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A Gift for the Future

Posted on: December 4th, 2015 by Bri DeRosa

moneyFacebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg captured headlines this week with an open letter to his newborn daughter, in which he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, pledged 99% of their Facebook shares to be used for charitable purposes. The shares, which are currently worth an estimated $45 billion, will be managed and disbursed to various causes through a new organization, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Read more about their pledge here, then discuss this surprising act of philanthropy with your family.

  • Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan said they were motivated to make this large donation by the birth of their daughter Max: “Having this child has made us think about all of the things that should be improved in the world for her whole generation.” In what ways do you think the world might be better for your generation than it was for your parents, grandparents or long-ago ancestors? How would you want to improve the world for your children or grandchildren?
  • If you were able to change the world in only one way in your lifetime, what would you do?
  • Imagine you were hired to run the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and could decide how to spend the money. Would you spend it all on solving one key issue, or would you spread it around? How would you decide where the money should go?
  • Do you think it always requires large amounts of money to make change in the world? Are there ways you can make a positive impact that don’t cost anything?
  • Part of the money managed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be used to fund businesses and to influence political action and policy decisions. How do you feel about certain individuals or organizations using their money to influence politicians? What do you think are the pros and cons?
  • Ultimately, newborn Max inspired her parents to give a very large and generous gift to the world. Are there people who have inspired you to want to give back? Who?