Fact Check

Charitable Misgivings

Published Sept. 23, 2015


FACT CHECK:   Did Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donate $992.2 million to Planned Parenthood?

Claim:   Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated $992.2 million to Planned Parenthood.


WHAT'S TRUE: In 2012 Mark Zuckerberg donated 18 million Facebook shares to an organization that works with various community groups, including Planned Parenthood.

WHAT'S FALSE: Mark Zuckerberg donated $992.2 million in cash to Planned Parenthood itself.

Example:   [Collected via email, September 2015]

Is this true? Mark Zuckerberg Donated $992.2 Million to Planned Parenthood?

Origins:   On 22 September 2015, the web site Kveller published an article with a clickbait title misleadingly suggesting that Mark Zuckerberg had just donated $992.2 Million to Planned Parenthood.

While the body of the article explained that Zuckerberg had actually donated to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the article's title left many with the impression that the founder of Facebook had recently donated close to $1 billion to Planned Parenthood itself.

The truth is that back at the end of 2012, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated 18 million Facebook shares (worth about $500 million at the time) to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF):

Two years ago, Priscilla and I signed The Giving Pledge, committing to donate the majority of the money we earn to charity.

Our first major project has been around education reform with Startup: Education in Newark, NJ. I'm really proud of the work we've done there, helping leaders like Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Cory Booker sign the most progressive teachers contract in our country, opening four new district high schools, 11 new charter schools and more.

Today, in order to lay the foundation for new projects, we've made a contribution of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Together, we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next. I'm hopeful we'll be able to have as positive an impact in our next set of projects.

SVCF works with dozens of nonprofit, civic, government and philanthropic organizations in order to better the community. While SCVF has given grants to various Planned Parenthood organizations that totalled about $200,000 in 2014, that amount was a very small portion of the $474 million total of grants disbursed by the organization last year:

Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a comprehensive center of philanthropy. With visionary leadership, strategic grantmaking, and world-class expertise, we partner with donors to strengthen the common good locally and throughout the world.

Community leadership requires collaboration, and we partner with other foundations, corporations, nonprofits, donors and government agencies on cross-sector solutions that multiply our reach and impact. Our credibility and determination to objectively identify solutions for overall benefit gives us the unique ability to link diverse groups, with different agendas, together in a common effort. Our leadership has led to significant progress on difficult issues such as education reform, the child welfare system, economic security, social equity and environmental awareness.

Last updated:   23 September 2015

Originally published:   23 September 2015

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.