Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and chief executive of Twitter announced on Tuesday on the social media platform that he’s set aside $1 billion of his personal wealth (an amount that comprises as much as 28% of his worth) to a new COVID-19 relief fund. Dorsey, who is also the CEO of the fin-tech app Square, announced that he would be selling $1 billion of his equity in the company to put toward a new relief program called Start Small.
Dorsey said in a series of tweets on Tuesday that the new Start Small LLC would mainly go toward helping people recover once the pandemic has passed. The company will, according to Jack Dorsey, operate transparently by tracking its progress through an entirely public document on Google Sheets. Anyone can access the spreadsheet which breaks down the new LLC’s valuation and where the money is dispersed to after donations are processed.
The donation represents roughly 28% of Dorsey’s personal wealth.
Right now, the new company holds around $1 billion in valuation after Dorsey’s transfer of Square shares is completed. The first donation disclosed on the document reveals that the Start Small LLC donated $100,000 to America’s Food Fund, a service that will donate meals to families that have lost income during the global economic shutdown.
Dorsey also revealed in the series of tweets that the money will eventually go toward universal basic income (UBI) efforts to Americans. UBI, one of the biggest facets of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s platform, has been up for discussion on a global scale recently after countries like Spain have considered moving toward a permanent UBI in the wake of the pandemic. Yang praised Dorsey’s decision through Twitter, calling his decision a “spectacular commitment.”
The decision to donate through stock in Square is simple, as Dorsey also confirmed in the thread of tweets. Dorsey’s equity in the fintech app represents a greater portion of his wealth than on Twitter. Plus the fact that stock in Square is worth more than on Twitter, especially while Twitter is currently undergoing some investor controversy. Meanwhile, shares in the company are likely to go up with Start Small’s ownership having increased. The company will be able to liquidate as it sees fit, redistributing the wealth when it wants to make a donation to one of the organizations that are set to receive help from the fund.
Akin to UBI, Dorsey feels that education for young girls is also paramount to our growth once the pandemic is over. The public can track all transactions involved with the company through a public tracking sheet, which is available here.