Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken holiday giving to another level. On Tuesday, the 28-year-old technology titan announced that he had given 18 million Facebook shares -- or $498.78 million worth at yesterday's closing price -- to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. More than 191,000 Facebook users had "liked" his announcement by 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
According to its website, the foundation "advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems" and has championed causes ranging from education reform to social equity to environmental awareness.
This is not Zuckerberg's first act of philanthropy. Two years ago he committed to The Giving Pledge, a movement spearheaded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to get the country's wealthiest people "to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy." In 2010, Zuckerberg gave $100 million to launch the nonprofit Startup: Education, with the goal of improving Newark, N.J.'s public schools.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday announcing his most recent charitable contribution, the young billionaire also reflected on the progress Startup: Education has made. He said he was "really proud of the work we've done there," lauding what he called "the most progressive teachers contract in our country."