Mark Zuckerberg vs. Philanthropy

When Mark Zuckerberg, the golden boy, the next Bill Gates announces his first born and simultaneously drops a love note to his network (and it is his network) of a billion plus people, telling the world he is giving 99% of his Facebook shares to charity — $45 billion to start — it is bound to light up the Internet. Mentions explode across the web. Foundation executives and soccer moms alike, all sharing links like a proud Mama Bear, proud of Mark, proud of humanity.

But then it becomes clear that Mark has no plans to operate as a traditional foundation or even as a nonprofit — Oh, how the tides turn:

How Mark Zuckerberg’s Altruism Helps Himself

Zuckerberg and the Tech Gods Cannot Debug the World’s Problems

Assessing Mark Zuckerberg’s Non-Charity Charity

The Problem with Mark Zuckerberg’s Big Gift

Here’s an idea: Let’s go ahead and let Mark invest his billions however he wants. Let’s not pretend that any of us have the infrastructure or flexible capital to accomplish 1/100th of what he will for society in our lifetime.

Mark Zuckerberg setting up his charitable entity as an LLC and in the process circumventing the donation-expectant philanthropic system is not the apocalypse. But it may be bad market signaling for the nonprofit construct and its perceived effectiveness (or lack thereof).

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