Mark Zuckerberg announces generous donation of shares

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan recently wowed fans and the entire media world with the announcement that they plan make an overwhelmingly generous donation of 99% of their shares in the company to charitable causes. This announcement came at the same time as they announced the birth of their daughter Max. Perhaps rather fittingly, Zuckerburg, revealed his plans in a letter to his new daughter on his own Facebook page.

He stated that he and his wife were donating their fortune to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to make the world a better environment for their daughter to grow up. The total donation amounts to $45bn, based on Facebook's current value. The shares will not be donated to the charity in one chunk, but will be given over the course of the couple's lives.

Due to his success, even if Mr Zuckerberg was to give away 99% of his shares in one go, he would still have hundreds of millions of dollars.

In his letter Mark Zuckerberg said the aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is "to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation". Its initial areas of focus will be personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commision, Facebook said that Mr Zuckerberg "plans to sell or gift no more than $1bn of Facebook stock each year for the next three years and that he intends to retain his majority voting position...for the foreseeable future."

Zuckerberg has already become known as one of the world's most generous philanthropists, having donated millions to a range of charitable causes. This has included $100 million to boost the struggling Newark Public Schools system in New Jersey and signing the "Giving Pledge" alongside such figures as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, to donate at least 50% of his wealth to charity over the course of his life.

What a wonderful example to the rest of the world's successful entrepreneurs.

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