Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has pledged $1 billion of his stake in Square Inc. to coronavirus relief efforts. According to Bloomberg, this is the largest donation to coronavirus relief yet.
Dorsey announced his donation yesterday afternoon in a series of posts to his Twitter account.
He explained that he was moving $1 billion of his equity in Square Inc to Start Small, a limited liability company he set up to manage the funds he is dedicating to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Square Inc. is a financial service and mobile payment company that Dorsey co-founded with Jim McKelvey in 2009.
Dorsey promised in his Twitter statement that Start Small LLC would operate transparently. He posted a link to a Google Docs spreadsheet where he posts details of his foundation’s funds flow.
The spreadsheet shows that he donated $100,000 to America’s Food Fund on April 2. He donated through America’s Food Fund’s GoFundME page.
America’s Food Fund was launched by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs to raise funds for organizations working to provide meals for people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Dorsey explained in his series of tweets that after the coronavirus pandemic has ended, Start Small will shift attention to girls’ health and education and UBI (Universal Basic Income)
“I’m moving $1B of my Square equity (~28% of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief. After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI.”
I’m moving $1B of my Square equity (~28% of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief. After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI. It will operate transparently, all flows tracked here: https://t.co/hVkUczDQmz
— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020
He went on to say that he decided to donate so much because of the urgency of the situation.
He said he wanted the effort to make an impact during his lifetime and expressed hope that it would inspire others.
“I hope this inspires others to do something similar. Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”
Why now? The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime. I hope this inspires others to do something similar. Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now. ✌🏼
— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020
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Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately COVID-19 is amplifying that stress significantly. Non-profit food banks and food pantries rely in large part on surplus food from a range of food businesses. For example, many restaurants donate excess food. But during this time of social distancing, restaurants are closed, and many other normal channels of excess food have also shut down. To make matters worse, as supply is dwindling, demand for food bank services is going up. Today, I want to support those on the front lines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food with a $100 million gift to @FeedingAmerica. Feeding America will quickly distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, getting food to those countless families who need it. Feeding America is the largest non-profit focused on food security. Millions of Americans are turning to food banks during this time. If you want to help, the link to Feeding America is in my bio. They’d be excited and grateful for donations of any size.
Dorsey explained that $1 billion was approximately 28 percent of his wealth
Jack Dorsey explained in the tweet announcing his decision to donate $1 billion of his wealth to coronavirus relief that the amount represented approximately 28 percent of his wealth.
The revelation that such a huge amount was only 28 percent of Dorsey’s wealth came as a surprise to some.
Based on Forbes’ previous estimate of Jack Dorsey’s net worth at $3.4 billion (as of writing, Forbes real-time estimate was $3.5 billion), Dorsey was right that $1 billion is approximately 28 percent of his wealth or net worth.
Back in January 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic, Forbes estimated Dorsey’s net worth at $4.4 billion. This means his wealth took a hit after the coronavirus pandemic started and stock markets crashed.
Forbes reported that Dorsey’s net worth before Trump’s presidency was about $1.3 billion. Due, at least partly, to the sustained bull run of the stock market after President Trump came to office, Dorsey’s net worth rose to $4.4 billion by January 2020.