Philanthropy 101: Zuckerberg donates $100 million to Newark Schools

Michael Cerkas's picture

At 26 years old, when Mark Zuckerberg makes a social statement, it’s typically a BIG deal, like Facebook, being the subject of a new movie called ‘The Social Network’, or perhaps being listed 35th on Forbes wealthiest Americans (estimated net worth of $6.9 billion). If you’re counting, that’s seven spots above Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Well, the next BIG thing is Zuckerberg’s zeal for philanthropy. He plans to donate $100 million of his own money to the Newark Public School System in New Jersey. And in likewise BIG fashion, he will make the announcement this Friday as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, where Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will join him.

The Oprah Connection and Mark Zuckerberg's Announcement

It comes as no surprise that Oprah’s show was the venue chosen for the announcement. Oprah is an avid supporter of Mayor Booker, having already donated $500,000 to the Robert Treat Academy, a charter school located in Newark.

The $100 million gift to Newark will be used to start an education foundation funded by Zuckerberg. The Newark School District’s total annual operating budget is $800 million. Accordingly, this is a sizable donation. Historically, Newark’s schools rank among the lowest in New Jersey for test scores and graduation rates.

It hasn’t been identified yet how the money will be used or whether there are any specific restrictions or schedule controlling the use of the donation.

You can watch Zuckerberg demonstrate his social prowess by tuning in Friday to watch the Oprah Winfrey Show, scheduled at 4:00pm Central on CBS. For certain, he will teach us all a few things about philanthropy and giving.

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