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October 16, 2015

Jack Dorsey Pledges Fifth of Tech Firm Square to Charity

Tech mogul Jack Dorsey has launched a foundation to aid needy communities around the world and will give it a nearly one-fifth stake in mobile-payments company Square, Quartz and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report. Mr. Dorsey, Square's chief executive officer and biggest shareholder, revealed the donation in the firm's filing Wednesday for an initial public offering valued at $275 million.

The St. Louis native, who also co-founded and leads Twitter, holds 71 million shares of Square, a 24.4-percent stake. According to the IPO filing, he has given 15 million shares to the Start Small Foundation and pledged 40 million in the future, amounting to 19 percent of Square's outstanding stock.

Mr. Dorsey stated in the filing that Start Small will invest "in the folks who inspire us: artists, musicians, and local businesses, with a special focus on underserved communities around the world." In a Tweet, he said the foundation's first grants will benefit Ferguson, Mo. Mr. Dorsey visited Ferguson in August of last year during protests over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer.

Read an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on rebuilding efforts in Ferguson.