Yep, you read that right. We’re talking like Bill Gates-level philanthropy. And those numbers may very well change as the value of Facebook stock changes (hopefully, in this context, to the upside). But that’s not even the best part of it all. That letter he and his wife wrote to their daughter? Pretty much perfection, one of the high points being:
Our hopes for your generation focus on two ideas: advancing human potential and promoting equality.
Advancing human potential is about pushing the boundaries on how great a human life can be.
Can you learn and experience 100 times more than we do today?
Can our generation cure disease so you live much longer and healthier lives?
Can we connect the world so you have access to every idea, person and opportunity?
Can we harness more clean energy so you can invent things we can’t conceive of today while protecting the environment?
Can we cultivate entrepreneurship so you can build any business and solve any challenge to grow peace and prosperity?
Promoting equality is about making sure everyone has access to these opportunities — regardless of the nation, families or circumstances they are born into.
Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress.
Today we are robbed of the potential so many have to offer. The only way to achieve our full potential is to channel the talents, ideas and contributions of every person in the world.
Can our generation eliminate poverty and hunger?
Can we provide everyone with basic healthcare?
Can we build inclusive and welcoming communities?
Can we nurture peaceful and understanding relationships between people of all nations?
Can we truly empower everyone — women, children, underrepresented minorities, immigrants and the unconnected?
If our generation makes the right investments, the answer to each of these questions can be yes — and hopefully within your lifetime.
Those are some pretty admirable and important goals no matter what your faith might be. Facebook and Zuckerberg may not be without fault, but he and Priscilla got this one right.
Here’s hoping they continue to get it right. Philanthropic donations, no matter who you are, can be tricky. It’s one thing to directly fund an initiative; it’s a totally different beast when giving money to charitable organizations. Some charities spend a good deal of their donations on overhead and not their mission, while others with high overhead ratios are actually making a real impact that’s obfuscated by the numbers. Still others, despite appearing compassionate, are just outright shameful.
Want to be conscientiously philanthropic too? You may not have $45 billion to pledge this #GivingTuesday, but you can start your research here.