Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan were ranked the second biggest charitable donors in the United States, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. They donated $498.8 million to various philanthropic causes in 2012. They were bested by Warren Buffett, who took the top spot with $3.1 billion in donations last year.
Completing the top ten list of the nation’s biggest charitable donors, in order, were John and Laura Arnold ($423.4 million); Paul Allen ($309.1 million); Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki ($222.9 million); Mort Zuckerman ($200 million ); Fred Fields ($191.5 million); Carl Icahn ($150 million); Sheldon and Miriam Adelson ($143 million); and G. David Gundlach ($140 million).
Zuckerberg, whose net worth is probably somewhere around $12 billion despite a rocky start for Facebook’s stock, made his first big splash in the philanthropy space in 2010, when he pledged $100 million to public schools in Newark, NJ.
Zuckerberg, 27, and Brin, 39, contributed to a trend noted by the Chronicle – and likely spurred by the emergence of the youth-oriented tech field. Three of the year’s top five donors were under 40. The other, No. 3 on the list, was hedge-fund creator John Arnold, who is 38, and his wife, Laura.