Jack Dorsey donates 28% of net worth to charity after nearly losing his job

Jack Dorsey has made a surprise pledge of $1 billion as support for the COVID-19 pandemic. The Twitter founder announced on the micro-blogging platform on Tuesday that the sum will form part of the global COVID-19 relief fund as well as girls' health and education.

The gesture, Dorsey says, signifies 28% of his net worth, which was recently pegged at $3.3 billion. The fund would be moved into a limited liability company (LLC), where it would go, in part, to addressing the Covid-19 crisis.

"After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl's health and education, and UBI. It will operate transparently," Dorsey, who does not have a long public record as a philanthropist, says in his tweet. He also revealed that he had previously dedicated about $40m to the discovery and funding of many organisations with proven impact and efficiency in the past, mostly anonymously.

"Going forward, all grants will be public," he tweets. "Why the transparency? It's important to show my work so I and others can learn."

While explaining his decision to donate the funds through a limited liability company, Start Small Foundation, Dorsey identified that "Girl's health and education is critical to balance". The donation comes in the form of about 20 million shares in Square, the St. Louis native's other company.

"Why now? The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime," Dorsey tweeted. "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."

The unexpected donation makes the 43-year-old, who promised to reveal all the donations he has made on a public spreadsheet, the United States' biggest public philanthropist during the crisis. Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are other tech giants to have each pledged $100 million to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic so far.

Dorsey has endured a rocky couple of months for some of his personal and company's decisions.

In November 2019, Dorsey visited Nigeria while on a three week-tour of Africa. At the end of the tour, he promised to return, as he expressed his delight at Africa's prospects in tech. "Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he said on his platform.

Shortly after he returned home, the tech guru nearly lost his job. Elliott Management, an activist investor which has acquired about four percent stake in Twitter, reportedly expressed concerns with Twitter's underperforming stock, its part-time CEO, and Dorsey's stated plans to decamp to Africa for an unspecified period of time.

To keep his position, Dorsey was forced to call off the planned visit last month, saying "Engineering is my main focus. Everything else follows from that. When I tweeted about my intention to spend a few months in Africa this year, I made a mistake and should have provided more context about why."

Cash App, a mobile payment service developed by Dorsey's Square company, has also been mired in controversy for its #CashAppFriday giveaways. Financial experts and researchers revealed that scammers looking to piggyback on the #CashAppFriday trending topic on Twitter are stealing between $10 to $1,000 from each victim that falls for their efforts.

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