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Facebook Founder Donates Half a Billion Dollars to Charity

In what has become his largest donation to a charitable cause to date, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has donated almost $500 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which focuses on projects in health and education.

This nonprofit foundation focuses on offering grants to serve the community in San Francisco. Zuckerberg said that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, as well as the Silicon Valley Community Foundation will work together to "look for areas in education and health to focus on."

The donation has been delivered as a gift through 18 million Facebook shares, which is valued at more than $498 million when based on the social network's closing stock price of $27.71 on December 19.

"I'm really proud of the work we've done there, helping leaders like Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Cory Booker sign the most progressive teachers contract in our country, opening four new district high schools, 11 new charter schools and more," he said. "I'm hopeful we'll be able to have as positive an impact in our next set of projects."

Back in 2010, Zuckerberg and Chan signed The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett that aims to see the richest individuals in the U.S. donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Zuckerberg's first major donation was giving $100 million in Facebook stock to public schools in Newark, New Jersey in 2010.

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