Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan has decided to donate 99 percent of their shares in the company to charity during their lives in an effort to make a happy and healthy world as they announced the birth of their daughter Maxima.
In a letter to Maxima posted on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said that “We are committed to doing our small part to help create this world for all children. We will give 99 percent of our Facebook shares — currently about USD 45 billion — during our lives to join many others in improving this world for the next generation”.
The money will go to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a company that Facebook says will “pursue its mission by funding non-profit organizations, making private investments and participating in policy debates, in each case with the goal of generating positive impact in areas of great need.”
The full amount is pledged over the course of Zuckerberg’s life, and the Facebook CEO plans to maintain his majority voting position “for the foreseeable future,” according to an SEC filing. In the immediate future, the Initiative will be funded by a series of three annual donations made from the sale of Zuckerberg’s stock, at no more than $1 billion each year. Profits made by any of the Initiative’s investment will be used for additional work to advance its goals.
The initiative’s announcement, which is written as a letter to Zuckerberg and Chan’s newborn child, focuses on two central goals: advancing human potential and promoting equality. The first goal is defined as “pushing the boundaries on how great a human life can be,” including initiatives on medicine, economic opportunity, and access to information. The second group of projects focus more on alleviating poverty and empowering traditionally underrepresented groups. “Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress,” the letter reads.