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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg biggest giver in 2013

SEATTLE (AP) - Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were the most generous American philanthropists in 2013, with a donation of 18 million shares of Facebook stock, valued at more than $970 million, to a Silicon Valley nonprofit in December.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Monday that Zuckerberg's donation was the largest charitable gift on the public record in 2013 and put the young couple at the top of the magazine's annual list of 50 most generous Americans in 2013.

The top 50 contributors made donations last year totaling $7.7 billion, plus pledges of $2.9 billion.

The Chronicle's editor says the most significant fact from the list was the amount of money coming from living donors, which totaled about the same amount as the two previous years combined.

"It's a sure sign that the economy is getting better and people are getting a lot less cautious," said Stacy Palmer, Chronicle editor.

Some of the nation's biggest givers do not appear on the 2013 list, not because they stopped being generous, but because their donations in 2013 were counted as pledges in previous years.

For example, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, gave their foundation slightly more than $181.3 million last year, but they were paying off a pledge of about $3.3 billion they made in 2004. CNN-founder Ted Turner and Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett also made large gifts toward previous pledges.

It took gifts totaling at least $37.5 million to make the list this year. Forty-two of the top 50 made gifts of $50 million or more.

Thirty made big gifts to colleges and universities, but Palmer noted most college gifts went to science and research this year, not to buildings, as in previous years.

Ten of the 50 made the list because of bequests after their deaths, including the second biggest giver in 2013, George Mitchell, a Galveston, Texas, man who made his fortune in energy and real estate.

At No. 3 were Nike chairman Philip Knight and his wife, Penelope, of Portland, Ore., who made a $500 million challenge grant to Oregon Health & Science University Foundation for cancer research. The Knight pledge requires the university match it within the next two years.

No. 4 was philanthropist and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made gifts totaling $452 million in 2013 to arts, education, environment, public health and other causes.

Nineteen people or couples on the list have signed the Giving Pledge, started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. More than 120 of the world's wealthiest individuals and families have pledged to give at least half their wealth to charity since the movement began.

Although most people on the list were prominent wealthy people who have given generously in the past, Palmer said a few were surprises, including Jack MacDonald, a Seattle lawyer, who gave $139 million to three nonprofits upon his death.

Zuckerberg, Wife Named Most Charitable U.S. Donors Of 2013

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
harbourtrading February 10 2014 at 9:22 AM

I think the editor needs to wake up .. as " it is a clear sign the economy is getting better" , it is more like the gap between the poor and the rich is getting wider. More middle class familys are struggling approaching the lower income class and the rich are getting richer based on having the ability to buy and pay for what is needed to sustain their life styles. Some were established from old money and the other like Fbook owner has so much money he simply cant afford to keep it, so now in a PR efforst his top of the list donation puts him on the map for most generous

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2 replies
mcatanese harbourtrading February 10 2014 at 9:46 AM

And what did he do wrong for donating that money. Why is there always a "but" in there?

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savannahswithgod harbourtrading February 10 2014 at 9:56 AM

Any editor or anybody else including our lying ass media and gov thinking an Economy built on Greed can even survive is in for some drastic comings!

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magdaxoxox February 10 2014 at 11:28 AM

where's Donald Trump?

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1 reply
Bob magdaxoxox February 10 2014 at 2:06 PM

And Ophra ? She's a billionaire.

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1 reply
Sandy Bob February 10 2014 at 3:28 PM

Somebody will probably be angry, but I'd bet (well can't bet cuz I don't have the cash) she only donates to black charities. So they don't mention her for fear of racial upset....?

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signatiusm February 10 2014 at 8:36 AM

It is an awesome thing for the rich to give so much to so many needy causes but...
I really must agree with basebalwfl and his comment on real sacrifice. Please, rich, keep giving, but could you really consider a gift that is more than spare change? What you give is great but the needs are greater still.
God bless you and make you prosper even more...then give that away to real needs.

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1 reply
ilenedan2 signatiusm February 10 2014 at 8:50 AM

Since a number of the wealthiest people in the US have pledged to give between 90% and 99% of their wealth (The Gates, Warren Buffet, etc.) to charity before they die and are well on their way to doing so, I don't consider that spare change. Further, if you follow the news, then you know that through the Gates foundation, they have managed to eradicate many diseases in the third world through vaccination and that as a result, survival rates there continue to climb significantly despite the ravages of AIDS and lack of adequate food and shelter at times. That does not even touch on the number of children in the US who have benefitted educationally due to these foundations. It is a telling statement that a couple of very wealthy Americans could do what a number of large governments could not. Amazing what can be done when you eliminate graft and direct resources where they are needed.

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rtgarton February 10 2014 at 11:30 AM

I think a lot of people would do the same thing. I would assume it is pretty much the team of tax lawyers who tell them what they should be shelling out. People who have very little and give a lot now that is a real story.

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rudysilva February 10 2014 at 11:42 AM

By giving away stocks, they get a tax deduction for the full value of the stocks and avoid having to pay capital gains tax on the appreciation in value.

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1 reply
ilenedan2 rudysilva February 10 2014 at 12:29 PM

Capital gains is 15%, so by giving away say 200 million in stocks, they avoid paying 30 million in taxes. They are still 170 million dollars less well off. People saying they do it for the tax deduction apparently can't add.

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1 reply
Bob ilenedan2 February 10 2014 at 1:47 PM

Kinda like Zukerberg selling $2.5 billion of Facebook shares before 12-31-2013. Saved himself $95 million by not incurring the 3.8% Obamacare tax that is now due in 2014 on wealthy investments.

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DAVID February 10 2014 at 11:43 AM

yeah, i make 181 million i can be a little less cautious.

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1 reply
schlauger1 DAVID February 10 2014 at 12:07 PM

David: I will be your chauffeur/body guard for $245,000 a year. Get ahold of me. I'm reliable and only drink and ***** when off the clock.

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John February 10 2014 at 11:56 AM

Sometimes just being kind to each other is a charitable act. A smile and a sincere hello might just help someone have a better outlook. Donating or giving money is awesome if 90% isn't going to admin fees of your favorite charity. 'Do your homework before you donate.' Few charities are what they say they are. They may mean well but look for charities where there are more volunteers and less overpaid corporate types taking the lion's share. That's where you really help your fellow man. Leave the political arena out of your circle. They already get plenty from the big boys. Your $50 donation is basically for plate rental at a high roller charity event.

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schlauger1 February 10 2014 at 12:02 PM

"It's a sure sign that the economy is getting better and people are getting a lot less cautious," said Stacy Palmer, Chronicle editor."

It's a sure sign that when times get tough for the large majority of people in this country, the billionaires freak, thinking they will lose a twentieth of their vast fortunes. True, some are consistent givers, a lot pull their money to their chest and guard it like Scrooge guarded his safe. Yes, I know that some don't advertise their largesse.

Zuckerberg: Good for you, young man. I haven't accessed my Facebook in months, but I get the idea, and I'm glad people enjoy it. You're a young pioneer with genius and an apparently big heart. You live fairly simple, and have no pretensions. Your drab wardrobe could use some of your sweetie's input, though.

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ectullis February 10 2014 at 12:44 PM

What is Facebook?

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2 replies
cliffy934 ectullis February 10 2014 at 12:53 PM

Its a book with a face.

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Sandy ectullis February 10 2014 at 3:12 PM

LOL !

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Jeff February 10 2014 at 8:40 AM

Given to a silicon valley non-profit.....mmmmm I wonder who

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1 reply
savannahswithgod Jeff February 10 2014 at 10:09 AM

Probably lined up with something in China, young ones you know for our great Biz people to travel over there and enjoy that youth.

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