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Jack Dorsey to Give $1 Billion to Fight COVID-19. Track It in His Google Sheet

Jack Dorsey to Give $1 Billion to Fight COVID-19. Track It in His Google Sheet

What would you do right now if you had $1 billion to spare? Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and Square, announced on Tuesday that he'll be gi

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What would you do right now if you had $1 billion to spare?

Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and Square, announced on Tuesday that he’ll be giving that kind of money to fight Covid-19. And he’s structuring the gift in a very ususual away.

It comes in the form of almost $1 billion in Square stock (worth $997.8 million), which Dorsey says amounts to about 28 percent of his personal wealth, and which Dorsey says he’ll transfer to a private company to handle the disbursements.

Most notably, every step along the way will apparently be detailed in a publicly available Google spreadsheet.

Dorsey made the announcement (where else?) in a Twitter thread, promising to “mov[e] $1B of my Square equity (~28% of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief.”

If there’s anything left over afterward– “after we disarm this pandemic,” as Dorsey put it, “the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI [universal basic income].”

Dorsey isn’t the only billionaire stepping up, of course.

Over the weekend, I reported on Bill Gates’s plan, through his foundation, to spend billions building seven Covid-19 vaccination manufacturing facilities–despite knowing that at least five of them will amount to wasted efforts.

The reason, Gates, explained, is to save months — so “we don’t waste time in serially saying, ‘OK, which vaccine works?’ And then building the factory.”

As a percentage of his net worth, however, Dorsey’s gift appears quite generous. (The dollar amounts square, no pun intended, with most public estimates of Dorsey’s net worth that I can find.)

That said, I think the transparency involved here, if it pans out as promised, might be the thing people wind up remebering or even imitating.

It’s easy to be skeptical when very wealthy people announce charitable work.

You might wonder if there’s something in it for them that we don’t realize (perhaps an ownership interest or other marketing bonus). 

In fact, even though publicly funded charitable organizations under section 501(c)(3) under the U.S. tax code are required to file annual, publicly available reports on their income and dispersements, an entire industry exists to audit them and help donors make good decisions.

So, it’s intriguing that Dorsey found this unusual way not just to be transparent, but to use a rival company’s tool, that millions of other people use every day.

“Why now?” Dorsey wrote on Twitter. “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.”

Published on: Apr 8, 2020

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

This article is from Inc.com

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