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Twitter CEO Donates $1 Billion to Coronavirus Relief, Aiming to Help 'Disarm this Pandemic'

Jason Duaine Hahn

Billionaire Jack Dorsey is joining a growing list of celebrities and business leaders who are using their wealth to help in the battle against coronavirus.

The 43-year-old, who is CEO of both Twitter and digital payments service Square, announced on Tuesday that he will be transferring $1 billion of his Square equity to his limited liability company, Start Small. The organization is to focus on providing relief for victims of coronavirus and then shift to girls’ health and education when the disease is finally tamed.

“I’m moving $1B of my Square equity (~28% of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter. “After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and [universal basic income].”

Dorsey — who said the $1 billion in equity represents just over a quarter of his total wealth — included a link to a Google Sheets spreadsheet that would publicly display information about the company, including its spending.

In follow-up tweets, Dorsey explained that he was using his equity in Square, as opposed to Twitter, because he owns “a lot more” in the payments company.

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“I’ll need to pace the sales over some time,” he said. “The impact this money will have should benefit both companies over the long-term because it’s helping the people we want to serve.”

Dorsey also said he hopes that by keeping the process transparent, he and others can learn from the process.

“Why the transparency? It’s important to show my work so I and others can learn,” he said. “I’ve discovered and funded ($40mm) many orgs with proven impact and efficiency in the past, mostly anonymously. Going forward, all grants will be public. Suggestions welcome.”

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Dorsey explained that he wants to focus on girls’ health and universal basic income after coronavirus because he believes “they represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems” facing the world.

“The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime,” he continued. “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.”

Jack Dorsey

Dorsey has joined a growing list of wealthy donors who have contributed to coronavirus relief efforts.

Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, announced earlier this month that he was donating $100 million to Feeding America, a hunger-relief organization, in order to help the families who rely on food banks and have been majorly impacted by the virus.

Bill and Melinda Gates, along with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, also recently contributed to a $25 million donation to help fund treatments for coronavirus, according to CBS News.

Additionally, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are donating $125 million to help develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the United States as seen a total of 418,185 cases and 14,257 deaths attributed to coronavirus, according to a New York Times database.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.