• Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced via a Twitter thread on Tuesday that he’s preparing to give away almost 30% of his wealth, in the amount of $1 billion, to a variety of efforts in support of coronavirus relief.
  • He’s starting with support of causes that offer different forms of relief from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, at a time when the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths is continuing to surge around the country. He’ll eventually transition to support other causes. 
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Oftentimes, when big tech CEOs pledge to give away part of their fortune to support a worthwhile cause, the individual amount may sound considerable while nevertheless representing only a tiny fraction of their overall net worth. You can’t say that about a pledge that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey made on Tuesday, however, when he published a series of tweets explaining that he’s giving away $1 billion of his $3.3 billion net worth (or, almost 30% of it) in support of coronavirus relief.

“Life’s too short,” he tweeted, by way of explaining the move, which he’s pursuing by unloading $1 billion of his equity in the payments company Square. “So let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”

You can check out Dorsey’s full tweet thread below in which he explains his thinking as well as how this is all going to work, which he’s helpfully pinned to the top of his Twitter profile:

“Why pull just from Square and not Twitter?” he continued in the thread. “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.

“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.”

If you visit that Google Doc that Dorsey mentioned in the tweet above, you’ll see that he’s directed the first tranche of his funding ($100,000) to America’s Food Fund. It’s an initiative that works to provide food to the needy during the coronavirus crisis and was launched by the Ford Foundation as well as Apple, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Companies and wealthy celebrities and personalities are increasingly stepping up to add their financial support to fill in gaps in the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic (of which there are many), and people are increasingly paying attention to, especially in the case of individual wealthy donors, how much they’re giving relative to their ability. For example, Dorsey’s gift is being widely measured against a recent one from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, whose $100 million gift to the nonprofit Feeding America, was recently announced.

Meanwhile, here’s a summary of some additional reaction to Dorsey’s financial contribution to the fight against the coronavirus from around Twitter:

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.