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Former eBay exec makes charity donation

Jeff Skoll, the online auction company's first full-time employee, gives $2.5 million to a Silicon Valley group to help nonprofits "weather the economic downturn."

Jeff Skoll, eBay's first full-time employee, on Tuesday announced a $2.5 million donation to a Silicon Valley charity.

Skoll is donating the money to Community Foundation Silicon Valley to help nonprofit organizations "weather the economic downturn." The money is intended as a "pass-through" donation, meaning the entire amount is to be distributed in the near future, rather than as an endowment that would work over a longer period of time.

That money comes from his own Skoll Community Fund. Skoll is also contributing about $20 million in stock to that fund, bringing its assets to approximately $100 million, according to CFSV spokeswoman Michelle McGurk.

Another group--the Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation--also has donated $200,000 toward the effort to support the nonprofit groups. The pass-through fund has not yet been designated to help any particular agency, but it will be used to help nonprofits in the Silicon Valley area.

Skoll launched his namesake fund in 1999. The fund is a supporting organization of CFSV, meaning that the majority of its five directors are appointed by the larger foundation, which helps to guide its awards and donations. CFSV in June reported $583 million in assets; a portion of that is the money in the Skoll Community Fund, McGurk said.

This year, the Skoll fund has donated $25,000 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, $56,000 to the eBay Foundation to support the Ronald McDonald House, and $25,000 to the Red Cross, according to the fund's Web site. The fund also donated $10,000 to the Anti-Defamation League to sponsor an award that was later given to eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman.

Skoll, eBay's first president, left his position as senior vice president for planning and analysis earlier this year. In May, Skoll filed to sell nearly $28 million in eBay stock.