SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / CNN) — Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey says he’s dedicating more than a quarter of his wealth to a new fund for charitable causes, with the immediate focus on coronavirus relief efforts.
Dorsey will transfer $1 billion of his equity in Square — the digital payments company he also co-founded — to a limited liability company called Start Small, he said in a series of tweets on Tuesday. Dorsey said that amount accounts for around 28% of his wealth.
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
The first of those grants from Start Small, for $100,000, will go to America’s Food Fund to provide meals to those impacted by the coronavirus, according to a Google Doc he shared for tracking all the grants.
Dorsey did not specify how much of the $1 billion commitment will be directed toward coronavirus relief as opposed to other charitable efforts after the pandemic ends.
“After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI,” he said, referring to the concept of universal basic income. “I believe they represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world.”
Dorsey’s announcement follows similar efforts by other big tech players. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates — the world’s two wealthiest people — have each pledged $100 million toward coronavirus relief.
Some of the industry’s biggest companies are also putting their immense resources behind the fight against the global pandemic.
Google last month committed $800 million — much of it in ad grants to small businesses and healthcare organizations. Facebook has adopted a similar ad credit strategy, while working with global authorities to fight misinformation on its platforms. Apple, SoftBank and Alibaba are collectively donating millions of respirator masks to healthcare workers.
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