Every parent wants the world for their child. Few parents have the ability to give it to them.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and health and education advocate Priscilla Chan announced the birth of their first daughter in a heartfelt open letter posted Tuesday to the social network. And though it was addressed to little Max, it would soon be driving conversation across the globe. In it, Zuckerberg and Chan pledged to donate an incredible 99 percent — now valued at about $45 billion — of their Facebook shares to charitable causes.
"Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today," the philanthropic pair wrote. "While headlines often focus on what's wrong, in many ways the world is getting better... We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation."
Happily for Max, the surprise $45 billion birthday gift is sure to make a huge impact.
Zuckerberg and Chan plan to give their shares to the new Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, an LLC that, according to The Huffington Post, will allow them to organize and distribute the funds widely amongst established charitable organizations. Buzzfeed notes that some funds may be invested in impact-oriented, for-profit ventures.
"We have one of the most complex and sophisticated nonprofit sectors ever seen," Ken Berger, managing director of Algorythym, a social good data service, told HuffPost. "Partnering with others is the best approach."
The new parents' open letter delves into some of their initiative's intended focuses and their own hopes for the future. Personalized, technology-enabled learning, global Internet access, and comprehensive childhood nutrition are part of the still-loose framework. So while Max won't be old enough to "Like" her parents' post for a few more years, there's a lot to love.
"We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us," Zuckerberg and Chan wrote. "We can't wait to see what you bring to this world."
If her parents are any indication, neither can we. Congrats, Zuck, on your beautiful family.
Read the letter in full below.