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Airbnb and Samara co-founder Joe Gebbia donates $25 million to Malala Fund

Joe Gebbia, Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai in 2016. Credit: HUMAN for Malala Fund.
Joe Gebbia, Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai in 2016. Credit: HUMAN for Malala Fund.

In continuation of Gebbia and Malala Fund’s immersive and multi-year partnership, Gebbia’s donation marks the organisation’s largest individual financial commitment to date.

Malala Fund is grateful to announce that entrepreneur, and designer Joe Gebbia has committed to donating $25 million to Malala Fund over the next five years. The robust contribution will support Malala Fund’s work to advocate for the resources and policy change needed to ensure every girl can access a quality, secondary education. 

“Girls’ education is a complex issue that calls for individuals, companies, and collectives across every industry and expertise to help solve,” said Malala Yousafzai, Co-founder and Board Chair of Malala Fund. “To have a creative leader like Joe Gebbia dedicate serious energy and resources to tackling the barriers keeping millions out of school gives me hope that progress in this lifetime is possible. When girls are free to thrive, we all will.”

The impactful charitable donation serves as a continuation of Gebbia’s long-established engagement with education and gender equality. In 2016, after accompanying Malala on a visit to meet with refugee girls in Kenya and Rwanda, Gebbia facilitated a multi-year partnership between Malala Fund and Airbnb. With support from Airbnb, Malala Fund redesigned its brand and invested in local organisations that help refugee girls go to school in Lebanon and Turkey. Gebbia also works with Malala Fund as an engaged member of its Leadership Council to unlock new solutions to girls’ education, provide feedback on the organisation’s strategic direction, and impact the futures of thousands of girls each year.

“When I met Malala seven years ago, I was struck by her conviction  to serve those without a voice” shared Gebbia. “It’s 2022 – every girl deserves the right to an education, yet millions are denied that right. Malala Fund is at the forefront of fixing this outdated issue.”

Improving access to quality education remains a strong priority for Gebbia, who also serves on the Board of Trustees for his higher education alma mater, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Via personal donation Gebbia similarly launched an endowed scholarship for prospective RISD students, an endowment for the arts and athletic programmes at his alma mater, Brookwood High School, and recently gifted shares of Airbnb to each of Brookwood’s Class of 2022 students to further their dreams.

In addition to supporting Malala Fund, Gebbia holds board seats at Airbnb,, Tesla, and the Refugee Olympic Foundation, and is a member of the leadership and advisory councils for Tent Partnership for Refugees and UNHCR. 

For additional media inquiries, please contact McKinley Tretler at and Stephanie Jones at


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