KEY POINTS

  • Jack Dorsey donates $1 billion to support fight against the coronavirus
  • The money will also be used to fight for girl's education and a Universal Basic Income    
  • He said, "UBI is a great idea needing experimentation"

Jack Dorsey, the billionaire philanthropist CEO of both Twitter and financial services and mobile payment company Square, has donated $1 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

He made the donation through his Start Small, LLC charity fund. Start Small is funding COVID-19 relief, promoting girls' education and health, and fighting for a universal basic income (UBI). The money will, however, first be used in the battle against the coronavirus disease.

Dorsey said working through Start Small will allow him to divide his money among these causes while providing 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,” he pointed out.

Dorsey made this important announcement Tuesday. He said this donation will come out of his stake in Square, which he co-founded in 2009 with Jim McKelvey, rather than his Twitter shares. The donation is equivalent to 28% of Dorsey's net worth of some $3.3 billion.

Dorsey's contribution of $1 billion to coronavirus relief is the largest financial pledge by a private individual to date. Billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have each pledged only $100 million.

“I own a lot more Square,” tweeted Dorsey. “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."

“After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI,” tweeted Dorsey.

Dorsey said fighting for girls' health and education and pushing UBI “represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world.”

In a series of eight incredible tweets Tuesday, Dorsey explained why he did this and what he's fighting for. He announced donating $1 billion in a tweet: "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 ...," and he posted a link to a Start Small tracking webpage showing the current value of his donation as $997,818,354.00.

Answering his own question, "Why UBI and girl’s health and education?" Dorsey replied, "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 are critical to balance," with a link to the Project Drawdown Health and Education webpage promoting girl's education.

Jack Dorsey Twitter is still figuring out how to add an edit button. Photo: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images