Ever since the world was turned upside down by the current pandemic, we have seen numerous famous people step up with big donations, using their wealth to assist in relief efforts. (We have also seen the opposite, but let’s try to stay positive here.)
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively donated $1 million to relief efforts. Conor McGregor has donated over $1 million worth of protective equipment to hospitals. J.J. Watt and his Kealia donated $350,000 to a Houston food bank to provide 1 million meals. Russell Wilson and Ciara made a similar donation in the Seattle area. Angelina Jolie donated $1 million to fight child hunger.
All amazing examples of what the wealthy can do to help out the world in a crisis.
On Tuesday, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey took those tremendous charitable contributions and raised the bar even higher. MUCH higher.
Dorsey announced in a series of tweets (natch) that he will be committing $1 billion to fund several charitable and humanitarian causes, including relief efforts working to end the current pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal reports…
Mr. Dorsey said he would move around 19.8 million shares of Square to an entity called Start Small LLC, which would disburse the money. After focusing on dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak, Mr. Dorsey said, his money will go toward supporting other causes such as girls’ health and education and universal basic income.
Mr. Dorsey’s pledge is one of the largest individual financial commitments a chief executive has announced during the coronavirus pandemic and comes as many companies also have pledged funds to help deal with the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis.
The $1 billion pledge represents about 28% of Dorsey’s wealth.
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
Why is #startsmall a LLC? 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 tracking sheet.— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020
Why the transparency? It’s important to show my work so I and others can learn. I’ve discovered and funded ($40mm) many orgs with proven impact and efficiency in the past, mostly anonymously. Going forward, all grants will be public. Suggestions welcome. Drop your cash app 😉— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020
Why pull just from Square and not Twitter? Simply: 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.— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020
“Why now? 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,” Dorsey wrote.
Whether Dorsey’s incredible charity inspires others in situations similar to his remains to be seen, but many celebrities and leaders of industry were certainly impressed.
Thank you Jack! This is a spectacular commitment. 🙏— Andrew Yang🧢🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) April 7, 2020
Thank you Jack. $1 billion is a staggering amount to donate, and it will make a difference in so many people’s lives during such a difficult time.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 7, 2020
Incredible job, Jack!— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) April 7, 2020