Facebook CEO and his wife Priscilla donate $45 billion and start The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, surprised the entire world when he and his wife decided to honor their new baby girl, Max, in an astonishing way. A letter from Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced that the couple is planning on donating nearly $45 billion (99% of Facebook stock) to charity. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative foundation will be addressing global issues such as poverty, disease and lack of access to education all across the globe. The couple is hopeful that their giving will improve the world for the sake of their baby girl and babies all over the planet.
Zuckerberg’s charitable donation represents his dedication to a 4,000-year-old Jewish tradition called Tzedakah. Tzedakah is a Hebrew word that has a double meaning of “charity” and “justice.” It is a core Jewish value and it is just as important in the Jewish religion as study and prayer. The concept of “tithing” (which means giving 10% of your earned income), and voluntary giving, originated from the Hebrew Bible.
Zuckerberg wrote the long letter to his new baby daughter on his Facebook page. He is committed to making the entire world a better place, in order to give her and other babies a brighter future.
In his letter, Zuckerberg wrote about how the headlines are often focusing on what is wrong in the world, but that in a lot of ways, the world is improving. He mentions the improvement of health, the shrinking of poverty, the growth of knowledge and the increased connecting of people. He feels that the progression of technology in every field should mean that his daughter’s life “should be dramatically better than ours today.” He says he plans to do his part to make that happen, and not just because he loves his daughter, but because he feels he has a “moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.”
“We can’t wait to see what you [Max] bring to this world.” -Mark Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg and his wife have already started the new charity and will use it to help improve education, fight disease and build stronger communities. He also explained that the couple hopes their daughter’s generation focuses on the following 2 ideals: advancing human potential and promoting equality. Zuckerberg believes that these are essential to the progression of humanity, and the only way to do it is for everyone in the world to channel their ideas, contributions and talents toward the right goals.
Zuckerberg wants his daughter to grow up in a world that is better than ours today.
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, December 1, 2015
I want to share a few more thoughts on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative before I just start posting photos of me and Max for a while :)I hope one idea comes through: that we as a society should make investments now to ensure this world is much better for the next generation.I don't think we do enough of this right now. Sure, there are many areas where investment now will solve problems for today and also improve the world for the future. We do muster the will to solve some of those.But for the problems that will truly take decades of investment before we see any major return, we are dramatically underinvested.One example is basic science research to cure disease. Another is developing clean energy to protect the world for the future. Another is the slow and steady improvement to modernize schools. Others are systematic issues around poverty and justice. There is a long list of these opportunities.The role of philanthropy is to invest in important areas that companies and governments aren't funding — either because they may not be profitable for companies or because they are too long term for people to want to invest now.In the case of disease, basic research often needs to be funded before biotech or pharma companies can create drugs to help people. If we invest more in science, we can make faster progress towards curing disease.Our investment in the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is small compared to what the world can invest in solving these great challenges. My hope is that our work inspires more people to invest in these longer term issues. If we can do that, then we can all really make a difference together.
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, December 4, 2015