For The Sake Of Charity: Co-Founders Of Facebook Giving Most Of Their Fortune Away

January 4, 2015  |  

After toiling away to make a new company a success, many entrepreneurs would want to hang on to as much of the fortune they amounted as possible. But that was not the thinking of Cari Tuna and her future husband, Dustin Moskovitz, a Facebook co-founder, in 2010, when they both were in their mid-20s. They decided they would give away most of their multibillion-dollar fortune to charity.

In 2010, Tuna and Moskovitz became the youngest couple ever to sign on to the Giving Pledge, the campaign started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to encourage the world’s billionaires to commit to giving away most of their wealth, reports The Chicago Tribune.

The pair believed that most of the money Moskovitz had made, which was estimated at $8.1 billion according to Forbes, should be returned to society in their lifetimes. But first they had to figure out how and where to give it away.

“The conventional wisdom is to say, ‘What am I passionate about?’ and go for something in that area,” Tuna said. “That can be a great way to do things, but at the same time, I think that by just going with that, you’re leaving a lot of opportunity for impact on the table.”

Tuna and Moskovitz, now 29 and 30, respectively, spent three years researching what to do with the money. Finally, after hundreds of interviews and trips that took them from Washington think tanks such as the Brookings Institution to health clinics in Myanmar and villages in Kenya, they have honed in on four major “buckets”: U.S. policy, global catastrophic risks, international aid and science. And in early 2015, they will announce their first major gifts.

“I came to this work without a really fixed worldview as most philanthropists do that are coming to this after highly successful careers in other fields,” said Tuna, who serves as president of Good Ventures, the couple’s foundation. “I have a blank slate, and I’m trying to use that as an advantage.”

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