Jack Dorsey founded Twitter, perhaps the most impactful of all the social media giants, in 2006 when he was 30 years old. He followed it up by developing Square, a banking company facilitating e-payments via smart phone. Seven years later, only hours after Twitter went public, Dorsey became a billionaire. Now in 2020, his net worth is estimated around $5.5 billion.
On Tuesday, April 7th, Dorsey announced that he would be donating $1 billion to COVID-19 response and relief efforts. He’s going to liquidate that amount by selling his shares of Square stock over the next year or so via his newly founded foundation, Start Small. The foundation, which is currently an LLC for the purpose of selling off those shares at a rate planned to impact their value as little as possible, will transparently distribute the funds to relief efforts around the world.
“After we disarm this pandemic,” tweeted Dorsey, “the focus will shift to girl’s [sic] health and education, and UBI.” He continued that it would operate with complete transparency, all finances tracked in a publicly available google worksheet.
Dorsey may keep a lower profile than his counterpart social media icon, Mark Zuckerburg, but he’s been a large name in philanthropy from his start. In the last few years alone, he’s funded the needs of 600 Missouri public schools, donated a third of a million to the massive reforestation project #TeamTrees, and gave back 10% of his stock in Square to distribute among his employees. He’s also made multiple donations to Democratic party candidates, including Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard.
This $1 billion donation is the largest private donation to any global cause in over two decades, since CNN founder Ted Turner pledged $1 billion to help create the United Nations Foundation in 1997. It represents between a third and a fifth of his full fortune, depending on how you work out his net worth.
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