Elsewhere online
December 07, 2015

Opinion: Zuckerberg-Chan 'Charity' Plan Is Really a Business Strategy

In a Guardian op-ed, Linsey McGoey, a sociology professor and critic of modern mega-philanthropy, argues that  announced plans by the Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares should be viewed as business rebranded as philanthropy.

"We shouldn't be dazzled by the appearance of novelty," she writes, arguing that the couple's creation of a limited-liability company follows the rise of new investment vehicles that offer more flexibility for for-profit grant making while requiring less transparency than traditional nonprofit structures.

The author argues that there is evidence that other such "philanthrocapitalist" tools, like microfinance and impact investing, tend to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor.