Tegan Acton is co-founder and chairwoman of Sunlight Giving Family Foundation. She possesses extensive knowledge in fundraising for nonprofit organizations as well as donor challenges that donors might face.
She graduated with a Political Science degree from UCSB based in Santa Barbara and then worked at Yahoo Inc and Sundance Institute.
Early Life and Education
Tegan Acton was born in 1975. She is married to Brian Acton and serves as co-founder and co-chair of Wildcard Giving, a family of philanthropic entities dedicated to promoting civic values and collective responsibility. Additionally, she serves as co-chair for Sunlight Giving Foundation which makes grants to various non-profits organizations.
She also acts as producer, contributing her expertise on albums for both char2d2 and Fences, and providing backing vocals on songs by Against Me! and Rachael Cantu (“Broken Songs” and “Contrails.”
Tegan’s adventures with the Doctor take their toll emotionally. In the spin-off short story Good Companions, she suffers a breakdown and believes her time with him to have been an illusion; then decides to resume life as a stewardess while bleaching her locks blonde once again.
Brian Acton is a computer engineer who co-founded WhatsApp along with Jan Koum. They sold it to Facebook in 2014. Before this they founded Yahoo together. Acton and Koum decided to take some time off in 2007 for ultimate frisbee travel throughout South America before applying for jobs with Facebook – only to be rejected as candidates for employment positions.
Acton attended UCSB (Go Gauchos!), then worked at Sundance Institute in Park City, Utah. Her nonprofit experience has taught her to understand storytelling’s power to create empathy.
Sunlight Giving and its sister entities – Acton Family Giving and Solidarity Giving – are under her management. She strives to maintain low overhead costs when selecting fund recipients; preferring organizations with no more than twelve staff. Her primary goal is advancing equity and shifting power through trust-based philanthropy.
Achievement and Honors
After graduating college, she worked for several organizations such as Yahoo and Sundance Institute before joining Action Family Giving as well as co-founding Good Gravy Films which funds films that foster empathy and promote justice.
Acton currently maintains several philanthropic vehicles that amount to more than $1 billion in charitable commitments. She founded Signal Foundation as well as another philanthropic vehicle called Wildcard Giving that focus on protecting private communication.
In September 2017, Acton parted ways with WhatsApp parent Facebook and founded a new charity known as the Signal Foundation. He donated $12 billion worth of Facebook shares, $4 billion cash, and an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to this new foundation bearing his name – something shared by his mobile messaging app co-found.
Tegan Acton is an accomplished home chef and travel enthusiast. She credits her nonprofit experience at Sundance Institute with teaching her the importance of storytelling and empathy; further drawing on this insight she gained working for Berkeley’s Habitot Children’s Museum as well as supporting fundraising for Alameda Health System Foundation.
Jan Koum and Moxie Marlinspike co-founded WhatsApp in 2009 and sold it to Facebook for $22 billion in 2014. Since then, most of this money has been given back through Wildcard Giving (founded 2021) or Sunlight Giving or Solidarity Giving philanthropy entities aimed at supporting families with low-income children aged 0-5 as well as organizations offering food security, housing stability and healthcare access.
Brian Acton reportedly has an estimated net worth of about $2.5 billion and is considered one of the leading philanthropists in America. As co-founder of WhatsApp and earner of close to $3 billion from Facebook’s acquisition in 2014, Acton’s wealth reached approximately this amount.
He studied computer science at Stanford University and previously held positions with American multinational technology company Apple and Adobe Software Company before eventually joining Yahoo as its 44th employee in 1996.
At Yahoo, he met Jan Koum and they began WhatsApp together in 2009. A few years later, it was sold to Facebook for $22 billion. Since then, he has focused his work on privacy-centric messaging apps through Signal Foundation; additionally helping create Sunlight Giving and Solidarity Giving respectively in 2014. Furthermore, his donor advised fund at Fidelity Charitable provides grants totalling $10 Million annually to organizations dedicated to civil and human rights causes.