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Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg commit $300 million to safe, fair elections

ImpactAlpha, September 2 – Two impact investors sounded off in ImpactAlpha this week about the importance of securing the fairness of the November U.S. election (see, “How impact investors can help ensure racial justice includes electoral justice,” and “Impact investors have a role to play in preventing worst-case election scenarios”).

Now comes the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who committed $250 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life and $50 million to the Center for Election Innovation & Research to help the nonprofits support state and local governments struggling under the weight of the COVID crisis secure the safety of elections.

The Brennan Center has estimated that $4 billion is needed for local governments to ensure election resiliency. 

The impact of the approaching U.S. election arguably dwarfs the impact of all impact investments (see, “Impact investors confront the impact of the November election”). Chan and Zuckerberg’s big commitment reflects growing fears that a drawn-out or contested process could undermine legitimacy, roil markets and spark violence – as well as the running debate over Facebook’s role as a major distributor of information and disinformation.

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