Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a limited liability company founded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan with an investment of “up to $1 billion in [Facebook] shares in each of the next three years”. Its creation was announced on 1 December 2015, for the birth of their daughter, Maxima Chan Zuckerberg.


Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg (Prague, 2013).

The aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is to “advance human potential and promote equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy”


There are many previous examples of “philanthrocapitalism” in the United States, such as Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller (Rockefeller Foundation), Warren Buffett and Bill Gates (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).As have Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, Charles Bronfman, Carl Icahn, David Rockefeller and others, Mark Zuckerberg signed the “Giving Pledge”.



The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative chose to invest $24 million in Andela for its first major initiative. Andela is a startup focused on training quality developers in Africa through their bootcamp and four-year fellowship program, during which they pair their trainees with U.S. companies needing development help. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative led the company’s Series B funding.

On September 8, 2016, education startup Byju announced raising $50 million in a round co-led by The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Sequoia Capital, along with investors Sofina, Lightspeed Ventures, and Times Internet Ltd. The funding has been raised to fuel their international expansion.


On September 21, 2016, CZI announced its new science program, Chan Zuckerberg Science, with $3 billion in investment over the next decade, with Cornelia Bargmann ofRockefeller University announced as the first president of science, to begin October 1, 2016. The goal of the program is to help cure, manage, or prevent all disease by the year 2100. $600 million of the $3 billion would be spent on Biohub, a location in San Francisco’s Mission Bay District near the University of California, San Francisco, to allow for easy interaction and collaboration between scientists at USCF, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and other universities in the area, as well as engineers and others.

Company Form and Taxation

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is not a charitable trust or a private foundation but a limited liability company which can be for-profit, spend money on lobbying, make political donations, will not have to disclose its pay to its top five executives and have fewer other transparency requirements, compared to a charitable trust. ]Under this legal structure, as Forbes wrote it, “Zuckerberg will still control the Facebook shares owned by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative”.

Mark Zuckerberg will not give all his shares at once and he will deduct the fair value of his gift to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative from his taxable income in each year he makes a donation. The Daily Beast wrote that “If purity is the essence here, there seems no reason that the tax system should support it. Zuckerberg can afford to dabble in politics and society without massive subsidies from the rest of the country”.

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