March 4, 2013

Mark Zuckerberg’s $500 million donation to the Silicon Valley in December also gave hope to community foundations nationwide.

gift of money

The Facebook founder and his wife Priscilla Chan donated 18 million shares of Facebook stock (valued at nearly $500 million) to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit that works with philanthropists to manage their donations.

Zuckerberg signed The Giving Pledge begun by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, committing to give the majority of his wealth to charity. Zuckerberg’s wealth in 2012 was estimated at $12 billion.

With this spirit of giving spreading among the world’s wealthiest, both community and other charitable organizations might want to maintain connections with wealthy philanthropists with ties to your area.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers the following tips for community foundations to consider to bring charitable dollars to their area.

  • Don’t ignore donors who aren’t native to the area. They may still be interested in local giving.
  • Try to forge relationships with wealthy people who have moved away but still have local family or other connections.
  • Make an effort to get baby boomers and younger people involved in volunteering.
  • Design those volunteer projects to make the most of their skills.
  • Encourage older donors to get their younger family members involved in philanthropy.
  • Estimate how much wealth the region will have in the future. Share the data with older supporters and open a discussion about making a planned gift.

This article was originally posted on March 4, 2013 and the information may no longer be current. For questions, please contact GRF CPAs & Advisors at