Lessons from Sheryl Sandberg’s plans to donate her SurveyMonkey shares


Sandberg’s late husband, Dave Goldberg, was the CEO of SurveyMonkey.

SurveyMonkey’s prospectus lists Sandberg’s ownership of the company through a revocable trust as 10.3 million shares, or 8.4 percent of the company after the offering.

Sandberg’s charitable plans are part of her plans to participate in the Giving Pledge, whereby some of the world’s wealthiest individuals, including Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, have agreed to give most of their wealth to charity.

Sandberg has previously donated Facebook shares to charity through a donor-advised fund, according to public filings.

The SurveyMonkey donation is in keeping with the spirit of what Sandberg has written and shared following her husband’s death, said Charlie Douglas, an estate-planning expert who runs a family office.

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That includes the one-line prayer a childhood friend shared with Sandberg in the wake of Goldberg’s death: “Let me not die while I am still alive.”

“There’s a joy in giving during life that you’re obviously not going to experience if you wait to give it away when you die,” Douglas said.

The strategy that Sandberg is using is one that all investors can learn from, according to experts in charitable giving.

“Giving appreciated investments to charity is a very, very smart strategy,” said Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable.

But there are a few things to think about before you take a cue from Sandberg.

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