What's the Deal With Paul Tudor Jones' Environmental Philanthropy?

I've been digging into the philanthropy of Paul Tudor Jones recently, and for good reason: He's currently worth $4.3 billion and cofounded the well-respected Robin Hood Foundation. He also has two foundations under his name. The more robust of the two, the Tudor Foundation, has a clear track record of giving to poverty, education, and global development causes. 

But things get murkier when it comes to Jones' environmental philanthropy, where his passion is obvious but his giving record is anything but transparent.  

On the one hand, Jones serves as chairman of the board at the Everglades Foundation and is a former chairman of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. On the other, there's no record of him having given any money to Everglades or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through either of his foundations.

Jones and his wife Sonia have a vacation home in the Florida Keys, and between 2011 and 2012, gave around $20,000 to the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund, a nonprofit in Stuart, Florida which aims to protect the St. Lucie River from polluted water the fund says emanates from Lake Okeechobee.

Memphis-born and raised Jones has also recently given to Ducks Unlimited in Memphis, but again, this giving hasn't been through his foundations. Further south, Jones has given to the Missisippi Coast Audubon Society. Audubon has been supported by Jones on and off over the years, as well as the National Resources Defense Council. However, once again, these are gifts that don't appear on any foundation 990s. The same goes for gifts to National Parks Conservation Association in 2012 and a 2014 gift to the New York Botanical Garden.

The Tudor Foundation also has an international presence, giving to organizations in the U.K., where a branch of Tudor's business is headquartered, and in Australia, where Sonia was born. As far as we can tell, though, these gifts haven't included any to environmental organizations in either country.

It's worth noting that Jones co-owns Grumeti Reserves, located in the Western Serengeti region of Tanzania, which has banned hunting on its lands. Jones also has established a trust for the operation of another private reserve, Pamushana, in Zimbabwe.

The bottom line in all of this is that Paul Tudor Jones is definitely a funder interested in the environment and in wildlife. But he's also a guy with a lot else going on, both with his other philanthropic interests and his ongoing finance career.

Environment groups should keep an eye on Jones. Quite apart from his interest in this area, he's been a very active philanthropist and his fortune is bigger than the endowment of the Rockefeller Foundation. Much of that money may eventually wind its way to philanthropy.