Searching for Mark Zuckerberg

As the new Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer at City Park, I am searching for Mark Zuckerberg!

I’ve searched the stables, City Putt, the new Wacky Shack, and even the Greenhouse but he is nowhere to be found. Why would we like to find Mr. Zuckerberg you may ask, because he and his wife are very generous individuals and we want to share with them all the wonderful things we are doing here at City Park. So if you see them wandering around New Orleans this spring please bring them to City Park and show them your favorite part of the park (and give them my number!)

In December Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $500 MILLION to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. This gift makes them the most generous American philanthropists in 2013 and comes after Zuckerberg pledged $100 million to Startup:Education in 2010 to improve Newark schools. Mr. Zuckerberg has committed to giving away half of his wealth as part of The Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge, conceived by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, is overseen by the Gates Foundation. As of September, 92 of the world’s wealthiest individuals have made the commitment to give away at least half their fortunes while they are alive or after they die (link).

A widely-held perception is that corporations and foundations are the biggest sources to tap for grants and donations. The reality is that four out of five, or 79%, of philanthropic dollars are contributed by individuals and bequests. That rises to 88% if you include family foundation giving. Corporations and foundations are easier to target. Their contributions of 6% and 15%, respectively was 21 percent of the total philanthropic dollars in 2012. Individuals are more of a challenge to reach and solicit, but are by far the largest philanthropic resource. Fundraising strategies for parks must consider all sources and how best to connect park needs with all potential donor sources and their motivations for giving (link).

For these reasons, City Park has chosen to focus on Major Gifts and Planned Giving as an integral part of our development program. The Park wants to provide our donors with the support and attention they need in order to fulfill their wishes for the Park. Though we would love to find our own Mark Zuckerberg, the Park is supported by thousands of individual donors that together have a tremendous impact on the Park.

Without you, New Orleans would not have a world class park.

If you have questions concerning making a gift to City Park or planting your roots by placing the Park in your will please contact me at or call me at 504-483-9407.

Geneva Longlois-Marney

Major Gifts and Planned Giving

Zuckerberg photo