Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan’s new daughter, Max, was born a week ago and in a really long open letter to her that he posted on Facebook today, he announced that they will slowly give 99% of their Facebook shares to charity over the course of their lives. I guess at Harvard they don’t teach you that one-week old babies can’t read letters!
But seriously, you don’t have to worry about Mark and Priscilla pulling out cans from public trash cans to pay their electric bill, because their Facebook shares are currently worth $45 billion. You know you’re a crazy stupid kind of rich when you can give away most of your fortune and still be a crazy stupid kind of rich.
Mark and Priscilla will manage the money through a newly formed organization called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. I guess it’s going to be like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Here’s a piece of their letter:
As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.
We’ll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you’ll have many questions about why and how we’re doing this.
The New York Times says that they will start by giving no more than $1 billion to their organization every year for the next 3 years.
If I was baby Max, I’d take one look at that letter and say, “Too long, didn’t read. Am I still filthy rich or what?!”
And you probably just heard what sounded like several bags of silicone hitting the floor. Oh, that was just the Kardashians passing out over the thought of giving 99% of their fortune to charity.