Dear, Max


Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan look happy with their new-born daughter, Max.

Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge, on December 1, 2015, to donate 99 percent of his Facebook shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has aroused some controversy from critics.

According to Brian Mastroianni, from CBS News, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, claimed they set up the initiative with the mission to “advance human potential and promote equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy.”

The controversy came from the initiative’s status as a limited liability company (LLC)  rather than a nonprofit. Critics believe that Zuckerberg is donating to the foundation for a tax benefit, stating that the donation is bit overly simplistic to be characterized as a downright act of charity.

However, Zuckerberg claimed that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was structured as an LLC rather than a traditional foundation. This assisted their mission by funding non-profit organizations, making private investments and participating in policy debates. The pledge, made in a letter to their newborn daughter Max, emphasized that the aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is “to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.”

“Our education work has been funded through a non-profit organization, Startup:Education. The recently announced Breakthrough Energy Coalition will make private investments in clean energy, and we also fund public government efforts, like the CDC Ebola response and San Francisco General Hospital,” Zuckerberg said in an interview, days after announcing the pledge.

There is a special reason behind Zuckerberg’s decision to make a large donation to charity. Zuckerberg has referred to Bill Gates as one of his childhood heroes, who is currently leaving a legacy in the technology industry. Zuckerberg has also expressed that he admires Gates’ charitable achievements, including the foundation of Giving Pledge, an initiative started by Gates and Warren E. Buffett to urge wealthy individuals to give away more than half of their wealth to charities during their lifetime or after.