Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg claims crown as America’s most generous philanthropist

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his partner, Priscilla Chan, have topped a list of billionaire philanthropists, with the couple donating $US992.2-million to charity during 2013.

The figures saw the big-hearted 29-year-old social media king top the US Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy 50 list for 2013.

Zuckerberg’s favourite cause was the Silicon Valley Community Foundation of Mountain View, California, which was the recipient of 18 million Facebook shares with a market value of around $992.2 million.

On its website, the SVCF describes itself as “a comprehensive center of philanthropy. Through visionary leadership, strategic grantmaking and world-class experiences, we partner with donors to strengthen the common good locally and throughout the world”.

The SVCF donation comes on top of the $US100 million Zuckerberg pledged to Startup: Education in 2010, a charity dedicated to improving public schools in Newark, New Jersey.

The donation saw Zuckerberg eclipse other high-profile US philanthropists, including a $US750 million bequest from the late Texan oil tycoon George Mitchell, and a relatively paltry $US452 million donation from New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Zuckerberg’s generosity also saw him overshadow Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his partner Anne Wojcicki, who appear ninth on the list.

Aside from $187 million to their Brin Wojcicki Foundation, which helps to finance projects by social entrepreneurs, the couple donated $32 million last year to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

The list counts funds pledged during a given year, meaning that donations from fellow tech philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates’ donations don’t count towards their 2013 total, as the funds were pledged in previous years.

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