Over the past two years, Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have donated approximately $1.5 billion in Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Fund, including last year’s single largest donation to any organization, an estimated $992 million. Now, they are beginning to distribute those funds to community non-profits.
One of the first of what is sure to be many grants from the fund that Chan and Zuckerberg co-direct was made last week, with a $5 million gift to help build a new clinic for the Ravenswood Family Health Center. The clinic serves more than 11,000 patients a year, mostly from low-income communities in the Bay Area, and has outgrown its current location. According to Luisa Buada, CEO of the health center, the gift will help the clinic double its capacity, and offer additional services such as mammography, optometry and podiatry.
"Investing in our local community is really important for me and Priscilla, and we're proud to support the Ravenswood Family Health Center. Providing high quality health care for everyone is important for building a strong community,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. "I have seen great need for high quality, comprehensive health care and also the positive impact care can make on the entire family,” said Chan, who is a pediatrician.
In addition to health services, Zuckerberg and Chan also appear to be quite intestested in supporting education, and particularly early childhood education, even talking to the local school disctict and the Gates Foundation to develop partnerships addressing issues like improving schools' internet connectivity. Needless to say, there’s a good chance we’ll start seeing more grants in these areas coming out of this fund soon.