Twitter's Jack Dorsey donates $1 billion to fund coronavirus research

Jack Dorsey

In times of crisis, billionaires are often criticized for failing to help out. But when it comes to fighting coronavirus, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is digging deep and offering up more than a quarter of his personal wealth.

In all, Dorsey is donating $1 billion to help fund global COVID-19 relief. The philanthropic venture sees the Twitter chief executive moving $1 billion worth of shares in his payments company Square into a charitable fund, called Start Small LLC.

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Dorsey made the announcement -- of course -- on Twitter, saying that the money represented around 28 percent of his personal wealth. He stressed that everything about the LLC would be transparent, even going as far as setting up a spreadsheet on Google Docs to enable anyone to track the flow of money.

The first contribution made by Start Small is a $100,000 payment to America's Food Fund in order to help fund meals to people impacted by COVID. Dorsey says that once coronavirus is under control, Start Small will shift its focus to girls' health and education, as well as universal basic income which he says, "represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world".

Pre-emptively explaining why he'd chosen to pull money from Square rather than Twitter, Dorsey says:

I own a lot more Square. And I'll need to pace the sales over some time. The impact this money will have should benefit both companies over the long-term because it's helping the people we want to serve.

In further tweets he explained the reason for setting up the LLC and why transparency is so important:

In another tweet, Dorsey asks, "why now?", answering, "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".

Image credit: JStone / Shutterstock

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