Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Pricilla Chan vowed to donate 99% of their Facebook shares during their lifetime to charitable projects that will be managed by a new organization. At current value, that means Zuckerberg and Chan are pledging $45 billion to improve the future of Max’s generation – Max was born about a week ago.

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“We will give 99% of our Facebook shares – currently about $45 billion – during our lives to advance this mission,” the couple wrote in a letter to Max on Facebook. “We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.”

The high-profile couple created a new organization called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that will manage the money. Rather than establishing it as a nonprofit organization, the couple created a limited liability corporate structure, an “unusual” move, according to The New York Times.

Using a limited liability company instead of a nonprofit, the Zuckerbergs will have more freedom when it comes to managing the donated money, the Times explains. They’ll be able to invest in other companies, lobby for legislation and seek to influence public policy debates. Nonprofits can’t pursue such activities under current tax laws. The Zuckerbergs said via a spokesperson that any profits from investments made by the new organization would be channeled into future projects.

In a securities filing, Facebook said that Zuckerberg plans to sell or gift no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years. The Facebook founder and CEO plans to retain his voting majority for the foreseeable future.

The newly announced initiative isn’t the Zuckerbergs’ first experience with charitable work. In 2010, they donated $100 million to improve public schools in Newark. In May, a private school start-up in San Francisco received $100 million from a group of investors including a donor-advised fund financed by the Zuckerberg family. In November, the couple donated $20 to the EducationSuperhighway startup. Zuckerberg and Chan also donated $75 million to San Francisco General Hospital, which was renamed in their honor.

Earlier this week, Zuckerberg joined Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a project that aims to contribute toward a multibillion-dollar clean energy fund.

The Zuckerbergs’ letter to Max is available at the source link.

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