Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest men in the world, he and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged to donate 99 percent of his FB stock to charity.
The couple are beginning to make good on that promise, after transferring nearly 768,000 shares, worth $95 million, to their for-profit philanthropic venture, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), reports CNN Money.
It’s unclear where Zuckerberg plans to spend these funds just yet.
CZI previously announced its first investment in Andela, a startup that trains engineers in Africa to get tech jobs, though not much else is known about the start-up.
WIRED says that we shouldn’t be praised Zuckerberg just yet. So far, this $95 million is just a small fraction of his fortune, but just by announcing these types of donations, he gains social and political influence.
“Foundations are one way to generate tax benefits from wealth, as well as social and political influence,” Santa Clara University School of Law corporate finance professor Stephen Diamond tells WIRED.
“Covering a public announcement of do-gooding, with no follow-up on how he actually allocates the millions of dollars, just burnishes his reputation,” Rob Reich, co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, adds. “Don’t call this do-gooding yet. Call for more transparency.”
Reich adds that it’s “legally incorrect” to say the proceeds from the sale of this Facebook stock is going into philanthropy… because CZI is a limited liability corporation, or LLC, not a non-profit. This means he can do “anything he wants with the money, including political advocacy work, electioneering, and investment.”
Over his lifetime, Zuckerberg and his wife plan to give away around $45 billion to CZI. “For your generation to live in a better world, there is so much more our generation can do,” Zuckerberg wrote in a letter. “Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges.”