that he wanted to create a better world for her.

“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 said.

“Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.

“While headlines often focus on what's wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.

“We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.”

In making his pledge, which is one of the largest charitable donations in history, the 27-year-old said he did not want to wait until he was older to start making a difference.

“I will continue to serve as Facebook's CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work,” he said.

“We will give 99 per cent 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.

“We'll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you'll have many questions about why and how we're doing this.”

While Zuckerberg was unclear about which charities his donation would go to, he and his wife also launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which they said would focus on “advancing human potential and promoting equality”.

In 2010 Zuckerberg signed Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, promising to give away at least 50 per cent of his wealth before his death.


A few weeks before Max’s birth, Priscilla and Mark took a morning to reflect and record their hopes for their daughter and all children of her generation.

Posted by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative on Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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