Elon Musk Quietly Gave $5.7 Billion In Tesla Stock To Undisclosed Charity In 2021

Elon Musk
Getty Images | Frederic J. Brown

No matter what you think of Elon Musk, it's hard to deny that he has a way of getting into the headlines nearly every week.

Unfortunately for him, the headlines aren't always terribly positive. However, the latest news surrounding the Tesla CEO involves a massive donation to charity.

Musk donated more than $5 billion worth of Tesla shares.

Elon Musk
Flickr | akmazona.com

He revealed the news that he'd made the big donation the previous November. The big donation came shortly after he agreed to sell of 10% of his Tesla holdings.

What charity did he donate to?

A neon question mark
Unsplash | Simone Secci

The frustrating part about this story is that nobody has any idea who Musk donated the money to. All we know is that it's an unnamed charity.

It may have to do with food equity.

A tweet from Elon Musk
twitter | @elonmusk

A month before Musk's donation, he challenged the United Nations' World Food Program to explain how it might solve world hunger. Musk said if they could explain themselves in the Twitter thread, he'd sell Tesla stock to free up money to solve world hunger.

The World Food Program answered his challenge.

A tweet from World Food Program chief David Beasley
twitter | @WFPChief

David Beasley, executive director of the UN's World Food Program, tagged Musk in a tweet, linking to a comprehensive plan to end world hunger with billionaires' help. Beasley said a donation of $6.6 billion would be enough to avoid famine in 2022.

Musk asked his followers whether he should sell.

A tweet from Elon Musk
twitter | @elonmusk

Shortly before Beasley tagged him, Musk opened a Twitter poll to ask his followers whether he should sell 10% of his stock in Tesla. More than 3.5 million people responded, with nearly 58% saying he should sell.

Musk said he'd abide by the poll results.

It may help him pay his taxes.

Tax records
Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

As the world's richest man, Musk says he has the biggest tax bill in U.S. history. Indeed, with a fortune exceeding $225 billion, he has close to $50 billion more than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Donating some of these shares would lower Musk's tax burden.

What does it all mean?

Elon Musk on SNL
Giphy | Saturday Night Live

Musk, as usual, is being coy and not responding to requests for comment. All of the noise surrounding Musk's appeal to the U.N. over world hunger may have nothing to do with the big charitable donation. Conversely, it may have everything to do with it.

We'll likely know more soon.

Piles of paperwork
Unsplash | Wesley Tingey

When you're talking about a multi-billion dollar donation to charity, you're talking about serious money. The as-yet-unknown charity will likely be known soon enough, as that's a lot of money to sit on.

For what it's worth, the WFP says it wasn't the recipient of Musk's donation, according to ABC News. "There are millions of people around the world on the brink of starvation. Whether WFP receives any of this money is yet to be seen, but I am excited to hear that Elon is engaged. This is an amazing and great first step," Beasley said in a statement.

It all amounts to a pretty good mystery, and one that can benefit a whole lot of people.

Elon Musk
Wikimedia Commons | Steve Jurvetson

What do you think? Do you have any theories as to what the undisclosed charity might be? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

h/t: ABC News