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Young Internet entrepreneurs embrace philanthropy

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Adam Hunger/Reuters/File

(Read caption) Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, set up a charity last year with his wife, Livia, focusing on small, local projects that produce results. 'It feels like we are making an impact,' Mr. Stone says.

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When Mark Zuckerberg, the 27-year-old co-founder of Facebook, announced last year that he was giving $100-million to set up a foundation to help Newark, N.J., public schools, he became one of the highest profile examples of an increasingly common type of big donor: the Internet geek gone good.

Mr. Zuckerberg follows donors like eBay’s Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Skoll and AOL’s Steve Case down what’s becoming a well-worn path for Internet entrepreneurs.

Those entrepreneurs and company officials listed on this year’s Forbes ranking of the richest Americans – who represent Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Salesforce.com, Yahoo, and others – account for at least $1.54-billion in gifts announced to the public over their lifetimes, according to a Chronicle tally (and that’s not including Bill Gates, who has given more than $28-billion).

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