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Jack Dorsey’s Radical Experiment for Billionaires to Give Away Their Money

With a net worth of $5 billion, Jack Dorsey is the world’s 410th-wealthiest person, reports Recode, and “has now kick-started one of the most radical experiments in this era of historic income inequality — whether it is possible to quickly give away more than $1 billion of his money, and to do it effectively.”
Dorsey said this April that he would give away what was then one-third of his assets to a new charitable vehicle, Start Small, for coronavirus relief efforts, primarily. It was, by far, the largest dedication of money to Covid-19 by a billionaire. What was more striking, though, was Dorsey’s willingness to disclose each gift in real time on a public Google spreadsheet. Dorsey has now given away $90 million to five dozen nonprofit groups, both around the globe and in his backyard, on immediate needs and on longer-term rebuilding projects, for coronavirus issues and for racial justice, and all of this with a standout record when it comes to supporting minorities — a record that is earning Dorsey respect from experts and is surprising even those who originally saw the announcement as a self-serving publicity junket…

Billionaires feel almost burdened by their enormous wealth, wealth advisers say, and feel such a responsibility to not screw up giving it away that they end up doing nothing — stockpiling money into private foundations or donor-advised funds and saving the hard decisions for their retirements, if they ever make them at all… But advocates dream that times are a-changin’ in the world of the mega-rich — if only someone could show that it’s not so hard to avoid fumbles while moving real money. And that’s why so many eyes are on Dorsey as he tests a new way… Dorsey’s approach is highly replicable for the billionaire class — even after the pandemic — by serving as a proof point that a lot of the process and bureaucracy that stalls their charitable giving are gratuitous…

“I want to give out all my money in my lifetime,” Dorsey said on a podcast earlier this month to his friend Andrew Yang, to whose nonprofit he gave $5 million. “I want to see the impacts, selfishly, in my lifetime.”

The article contracts Dorsey’s approach to what other tech billionaire’s were saying around a decade ago.

Jeff Bezos: “Sometimes I think we try to solve problems before we understand the problem.”
Google co-founder Sergey Brin: “Our philanthropy is something I want to take my time with and develop and systematize.”
But since then Brin “has largely remained AWOL in the world of major giving,” the article points out, possibly due to an overabundance of caution. “[B]y modeling an alternative, Dorsey is offering one of the most convincing rebuttals.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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