Zuckerberg ranks first on list of biggest donors to nonprofits last year

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, ranked first on a new list of the nation’s top donors to charity for 2013, based on their transfer of $1 billion worth of Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Some other tech figures who made the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of top 50 donors include these familiar names:

EBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, whose $225 million in donations earned them the rank of No. 7;

Google cofounder Sergey Brin and his wife, Anne Wojcicki, who are living apart but together ranked ninth on the list after giving $219 million to their own foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research;

Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, who ranked No. 11 for giving a total of $206 million;

and Oracle cofounder and CEO Larry Ellison, who came in at No. 26 for donating $72 million, the bulk of it to his own foundation. The Chronicle notes that Ellison has expanded the focus of his foundation from medical research, adding education, health and wildlife conservation to its goals. Ellison’s gifts include a Saratoga property that will house a new center for aiding injured wild animals.

Last year marked the second time Zuckerberg and his wife transferred 18 million shares worth of Facebook stock to the community foundation.  The first gift in 2012 was valued then at $500 million, but its value has almost doubled as Facebook’s share price has soared.

But aside from a few donations announced to date – including $5 million to an East Palo Alto medical clinic – the Chronicle noted that the foundation hasn’t said much about how the Zuckerberg funds will be used. The Facebook mogul and his wife, who is a pediatrician, have said they want to focus on education, health and children.

The Chronicle also noted that Zuckerberg’s gifts have made the foundation one of the biggest nonprofits of its kind in the country.  The foundation makes some grants to local charities and also helps advise wealthy individuals on their philanthropy.

While foundation CEO Emmett Carson has built a reputation for working closely with tech figures, the Chronicle said he’s facing criticism from some, as the foundation has expanded its focus to include funding national and international causes, rather than focusing primarily on needs in its own back yard.

(Photo of Mark Zuckerberg by Nhat Meyer/Mercury News)

 

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (322 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.