Tudor Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Tudor Foundation is one of two eponymous grantmaking outfits started by hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones. This is the more robust of the two foundations by far (his family foundation has been all but depleted of assets in recent years). The foundation supports young people in a wide range of ways, including charter schools, charter networks, and ed reform advocacy groups as well as literacy, anti-poverty, and scholarship programs. Internationally, the foundation has given significant sums to organizations in Australia and the United Kingdom.

IP TAKE: Jones has an extensive record in working to fight poverty, but he is also well known for his longtime support of charter schools, mainly in New York and Connecticut. But this is a foundation that keeps a low profile: it has no web presence or clear means of applying for funds.

PROFILE: Paul Tudor Jones grew up in Memphis and attended University of Virginia, where he graduated with a degree in economics. He was also a welterweight boxing champion. He then went to work for E.F. Hutton before founding the Tudor Investment Corporation in 1980 at the age of 26. Seven years later, Jones co-founded the New York City anti-poverty outfit, the Robin Hood Foundation.

Jones was no stranger to philanthropy when he and his wife Sonia started the Tudor Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut (in 1997) and the Tudor Family Foundation (in 2001). The Tudor Foundation is the more active of the two foundations; total annual giving in recent years has ranged from around $3.5 to $4.5 million.

In the education realm, Jones is one of the pioneers of the movement of financiers to support education generally and charter schools in particular.  He founded and was the chairman of the Brooklyn-based Excellence Charter School, and also founded and chaired the Bedford-Stuyvesant “I Have A Dream” Foundation.

In many recent years, Jones has has given steadily to charter schools in New York and Connecticut. Bronx Preparatory Charter School received nearly $40,000 in one recent year. George Jackson Academy, named after a Harlem youth who attended Harvard and then founded the legendary Motown Records, has also seen a steady stream of money. KIPP New York has also received regular gifts, and Year Up has also seen funding.

Gifts made through the Tudor Foundation have also supported education advocacy groups. Among these are the Greenwich Education Groups School Foundation, Classroom Inc., and A Better Chance of Wilton.

In terms of literacy specifically, Jones and Sonia have supported outfits such as Read Alliance, Literacy Volunteers, and Room to Read in San Francisco. Recently, scholarship outfits such as the Teak Fellowship, Posse Foundation and Oliver Scholars Program have received modest sums (under $20,000 annually).

It's important to note that Jones's charter school funding reflects a larger concern about disadvantaged kids. The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich and the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle have received money, and Domus Kids (which has both residential and educational programs for youth) was a recent recipient of a six-figure donation from Tudor. Organizations close to home like Kids in Crisis (based in the foundation's neck of the woods in Cos Cob, Connecticut) and The Children's Village (located in Westchester) have also received sums ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 in recent years.

Through the New-York-based Robin Hood Foundation, Jones is connected to a key network of like-minded funders. Robin Hood's board of directors includes philanthropists such as Laura Arnold and Larry Robbins, who are also charter school supporters. The current chair of the board at Excellence, David Saltzman, is also executive director at the Robin Hood Foundation. In addition, Tudor Foundation President Andrew S. Paul sits on the board of Bronx Preparatory Charter School.

In line with his work with Robin Hood, Jones is also passionate about fighting poverty. Yoga entrepreneur Sonia is Australian and has likely influenced the foundation's international scope, with funding in Australia and in England, mainly toward the areas of health and children's advocacy but also giving to some education efforts.

The big challenge for grantseekers will be getting your foot in the door. The foundation's address (according to recent tax filings) is listed below, but the Tudor Foundation has no website or guidelines for those seeking support, and according to the Foundation Center the organizations it supports are “pre-selected.”

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CONTACT:

The Tudor Foundation, Inc.
1275 King St.
Greenwich, CT United States 06831