Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is apparently in the Christmas spirit. A few hours ago, he announced the he was donating a hefty amount to a local charity. That donation is coming in the form of Facebook stock – a boatload of it.
“Today, in order to lay the foundation for new projects, we’ve made a contribution of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Together, we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to have as positive an impact in our next set of projects,” said the Facebook CEO in a post on Facebook.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a philanthropic trust organization, who says that they “provide visionary community leadership by identifying emerging challenges in our region; address those challenges through our grantmaking programs, our research and our ability to bring together diverse groups of problem-solvers; and build and energize a community of philanthropists who strengthen the common good.”
His gift of 18 million shares of Facebook stock is just shy of $499 million considering Facebook’s current share price of $27.71.
“Two years ago, Priscilla and I signed The Giving Pledge, committing to donate the majority of the money we earn to charity. Our first major project has been around education reform with Startup: Education in Newark, NJ. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done there, helping leaders like Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Cory Booker sign the most progressive teachers contract in our country, opening four new district high schools, 11 new charter schools and more,” said Zuckerberg.
The Giving Pledge is a campaign to make sure the richest people in the U.S. give “most of their wealth” to charitable causes. It is spearheaded by Warren Buffet and Bill & Melinda Gates.