Financial News

  • 11 February 2014, 15:45

Facebook's Zuckerberg Donates $1bn To Charity

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg gave almost $1bn (£609m) to charity last year, making him the largest donor on the US public record for 2013.

Mr Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated 18 million Facebook shares, valued at more than $970m (£591m).

The shares were given to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which specialises in the investment and management of charitable funds.

The donation was revealed by The Chronicle of Philanthropy magazine, which publishes an annual list of the 50 most generous Americans.

The magazine reported that the top 50 donors made contributions in 2013 worth $7.7bn (£4.7bn), plus further pledges of $2.9bn (£1.7bn).

Some of the nation's biggest givers do not appear on the 2013 list, as their donations for the year were listed as pledges in previous years.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda gave their foundation slightly more than $181.3m (£101.4m) last year.

They were also paying off a pledge of about $3.3bn (£2bn), which was made in 2004.

CNN-founder Ted Turner and Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett also made large gifts toward previous pledges.

The magazine's editor, Stacy Palmer, said the most significant fact about this year's list was the amount of money coming from living donors.

Donations from living contributors totalled about the same amount as the two previous years combined.

"It's a sure sign that the economy is getting better and people are getting a lot less cautious," Ms Palmer said.

Most donors on the list were prominent people who have given generously in the past.

But Ms Palmer said some donors were a surprise, including Seattle lawyer Jack MacDonald, who gave $139m (£85m) to three non-profit organisations upon his death.

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