The announcement dwarfs Mark Zuckerberg’s $30 million pledge and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ $100 million donation to food banks.
Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, has announced that he will be donating USD $1 billion to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, accounting for around 28% of his total wealth. The money will be made available from $1 billion of equity in his company Square to be transferred to an LLC called Start Small.
His announcement came via a six-tweet thread overnight, with the CEO stating that “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,” linking to a Google doc that actively tracks the flow of funds.
The google document shows that the first donation of $100,000 was made to America’s food, a food bank helping to fund meals for individuals impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
Typically, LLCs, or limited liability companies draw criticism for their lack of transparency as to what’s being done with funds, but with the linking of the google document, Dorsey will show the public exactly how the $1 billion is being distributed. “Why is #startsmall a LLC?” he tweeted. “This segments and dedicates my shares to these causes, and provides 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 [the] tracking sheet.”
“Why now?” the Twitter CEO wrote. “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.”
“Why the transparency? It’s important to show my work so I and others can learn. I’ve discovered and funded ($40m) many orgs with proven impact and efficiency in the past, mostly anonymously. Going forward, all grants will be public. Suggestions welcome.”
Dorsey also tweeted: “Why UBI and girl’s health education? I believe they represent the best long-term solution to the existential problems facing the world. UBI is a great idea needing experimentation. Girl’s health and education is critical to balance.”
Dorsey’s peers like Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos and Apple’s Tim Cook have pledged $30 million, $100 million and medical equipment respectively.