On Tuesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he was putting up $1 billion dollars of his own money to fight COVID-19. According to Dorsey, the funds will come from his equity in Square, financial services and mobile payment company. The sum makes up 28% of Dorsey’s fortune.
The money will initially go into Dorsey’s limited liability firm Start Small. The company will then make grants to beneficiary organizations tracked on a publicly-available Google document. As Twitter CEO stated, after coronavirus is over, the fund will focus on health and education for girls and ‘universal basic income’ efforts.
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: https://t.co/hVkUczDQmz
— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020
Further, Dorsey wrote:
“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.”
He also added:
“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.”
Common Efforts to Fight Coronavirus
Jack Dorsey is not the first public person to donate money for COVID-19 relief efforts. For example, earlier, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his philanthropic organization the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spend billions of dollars on possible vaccines. In particular, Gates invests in numerous researches and testings.
Bill Gates said:
“The ultimate solution, the only thing that really lets us go back completely to normal and feel good about sitting in a stadium with lots of other people, is to create a vaccine. And not just take care of country, but take that vaccine out to the global population so that we have vast immunity and this thing, no matter what, isn’t going to spread in large numbers.”
Another technologist to make similar efforts is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is ‘wholly focused’ on coronavirus. Recently, he has donated $100 million to U.S. food banks. Moreover, Amazon provided over 250,000 critical supplies like linens, towels, canned goods to patients in quarantine or recovering from the virus across Seattle. Above all, the retailing giant is working directly with the World Health Organization (WHO) in different activities to fight COVID-19.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his spouse committed $25 million through their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to the ‘COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.’ This is a global effort to speed up the development of treatments for coronavirus.
Tech companies do not stay on sidelines as well. For example, Apple doubled its donation to China to fight the pandemic to over 50 million yuan ($7 million). Moreover, the company started producing face masks for medical workers.