NET WORTH: $5.8 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Quicken Loans
FUNDING AREAS: Health, Detroit and Cleveland Communities, Jewish Organizations
OVERVIEW: While Dan and Jennifer Gilbert do not maintain a philanthropic foundation, they signed the Giving Pledge in 2012. The couple supports health, the Detroit and Cleveland areas, and Jewish causes.
BACKGROUND: A native of Michigan, Dan Gilbert is a graduate of Michigan State University and earned a J.D. from Wayne State University. While in law school, he also worked as a real estate agent at his parents’ firm, and this led him to start a home mortgage business, Rock Financial, with his brother. The business was eventually purchased by Intuit and renamed Quicken Loans, which eventually became one of the leading providers of home loans in the U.S. Gilbert stayed on as the company’s CEO, and two years later, he and a group of private investors bought back the company and expanded its operations into other areas of real estate business. The Gilberts are majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and a number of other area sports teams.
HEALTH: The Gilberts’ eldest son was born with neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that carries a high risk of tumor formation, particularly in the brain. The couple has bankrolled research clinics for this condition at both the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel and the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where Jennifer Gilbert serves on the board of the Gilbert Family Neurofibromatosis Institute. Dan Gilbert serves on the boards of the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
DETROIT & CLEVELAND COMMUNITIES: In their Giving Pledge letter, the Gilberts indicate that they hope to give much of their wealth back to the communities where the bulk of their business is located, namely Detroit and Cleveland. In 2007, Dan Gilbert launched Bizdom, an organization that trains, mentors, and finances entrepreneurs in Detroit. Past education grantees include Gilbert’s alma maters; Michagan State was the recipient of $15 million in a recent year, and Wayne State University Law School received $5 million.
JEWISH COMMUNITY: Jennifer Gilbert has served on the board of ORT, a Jewish organization that promotes education and training in skilled trades in communities around the world. She also serves on the Israel and Overseas Committee for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
LOOKING FORWARD: It is possible that the Gilberts will expand their giving in the area of health to promote the research of other rare genetic and childhood diseases. They will likely continue to support organizations and schools in the Detroit and Cleveland areas.
1050 Woodward, Detroit, MI48226