In the past month, Facebook has been in headlines for the revelation that it sold some of its users’ data to the firm Cambridge Analytica. In order to defend its reputation, Facebook pledged to do a better job of protecting user privacy, and the company’s CEO even agreed to testify before Congress. But before he was in hot water for his company’s policies, the Silicon Valley billionaire’s donations to charity and the founding of his own organization set him apart. So where does Mark Zuckerberg donate his money?
Following the birth of his eldest daughter, Max, in 2015, Zuckerberg promised to give 99 percent of his Facebook earnings in order to “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.” With his wife, Priscilla Chan, he started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, an organization that aims to create education reform, biomedical advancements, immigration reform, and housing affordability, among other things.
So far, Zuckerberg has pledged to donate billions of dollars through the initiative. In 2016, he and Chan committed to giving $3 billion over the course of 10 years to work toward eradicating disease. The Facebook founder’s charity has also invested $24 million in a start-up that trains African developers and $50 million in a video learning app created in India.
However, the creation of the initiative did spark some backlash. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was created as an LLC rather than a nonprofit, meaning that the organization is not subjected to the same spending restrictions that nonprofits are. Zuckerberg reassured his critics that he had not founded the organization to give his own family a tax break.
With a net worth of $69.5 billion even after the Cambridge Analytica breach, Zuckerberg is one of the richest people in the world, so, even though his organization is not a nonprofit, we’re glad to see him using his wealth to invest in making the world a better place.