Shalom Life | August 30, 2014

Mr. & Mrs. Zuckerberg are 2013's Most Generous Philanthropists

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan make history by being the youngest couple to make the largest charitable donation of the year, contributing 18 million shares of Facebook stock (valued at $990 million) to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 2nd, 2014 in Business » World

Mr. & Mrs. Zuckerberg are 2013's Most Generous Philanthropists

Looks like the recession is finally over.

2014 seems poised to be a wonderful year for charities, particularly in the States, if the year that just ended is any indication.

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, charitable donations were ample in 2013, with American business owners and philanthropists donating over $3.4 billion to charity.

The Chronicle also notes that, where in 2012, 11 gifts of $100 million or more were made, in 2013, 15 such publicly announced gifts were made. Looking at all gifts of a $1 million or more, the Chronicle reports that, whereas those gifts came to a total of $6.1 billion in 2012, they came to a whopping $9.6 billion in 2013.

The largest donation of the year came from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who donated 18 million shares of Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

It is worth noting that Zuckerberg was also the highest-paid CEO of 2013.

The Zuckerbergs made history with this donation, reports the Chronicle, as it is the first time the largest charitable gift of the year was made by a couple under the age of 30.

Currently, 18 million shares of Facebook stock is worth approximately $990 million. Much of the shares have thus far been donated to American universities and colleges.

It seems like 2013 was a good year for Zuck, who otherwise spent the year being rejected by Evan Spiegel (though, given the fact that Snapchat was recently hacked into, that might just work out in his favour) palling around with Paul Ryan, and campaigning to see the entire world online with his project Internet.org.

Co-founder and chairman of Nike Inc. - anyone else rocking those sweet Megatron kicks? - Philip Knight and his wife Penelope made the second largest charitable donation of the year with a gift of $500 million to the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation for cancer research.

The third generous gift of the year was from former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who vowed $350 million to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Bloomberg also recently pledged $1 million to help strengthen business relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

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