Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife rank 1st as the most generous philanthropists for 2013 in US

February 10
11:15 AM 2014

The Associated Press reported that the most generous American philanthropists last year were Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Citing a report from the Chronicle of Philanthropy, AP reported that a total of 18 million shares of Facebook stock was donated by Zuckerberg to a nonprofit in Silicon Valley. The shares had a value of over $970 million, the report said.

According to the Chronicle, the donation made by the young couple is the biggest charitable gift publicly recorded last year, ranking them Number 1 in the magazine's yearly list of the most generous Americans.  The 50 most generous Americans donated a total of $7.7 billion last year and pledged $2.9 billion, the report said.

Chronicle Editor Stacy Palmer said that it was important to note that the gifts coming from living donors had the same total as those made in the past two years combined. She said, "It's a sure sign that the economy is getting better and people are getting a lot less cautious."

According to the report, some of the largest givers in the nation were not included in the list not because they did not anymore give but because what they gave last year were looked upon as pledges in prior years.

One example was Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and his wife Melinda. Last year, they gave their foundation a little over $181.3 million but this was counted as a payment of a $3.3 billion pledge they made in 2004. Ted Turner and Warren Buffet also gave substantial donations which counted towards previous pledges, the report said.

To make it to the list, the donors must have made gifts of at least $37.5 million in total. At least $50 million was given by 42 of the top 50 donors. Thirty of the donors gave gifts to education institutions but according to Palmer, majority of the college gifts were for science and research. In previous years, it was given for buildings, the report said. 

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