Zuckerberg has donated to Silicon Valley Community Foundation (known as SVCF) in the past. The new gift brings his total giving to the foundation to slightly more than $1.96 billion, all of it in the form of Facebook stock. Zuckerberg and his wife made their latest donation via the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (known as CZI), their philanthropic, advocacy and impact investing entity. CZI confirmed the $214 million donation but declined to comment further.
The newly named CEO of SVCF is Nicole Taylor, who previously served as vice president of the Arizona State University Foundation, overseeing annual giving, estate and gift planning and foundation relations. She will begin her role in on December 19, according to the foundation.
While SVCF grew quietly, as of early 2018 it had more than $13.5 billion in assets under management, making it the largest community foundation in the country as measured by assets. It grew thanks to large gifts -- hundreds of millions of dollars, in some cases -- from some of the world’s wealthiest people. Forbes documented in May that at least 16 billionaires (see here for their names) have donated at least $3.8 billion to the foundation, the majority of it in the past six years.
Forbes published an investigation in May detailing Carson’s management style, the foundation’s high turnover rate and complaints about management by former employees –as well as details about donations from tech powerhouses to the foundation, including a donation of $1.75 billion in Facebook shares by Zuckerberg and gifts from the WhatsApp founders,
Most people donate to SVCF using something called a donor-advised fund, which is like a charitable bank account that holds assets until the donor wants to disperse some or all of the money to a nonprofit. Donors can deduct as much as 30% of adjusted gross income when contributing to a donor-advised fund, so they are particularly attractive in years when there’s a big tax bill – after, say, selling your company or selling shares in an IPO.
Carson, Forbes reported, was paid nearly $1 million a year, and was proud of the fact that under his watch, the foundation’s assets grew from less than $1 billion to $13.5 billion. But along the way, he oversaw an organization where harassing behavior went unchecked—and often unreported.
The law firm Boies Schiller Flexner undertook an investigation of the allegations against Carson. When the investigation was completed in June, the foundation published the summary and said in a statement that “many allegations from current and former employees were substantiated” and that “SVCF clearly failed to provide a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees.”
The foundation board’s statement also said Carson would depart his employment at SVCF, without specifying whether Carson resigned or was fired, or whether he was paid a severance or not. Carson could not be reached for comment at the time, but he issued a statement in June that praising his achievements at SVCF and skirted responsibility for the harassing behavior on his watch. The board also issued an apology in June: “The unacceptable workplace behavior that took place at SVCF as outlined in the investigative report should never have happened and there is no excuse for it. We are deeply sorry to our entire community, especially our past and present employees.”
Carson’s departure came two months after the foundation’s former number two executive, Mari Ellen Loijens, the chief business, development and brand officer, resigned after the Chronicle of Philanthropy published an article detailing allegations of Loijens’ harassing behavior.
SVCF hired international search firm
“My roots are in the Bay Area nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and I have lived in this region most of my adult life," Taylor said in a statement on Thursday. "Silicon Valley is a region of contrasts, one in which deep social challenges are often masked by the high-profile innovation culture. There is important work to be done in partnership with our donors, our community organizations and our civic and business leaders.”
Kathleen Chaykowski, Forbes Staff