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Now This Is Sharing: Zuckerberg Among The Most Generous Tech Luminaries

by Adriana Lee | February 13, 2013February 13, 2013 2:00 pm PST


The movers and shakers of the technology industry have an enormous capacity for changing society at large. Their innovations are sometimes grandiose, sometimes full of fail, but are always forward-thinking to reinvent the way we do things everyday.

But when it comes to changing the world, these aren’t the only areas influenced by these tech moguls. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy and its “Philanthropy 50” roundup, three out of the top five most generous donors came from technology’s ranks.

In addition to list-topper Warren Buffett and hedge-fund creator John Arnold and his wife Laura, the others in the top five are as follows:

Google co-founder Sergey Brin and wife Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of genetic-testing company 23andME, placed fifth for kicking over $223 million to their Brin Wojcicki Foundation. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen landed in fourth place, thanks to his $309 million in charitable donations, most of which were for the Allen Institute for Brain Science. And number two, but the most generous tech luminary on the list was (drum roll, please)…

…Mark Zuckerberg and new wife Priscilla Chan. Together they donated roughly a half-billion dollars in 2012 to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Zuck’s IPO may not have been a smashing success, but he’s not exactly hurting for money — he’s reportedly worth about $12 billion — and clearly able to spread the wealth around. In 2010, he pledged $100 million in charitable donations to public schools in Newark, NJ. This time around, the Zucks gave $498.8 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which provides grants to a variety of charitable organizations, including those that teach English to immigrants, offer food and shelter to the needy, and provide funds for California wildfire victims.

The technology founders may be quite a force in the business world, but they’re also major stars in the philanthropy world. These three — two of which are under 40 — gave over a billion dollars to help others. Now that’s a tech trend we can stand behind.

Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...