$45 Billion Zuckerberg-Chan Pledge Has Charities Excited — and Wary

Leaders at grant-seeking charities say they are excited to see what Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his spouse have in mind for the $45 billion they pledged to doing good in the world — and wary of the broader impact it may have on philanthropy.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Chronicle of Philanthropy
December 4, 2015

Tags: Funding: Private/Foundation

Organizations mentioned/involved: Bay Area Legal Aid (San Francisco), Legal Aid Society of Cleveland


That attitude is welcomed by some executives at grant-seeking organizations.

“This is the world of disruption, and it is disruptive to have such a big gift come in a nontraditional manner,” said Alex Gulotta, executive director of Bay Area Legal Aid in San Francisco. “I just think that this gives us huge new opportunities that maybe the current structure doesn’t support very well.”


And many charities leaders pointed out that there are still a lot of unknowns.

Melanie Shakarian, director of development and communications at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, said there are some in the nonprofit sector who worry the LLC model could become the Super PAC of the philanthropy world.

“However, we must remember that philanthropy has grown in the United States over time because of creative tactics of many smart people who came before us,” she said in an email.