Most of the richest Americans know how to give back. Those include Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. The couple topped the list of The Chronicle Philanthropy’s ’50 Most Generous Donors of 2013.’
In the same list, it was noticeable that the Zuckerbergs bypassed all their charitable counterparts when they donated close to $1 billion in the past year. So where did their donations go? The bulk, or $992.2 million, of the amount went to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. It was donated through 18 million shares (of stock) in Facebook. It was apparently the same amount the couple donated in 2012.
As of press time, Zuckerberg is yet to disclose what specific programs the foundation would support. However, there are reports that the philanthropy would focus on children. It should also be noted that Priscilla is in profession a pediatrician, indicating her natural interest in children’s welfare.
Bill Gates’ recognition
No other than Microsoft Corp founder and fellow philanthropist Bill Gates gave a generous acknowledgement to the Zuckerberg’s charitable causes. During a recent conversation with technology press people, Bill cited Zuckerberg when he talked about philanthropists getting into the deed earlier in their lives.
Bill also used the Zuckerbergs as an example of businessmen who balance business and charity. He said he has been impressed by the Facebook founder’s decision to give back earlier than he (Bill) did.
Other tech icons
Interestingly, the Zuckerbergs were joined by other tech mavens in the list of generous charitable donors in 2013. At the ninth spot on the list was Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, together with his estranged wife Anne Wojcicki, who herself founded 23andMe. They donated a total of $219 million; about $187 million of the amount was directed to the Brin Wojcicki Foundation and the remaining $32 million was siphoned to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen was pinned at the No. 11 spot in the same list. He donated $206 million to his Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which is known for supporting the arts and culture, education, and social service endeavors specifically in the Pacific Northwest. About $6 million of his donations went to the EMP Museum in Seattle, which he helped create 14 years ago in recognition of rock music, pop culture, as well as science fiction.