Unless you live under a rock (or are just someone who doesn’t send Facebook), you will have heard that Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of the social media platform decided along with his wife, Dr Priscilla Chan, to give 99% of their Facebook shares to charity to celebrate the birth of their first-born child, daughter Max. They announced this outstanding feat of philanthropy through an open letter to their baby girl.
This move is simply ingenious on so many levels to me:
- With 99% of the shares valued today at $45bn, one per cent will still buy a lot of nappies. A whole lot. Whilst a very altruistic move, the change left from this decision will not see the Chan-Zuckerberg family living from hand to mouth.
- The shares are not cashed in. This means that no one person or group can come together to oust Zucky from his position as Prime Deliverer of Aproko. He still remains one of the most powerful men in the world and can still control his business.
- The shares strategy is also powerful in that it is sustained giving. Cash money – even $45 billion – is finite. You spend one cent and you’re at $44 billion and change. After the money has been spent, any other philanthropic urge the couple might have would require that they start holding charity balls and other such nonsense in order to raise the money. This right here is money that just keeps on giving.
- Think about it: can marketing get more brilliant: if you leave Facebook, you’re leaving goodwill, good causes, philanthropy and kindness. I mean…why don’t you just kukuma sign up to Satanism while you’re at it??
- Finally, every NGO or charitable organisation knows that the best way to raise funds is to take it from payments people would happily part with. 10 pence taken from expenditure I was going to make anyway makes me more motivated to make that payment as opposed to requesting for money for a sponsored walk or whatever.
In giving to the Earth, Mark Zuckerberg showed the strategic thinking and commercial nous that makes him exactly what he is today – one of the richest men on Earth.
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