Jack Dorsey donates $1bn of Square equity towards coronavirus fight

'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'

Coronavirus in numbers

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, says he is making $1bn of equity in his company Square available to help in the fight against Covid-19.

In a Twitter thread on Tuesday, Mr Dorsey pledged 28 per cent of his estimated net worth to the pandemic recovery and relief efforts. Once the threat has been "disarmed", the fund would focus on universal basic income and girls' health and education.

The 43-year-old's 19,833,400 shares in Square, at a $50.31 value, were transferred into the LLC Start Small.

According to a public tracking document shared by Mr Dorsey, the first donation of $100,000 was made on 2 April to America's Food Fund to "fund meals to people impacted by Covid".

His pledge is the largest single individual donation to coronavirus relief efforts. He said he was acting now because the needs were 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," Mr Dorsey said.

Following the pandemic, remaining funds will go towards universal basic income and girls' health and education. Mr Dorsey said they represented the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world.

While unviversal basic income needed experimentation and girls' health and education were critical to balance, Mr Dorsey said suggestions were welcome for organisations with a proven impact and efficiency. All grants would be made public in a Google Doc shared in the thread.

He said he only pulled from Square and not Twitter as he owned more equity in the former, and that he would 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 said.

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