Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Pledges $1 Billion to Fund COVID-19 Relief

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, Inc., pledges $1 billion to Start Small, LLC in a bid to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Brad Bergan
Image formatted to fit. @jack / Twitter

CEO of Twitter and Square, Inc. Jack Dorsey has pledged an astonishing $1 billion to Start Small LLC, the entrepreneur's philanthropic vehicle, embedding a Google doc as proof of his donation to fund global relief in the fight to curb the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a tweet. Dorsey claims this represents roughly 28% of his total wealth, a proportion of total market value that starkly contrasts with other big tech donors, like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.


Jack Dorsey commits $1 billion contra COVID-19

"I'm moving $1B of my Square equity (~28% of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief. After we disarm the pandemic, the focus will shift to girl's health and education, and UBI. It will operate transparently," said Dorsey in his tweet.

UPDATE April 7, 4:12 PM EDT: Jack Dorsey expands on girl's health education and UBI, timing

Dorsey followed his initial announcement with explanations for why his COVID-19 relief fund would — after the pandemic — go to girl's (sic) education and UBI in the subsequent Twitter thread.

"Why UBI and girl's health and education? I believe they represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world. UBI is a great idea needing experimentation. Girl's health and education is critical to balance," added Dorsey.

In subsequent tweets, Dorsey defended his choice of making Start Small an LLC, saying it segments and dedicates his shares to select causes, granting more flexibility. "Grants will be made from Start Small Foundation or the LLC directly based on the beneficiary org. All transfers, sales, and grants will be made public in tracking sheet," he said.

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To Dorsey, the transparency provided by the tracking sheet (in Google doc above) allows him to show his work so he and others can learn, claiming that he's discovered and funded many organizations anonymously, but his future grants would be fully public.

Clarifying his choice to donate from Square, Inc., instead of Twitter, Dorsey said he owns a lot more of Square, and will need to "pace the sales over some time." He added that the impact of donating this money will be positive because it will directly help people in need.

Dorsey also explained that he is donating $1 billion now (as opposed to later or earlier) because the "needs are increasingly urgent," and he wants to see the effects of the commitment within his lifetime. He expressed hopes that this move would inspire others to follow his example.

"Life is too short, so let's do everything we can today to help people now," said the Square, Inc. CEO.

This is breaking news about sorely-needed funding in the worldwide fight to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, so be sure to return here for updates as the story develops.

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