Zuckerbergs named top 2013 US philanthropists

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan
Mark Zuckerberg married his college girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, in 2012.
IMG: via Facebook

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have been named joint top US philanthropists for 2013.

The recognition for the Zuckerberg couple came after their donation of Facebook shares to a Silicon Valley foundation, a donation worth more than $970 million. The donation of 18 million Facebook shares was the largest in the US for 2013.

The donation was made to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which manages and distributes charitable funds. The funds have been distributed across several sectors, mainly in education and health. Over the past two years, Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla have donated around 36 million Facebook shares to the foundation.

The donation surpassed philanthropist who have previously held the title, including Bill and Melinda Gates, who gave their foundation slightly more than $181.3 million last year. The Gates made a pledge in 2004 of about $3.3 billion that they have continued to honor.

The Chronicle’s ranking of the 50 donors who give the most to charitable causes shows that the wealthy contributed $7.7 billion last year. That’s 4 percent more than in 2012. Now that the economy is moving, the most generous donors are back and running with multimillion-dollar contributions across America.