On Tuesday, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the birth of his first child, Maxima, and pledged to donate a large chunk of his fortune to charity in her name. He said that this is to make the world a better place for this daughter and other children to live in.
The message, which was contained in a letter posted on his own page on Facebook said that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan would donate 99 percent of their shares or about $45 billion in value during their lifetime.
Addressing their baby daughter as Max, the letter said that they love her and that they feel it is their responsibility to create a better world they could leave her and all children, and wished her a life that would be full of joy, hope and love – the feelings that she gave them.
The donation, based on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, will direct or gift almost all of Zuckerberg’s shares of stock on Facebook or the shares’ after-tax proceeds from sales to support the mission to advance the potential of humans and promote equality through activities geared for the good of the public. Likewise, Zuckerberg will still continue with his majority voting position in Facebook stock in the future. The pledge will be managed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Initially the focus of their initiative will be building strong communities, connecting people, finding cure for diseases and personalized learning.
Support for other charities
The Facebook co-founder’s name had earlier been added to the list of people who had espoused Giving Pledge, dedicating to philanthropy a large part of their personal wealth. Also a Giving Pledge signer, former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg lauded Mark Zuckerberg’s decision. Other big name signers include Barry Diller of IAC/InterActiveCorp, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.
Past and future plans
In November Zuckerberg and his wife had planned to donate $20 million so that classrooms in the U.S. would have access to high-speed Internet through the Education Super Highway, a nonprofit group. Last October, Zuckerberg and his wife announced their plan to have a private school and health care initiative in East Palo Alto, a hard-up, working class town in Silicon Valley. In 2015 the Zuckerbergs donated $120 million to the schools in the San Francisco Bay area. He also helped to improve the schools in Newark, New Jersey with a $100 million donation some five years back.
Zuckerberg said that he’s going to have a two-month paternity leave and extends this policy by giving fathers working full time in Facebook offices around the world the option to have a four-month paid paternity leave starting in the New Year. This would equal the amount of maternity leave given to female employees of Facebook. Those who became new dads are currently given four weeks’ paternity leave, which is the minimum. Parents are also given a $4,000 bonus to help finance their babies’ needs.
Image credit: Facebook Notes