Nonprofit organizations in Silicon Valley are gearing up to persuade Facebook, the Valley-based social networking giant that went public on Friday, to share some of its newly raised billions, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.
While Facebook and its executives have supported charitable causes in the past, it remains to be seen whether the company will have a formal giving program like other technology businesses in the region. Facebook spokesman Tucker Bounds told the Chronicle that the company has committed $500,000 to the Facebook Local Community Fund, which will support charities near its new headquarters in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. However, because of IPO rules, he was unable to provide details about any additional efforts.
In anticipation of the company's public offering, some charities in the region checked their networks, both on- and offline, for connections to Facebook employees. But others are worried that because many newly wealthy Facebook employees hail from other parts of the country, they will be less interested in giving to local nonprofits.
Still, a number of nonprofits in the region are looking forward to working with the company, which — from its recent $25,000 donation to Heart of San Mateo County to its founders' pledges to give at least half their wealth to charity — has shown signs of being more philanthropically minded than some of its technology peers.
"They've hosted fundraising drives for us," said Tami Cardenas, director of development at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. "We would love to grow the relationship with them."