Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Formation 1 December 2015 (2015-12-01)
Founders Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan
Mission "Advancing human potential and promoting equality"[1][2]

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a limited liability company founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan with an investment of "up to $1 billion in shares in each of the next three years".[2][3][4] Its creation was announced on 1 December 2015, for the birth of their daughter, Maxima Chan Zuckerberg.[2]

The aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is to "advance human potential and promote equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy".[2]


There are many previous examples of "philanthrocapitalism" in the United States, such as Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller (Rockefeller Foundation), Warren Buffett and Bill Gates (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).[5] As Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, Charles Bronfman, Carl Icahn, David Rockefeller and others, Mark Zuckerberg signed the "Giving Pledge".[6][7]


Company form and taxation

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is not a charitable trust or a private foundation but a limited liability company which can be for-profit,[8][9] spend money on lobbying,[8][10] do political donations,[8][10][11] will not have to disclose its pay to its top five executives[10] and have fewer other transparency requirements, compared to a charitable trust.[8][9][10][11] Under this legal structure, as Forbes wrote it, "Zuckerberg will still control the Facebook shares owned by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative".[10][11]

Mark Zuckerberg will not give all his shares at once and he will deduct the fair value of his gift to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative from his taxable income in each year he makes a donation.[11] The Daily Beast wrote that "If purity is the essence here, there seems no reason that the tax system should support it. Zuckerberg can afford to dabble in politics and society without massive subsidies from the rest of the country".[12]

See also


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Devon Maloney, "Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg's 99% pledge is born with strings attached", The Guardian, Wednesday 2 December 2015 (page visited on 3 December 2015).
  3. Facebook's CEO and wife to give 99 percent of shares to their new foundation, Reuters, 2 December 2015.
  4. (German) Dreimal Kölner Dom: So groß ist Zuckerbergs Milliardenspende, Der Spiegel, 2 December 2015.
  5. (French) Rinny Gremaud, "Mark Zuckerberg et les grandes déclarations (d’impôts)", Le Temps, Friday 4 December 2015 (page visited on 4 December 2015).
  6. (French) "Les milliardaires européens sont plus riches que leurs homologues américains", Le Temps, Tuesday 26 May 2015 (page visited on 5 December 2015).
  7. (French) Sébastien Dubas, "La philanthropie change de style", Le Temps, Sunday 12 July 2015 (page visited on 5 December 2015).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Jesse Eisinger, "How Mark Zuckerberg’s Altruism Helps Himself", The New York Times, 3 December 2015 (page visited on 4 December 2015).
  9. 9.0 9.1 Matthew Yglesias (2 December 2015). "Why Mark Zuckerberg's huge new donation is going to an LLC rather than a charity". Retrieved 3 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Kerry Dolan, "Mark Zuckerberg Explains Why The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Isn't A Charitable Foundation", Forbes, 4 December 2015 (page visited on 5 December 2015).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 John Cassidy, "Mark Zuckerberg and the Rise of Philanthrocapitalism", The New Yorker, 2 December 2015 (page visited on 4 December 2015).
  12. Michael Maiello, "Mark Zuckerberg’s Charity Windfall", The Daily Beast, 1 December 2015 (page visited on 4 December 2015).

External links