The news has broken out that Mark Zuckerberg will be giving away 99 percent of his shares (currently that is $45 billion today) in his lifetime. In order to successfully do this there are seven things that the Zuckerbergs need to do.
The first step is making that commitment, which I would presume is the reason for the public announcement. So we could say that point has been passed. Identifying the quantity is important and the timeline by when they want to have achieved this is also an important part of the commitment.
As much as giving away 99% of one’s worth is important, this can only be achieved if the Zuckerberg create a level of accountability to themselves or to someone. At 31 years of age this is a big decision to give away your fortune but Bill and Melinda Gates has shown that it can be done gradually.
3. Passion Projects
An important aspect is ensuring that the money is going to a passion project (s). It is therefore imperative to identify the different places the money will go. Already the Zuckerbergs have identified the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as a recipient which is a good start. The money that is to be given away is a lot and must be given to projects which will make sense to the giver.
4. Keep it fresh
In order to keep giving money over one’s life then the shares must still be worth something, in other words Facebook must continue to exist and be worthwhile to be an important consideration for those who will buy the shares. So the Zuckerbergs must ensure that Facebook remains a success and does not suddenly end over the course of their lives.
5. Account for the Money
There is always that danger that money given away can be easily abused by the recipients or by the people who are supposed to administer the funds. When the money is distributed the Zuckerbergs must therefore ensure that the administrative process is a success and that it achieves what it is intended to.
6. Making a Difference
This point is a bit similar to point 5 however the Zuckerbergs must ensure that the money truly makes a difference and that the difference is measurably. It must have tangible and intangible results. The worst that can happen is if money is used for activities which may turn out not to really promote the advancement of humans but rather may lead to their demise. So in the words of the Spiderman’s uncle, “With a lot of power comes a lot of responsibility”
7. Be Involved
Nothing beats a walk through when reviewing a process and how it works. The Zuckerbergs must visit the majority of the places that they give money away. This will help to give them comfort as well as to ensure that they understand what it is they are contributing to. It is very important and if it means creating an audit team they must do this however they must have a firsthand experience of what is being done.