Facebook’s Zuckerberg Gives $1 Billion to Charity

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As Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) share price soared almost 100% last year, so did the net worth of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. A portion of that wealth went to charity. As a matter of fact, he was the largest charitable giver in the United States last year, donating just shy of $1 billion. Many of the other largest givers were also from the tech industry.

Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan donated $992.2 million to various causes. They ranked 12th on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “Philanthropy 50″ for 2013 — a list of the top 50 givers. The organization reported that “America’s biggest donors gave $7.7-billion to nonprofits in 2013.”

The largest beneficiary of Zuckerberg’s generosity was the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Next on the list is the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. Mitchell, an oil billionaire, died in May of last year. His foundation received $750 million upon his death. The foundation concentrates on projects in Texas, many of which work in the clear energy business.

The founder of Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) and his wife control the Phil and Penelope Knight Foundation. It donated $500 million to charities. The beneficiary of his wealth was the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation, and its cancer research projects. The university that runs the foundation must raise another $500 million within two years to match Knight’s gift.

Fourth on the list was Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City. He made his wealth through financial terminal business Bloomberg. He gave $452 million to charity. The donations were spread broadly. According the The Chronicle, beneficiaries included “Arts, education, environment, and public-health groups, and programs aimed at improving city governments around the world.”

Fifth on the list was hedge fund manager John Arnold, who founded Centaurus Energy, and his wife Laura. Their donations totaled $296.2 million. Their foundation “supports programs to improve the reliability of scientific research, K-12 public education, the criminal-justice system, and public-policy practices.”

The top 10 were rounded out by Franklin Resources chief Charles Johnson, who gave $250 million. He ran the huge Franklin Templeton Investments mutual fund company. Next were eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) founder Pierre Omidyar and wife Pam, who gave $225 million. Much of this went to help develop technology for sick children. Next, Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) founder gave $221.1 million to the The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute at Cornell NYC Tech. The institute focuses on creating science and engineering degrees at the institute. Ninth on the list was Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) founder Sergey Brin and wife Anne Wojcicki, who gave $219 million. Much of this went to the Brin Wojcicki Foundation. They have also given money to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The tenth largest giver on the list was the Jeffrey Carlton Charitable Foundation. The foundation supports the fund raising operation at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among others.

Also on the list were Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), who gave $206 million, Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) who gave $150.4 million, Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL) chief Larry Ellison, who gave $72.2 million, and financier Sandy Weill, who gave $118.1 billion.

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