Mum's the word on uses for Zuckerberg's $500 million foundation gift



Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO Emmett Carson is saying little at this point about the $500 million gift in Facebook stock that company CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave the foundation this week for spending on education and health. Zuckerberg, 28, made his announcement, with little specifics, that he would donate 18 million shares – where else? – but on his Facebook page on Tuesday. By Thursday morning, it had 200,000 “likes.”

Mark Zuckerberg ~ Photo by Guillaume Paumier

Mark Zuckerberg ~ Photo by Guillaume Paumier

Community foundations are charities that manage the investments of their donors and match their philanthropic interests to good causes. Those don’t have to be confined geographically; plenty of donors give to non-profits nationally and abroad or to their college or church. But Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s focus on San Mateo and Santa Clara counties is giving superintendents and charter school leaders from cities south of San Francisco to San Jose early dreams of sugar plums.  In addition,  Zuckerberg, and his wife, Priscilla, live in Palo Alto.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation, with assets of $2 billion as of a year ago, was already the second largest community foundation in the nation. This gift will grow it 25 percent.

Zuckerberg’s stock donation dwarfs his $100 million gift two years ago to a non-profit organization he started to improve  Newark, N.J., public school schools. Through matching gifts, Zuckerberg’s donation has grown to $154 million, but only  $17 million has been spent so far, according to an NBC News report. His Facebook entry may hint at how he’d like his Silicon Valley Community Foundation dollars to be spent. “I’m really proud of the work we’ve done there (Newark), helping leaders like Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Cory Booker sign the most progressive teachers contract in our country, opening four new district high schools, 11 new charter schools and more.”

Next month, I hear, there may be more details on plans for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation gift.

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5 Responses to “Mum's the word on uses for Zuckerberg's $500 million foundation gift”

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  1. EO Eastland on December 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm12/28/2012 12:52 pm

    • 000

    I have an idea for the second largest community foundation in the country.
    Walk over to East Palo Alto and talk to a respected, long time community member. Ask them to identify people who were raised there and have succeeded by modest, not Silicon Valley standards…people who have had lifelong gainful employment, raised healthy families, and are stand up citizens. Locate these successful people and asked them what contributed to their success. If they mention people, sponsor those people to do similar work. If they mention organizations, find out the elements of success of the organization and replicate them.

  2. Paul Tractenberg on December 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm12/22/2012 6:13 pm

    • 000

    Yes, thanks to four decades of litigation in the NJ Supreme Court we have a high level of funding per pupil, especially in the poor urban districts. Funding there rivals that in the wealthiest suburban districts. The educational results are uneven and incomplete, but still encouraging (despite the constant drumbeat of criticism by pro-charter and voucher types). David Kirp of UC Berkley has a book coming out in spring 2013 about one of NJ’s great educational success stories–the Union City district, which is overwhelmingly populated by poor Latino students and yet has impressive achievement and other results.

  3. CarolineSF on December 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm12/21/2012 11:54 pm

    • 000

    It’s my understanding that New Jersey already had very high school funding — and also very high achievement except for its extremely impoverished, segregated inner cities.

  4. CarolineSF on December 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm12/20/2012 5:17 pm

    • 000

    Is there any impartial evidence that Zuckerberg’s donation has led to improvement in Newark schools?

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald on December 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm12/20/2012 9:50 pm

      • 000

      I haven’t had time to check, Caroline, but it’s only two years and a fraction of his money into the effort. Interesting to note that Newark students receive $22,000 per student in funding, according to NBC News.

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