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Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have announced they will give away 99% of their Facebook shares to good causes as they welcomed the birth of their daughter Max.

The new father made the announcement in a letter to daughter Max on his Facebook page.

Mark Zuckerberg said they are donating their fortune to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative because they want to make the world a better place for Max to grow up in.

The donation amounts to $45 billion at Facebook’s current value.

However, the shares will not be donated to charity immediately, but over the course of the couple’s lives.

Max Zuckerberg was born last week, although her birth was only made public on December 1.

Photo Facebook

Photo Facebook

In his letter, the Facebook founder said the aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is “to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation”.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

“Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future,” Mark Zuckerberg said at the start of his letter to Max.

“You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in,” it added.

The letter highlighted the important role of technology in achieving the couple’s goals of advancing human potential and equality.

“Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the internet,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote to his daughter.

The Facebook CEO said more details about the donation will be released once he and Priscilla Chan return from paternity and maternity leave.

Mark Zuckerberg, who Forbes estimate is worth some $46.8 billion, said he will remain chief executive of Facebook for “many, many years to come”.

In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook said that Mark Zuckerberg “plans to sell or gift no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years and that he intends to retain his majority voting position…for the foreseeable future”.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have welcomed baby girl Max.

Max Zuckerberg was born last week, although her birth was only made public on December 1.

Mark Zuckerberg has made the announcement in a Facebook post, accompanied by a Facebook Notes letter to the new little lady in his life.

In the letter, Mark Zuckerberg writes that he and Priscilla Chan will donate 99% of their Facebook shares – currently about $45 billion – over the course of their lives “to join many others in improving this world for the next generation”.

Photo Facebook

Photo Facebook

The new parents have also launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which has the broad mission of “advancing human potential” but will focus specifically on personalizing learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building strong communities.

In the letter, Mark Zuckerberg also laid out his vision for the world he hopes Max will inherit, a world in which Facebook plays an increasingly central role.

The letter covers Mark Zuckerberg’s passion for giving the world access to the Internet and the investments he and Priscilla Chan have made in education, and it paints a rosy view of a world that has felt utterly grim:

“While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today. We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.”