Despite America’s ongoing economic pressures, it appears that the country’s rich have thrown caution to wind somewhat this past year and parted with more philanthropic donations than they did in 2012. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the top 50 donors contributed a combined total of $7.7bn in 2013, a four percent gain on last year’s lesser sum.
Heading the pack was Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, whose donations exceeded the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett
Heading the pack was Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, whose donations exceeded the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, along with various others who have featured high on up the list for some time now. The California couple donated 18 million Facebook shares worth in excess of $970m to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), an organisation charged with identifying philanthropic solutions in the surrounding area.
The donations have boosted the organisation’s credentials by quite some margin, so much so that it has come to rank amongst the US’s largest foundations. The SVCF’s financial report reveals that the organisation gave more to charities than any other community foundation in the country.
The SVCF is primarily concerned with offering advice and guidance to leaders in the region on how it is they can engage with philanthropic causes and emerging challenges. The organisation’s end goal is to build and energise a community of philanthropists who can together works towards a common good. “From initial vision to implementation, we help Silicon Valley’s most innovative and globally-recognised companies achieve their unique philanthropic goals,” according to the SVCF’s website.
Zuckerberg’s contribution to the SVCF is indicative of the growing pains that have befallen the area in recent years as a result of the tech boom. As numerous tech companies have come to call Silicon Valley their home, rents have skyrocketed and long-time residents have been displaced, in effect pushing some to the brink of poverty.
The Facebook founder’s donations are indicative of a wider trend in the region, this being that many are choosing to contribute a great deal more to those who have been disadvantaged as a result of their being there.