John & Amy Griffin Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The John & Amy Griffin Foundation was founded in 2001 and does most of its grantmaking in New York, with primary interests in education and combating poverty.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Poverty, Health, Arts, Environment

IP TAKE: The foundation has averaged around $5 million in grantmaking annually, but in 2013, gave more than $8.6 million, which may spell an uptick. The foundation doesn't have a website, however, and provides no clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple for funding.

PROFILE:  John Griffin is the founder and president of Blue Ridge Capital, a hedge fund in New York that has held over $5 billion in assets under management. Before Griffin started his own fund, he was a "Tiger Cub," a protege of Julian Robertson. Griffin received his B.S. in finance from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, and his M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Griffin and his wife Amy do much of their philanthropy through the John & Amy Griffin Foundation, which held more than $26 million in assets in 2013, and gave away around $8.7 million that year. The foundation doesn't have a website, or a clear way for grantseekers to get in touch. However, this isn't the Griffins' only charitable vehicle, and the couple is into several key areas in New York that are worth knowing about.

Education is a clear priority of the Griffins. While much of this philanthropy is highlighted by the millions the couple has given their mutual alma mater, the University of Virginia, John Griffin is also engaged in K-12 education reform in New York City. Griffin is the founding chair and currently on the board of iMentor, which builds mentoring relationships that empower students in low-income communities. IMentor received nearly $2 million alone in 2013. Support has also gone to Friends of Pave Academy. Several Pave Academy Charter Schools are located in Brooklyn. Money has also gone to outfits like Teach for All, Harlem RBI, Alliance for School Choice, Prep for Prep, and KIPP New York, which received a little more than $1 million in 2013. Large sums have also gone to the Spence School.

Combating poverty in New York City is another large component of the Griffins' philanthropy. John Griffin sits on the board of directors at the Robin Hood Foundation, the antipoverty giant in New York. He gave $1.6 million to Robin Hood in 2013, and another $750,000 in 2012. Apart from supporting Robin Hood through the John and Amy Griffin Foundation, along with other outfits such as the Ronald McDonald House of New York, and Harlem Children's Zone, the couple has directed much of this giving through another philanthropic vehicle called the Blue Ridge Foundation of New York.

Blue Ridge Foundation supports social change strategies that operate in high poverty communities and connect people to opportunities, resources and support. It's worth noting that Blue Ridge stopped accepted unsolicited proposals as its support shifts toward a new partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation called Blue Ridge Labs, which describes itself as "a Brooklyn-based social impact incubator." At least $1 million has also gone to a charity founded by Griffin's mentor, Julian Robertson, called the Tiger Foundation, and its mission to fight poverty.

The Griffins' grantmaking in other areas such as health, and the arts, has been much more modest than its education and poverty work. Still, recent money has gone to outfits such as Mt. Sinai Dubin Breast Cancer Center, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In the arts, a large $5 million gift went to the Signature Center a couple of years ago. The Signature Theatre is located in Midtown Manhattan. Support has also recently gone to the Central Park Conservancy and the New 42nd Street, a Times Square revitalization project.

PEOPLE:

  • John A. Griffin, President & Director
  • Amy Griffin, Director

CONTACT:

John & Amy Griffin Foundation
660 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10065