We complain too often about young people and rich folks showing very little genuine concern for the world around them. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, prove that you can have money, youth and a heart for pursuing global good. The couple plans to share $120 million of their personal wealth with the San Francisco Bay public school system.
Last year, the Facebook founder and Chan, pledged $1.1 billion (not a typo) of their Facebook stock to the nonprofit Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The newly-pledged $120 million will be given over a five-year time period. The first portion of the money, $5 million, will be go to the San Francisco, Ravenswood and Redwood City School Districts. Though the allocations will be based upon the schools’ greatest needs – and under the advisement of administrators and community leaders – the focus for the first contribution will be classroom tech, principal training and transitional services for students moving from 8th to 9th grade.
Zuckerberg, who receives an annual salary of $1 (but owns $27 billion in Facebook stock), was reported in the 2013 Forbes List as the 21st richest person in the world. Zuckerberg and Chan’s $1.1 billion donation to the Silicon Valley Foundation was 2013’s largest charitable gift and followed a $500 million donation to the same foundation the previous year.
There are many motivations that go into our decision to “do good” in the world. Whether the end result goes to plan or not (Zuckerberg’s $100 million to Newark, NJ schools is still criticized by some in that community), it is refreshing to see individuals shift their focus to the greater global good. I’m sure their latest gift will get a lot of highly-coveted Facebook likes.