Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has pledged $1 billion—28% of his net worth—in Square equity to support relief efforts for COVID-19.
Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006 and later founded Square, the payments company. He tweeted on Tuesday that he would donate to charitable fund Start Small to fund “global COVID-19 relief.”
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
Dorsey, 43, says all of the gift’s donations will be tracked transparently on a public Google Sheet. So far, $100,000 has gone to America’s Food Fund, an organization co-founded by Laurene Powell Jobs and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The $1 billion is about one-quarter of the billionaire’s fortune and the single largest donation made by a private citizen toward finding a cure for the virus to date. He said the donation comprises around “28% of my wealth.”
Dorsey’s donation came shortly after a call from London-based medical research non-profit the Wellcome Trust urging big business to make significant financial contributions toward the development of diagnostic tests, therapies, and vaccines to end the pandemic.
Director of the Wellcome Trust, Jeremy Farrar, said in the Tuesday announcement that investment toward scientific research is “the only exit strategy” to save millions of lives, protect and rebuild the economy and put an end to the outbreak.
While governments around the world have done well to quickly implement short-term strategies to positive results, according to Farrar and the Wellcome Trust, vaccination and treatment are the only viable long-term solutions.
Farrar appealed to the worlds’ top CEOs, explaining that financially backing the trust’s Covid-Zero fund “is the best investment your business can make today.”
Dorsey’s enormous contribution toward COVID-19 research shows that he too agrees that the development of vaccinations and treatments is the only way out.
A billionaire making a move like this inspires hope in all the people feeling powerless in the face of a global pandemic.
“I hope this inspires others to do something similar,” Dorsey said of the donation. “Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”
Start Small will continue to operate even after the coronavirus is contained. The organization will focus on girls’ health and education, and research into the implementation of universal basic income (UBI).
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: https://t.co/dC3dU6hvxB— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020
Dorsey followed up his tweet with, “UBI is a great idea needing experimentation. Girls’ health and education is critical to balance.”
Thanks to Dorsey, the future is starting to feel bright again.