NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Cofounder, Co-CEO & Managing Partner of The Jordan Company
FUNDING AREAS: Youth, Higher Education
OVERVIEW: John W. "Jay" Jordan II is a recent signatory of the Giving Pledge, and is set to give away more than 50 percent of his wealth, though it's unclear exactly how much he's worth. He's been a major benefactor of his alma mater Notre Dame, where he's been a trustee since 1993. He gave Notre Dame $75 million in 2014, and some $150 million over the years. Apart from work in this area, Jordan also moves his philanthropy through the Jordan Family Sports Foundation, which serves minority children living below the poverty level.
BACKGROUND: John W. Jordan II received his A.B. degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and also attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He spent nine years with Carl Marks & Co., Inc. before going on to cofound The Jordan Company in 1982, where he serves as co-CEO and managing partner. The Jordan Company is a private equity firm that specializes in buying and building companies, with offices in New York, Chicago, Stamford and Shanghai.
YOUTH: One of Jordan's philanthropic priorities is supporting youth sports, particularly at-risk youth. The Jordan Family Sports Foundation serves minority children living below the poverty level. Much of this work focuses on Chicago, with schools such as St. Francis De Sales on Chicago's East Side and Holy Trinity Academy receiving recent support. Annual grantmaking out of the foundation is under a million of late, and individual grants tend to stay below $100,000 with a few exceptions. The foundation's grants target such needs as sport equipment and uniforms, as well as training for coaches. A notable grantee outside of the foundation's Chicago-area focus is Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, New York. The connection here is that Jordan's son, Jordan III, attended the school. Poly Prep is the site of the Jordan Scholarship Program, which helps promising young student-athletes go to Poly Prep and support the cost of their education. The Jordan Family Sports Foundation has also supported Good Sports, which provides athletic equipment to in-need youth.
HIGHER EDUCATION: Not only did Jordan attend Notre Dame, but so did two of his children, John Jordan III and Jennifer, who by the way are listed as directors along with Jordan at the Jordan Family Sports Foundation. Jordan gave Notre Dame $75 million in 2014 toward science and technology research. Jordan has given the school some $150 million over the years including $30 million for the Jordan Hall of Science, funding for the Jordan Auditorium in the Mendoza College of Business, and support for the Malpass Scholars Program. Unsurprisingly, past funds have also supported athletics.
LOOKING AHEAD: In his Giving Pledge letter, Jordan said that his "philanthropic DNA was inherited from my mother who dedicated her life to the service of others... She also told me that in her view the true measure of financial philanthropy is not how much one gives but how much one has left after one gives. That sets the bar pretty high and would suggest that perhaps a 50% hurdle is too low." All this makes Jordan someone to keep an eye on. Finally, he's active in Chicago civic life, and sits on boards such as the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Jordan Family Sports Foundation provides no clear avenue for grantseekers to get in touch with the family, but an address is listed below:
The Jordan Family Sports Foundation
875 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 4020
Chicago, IL 60611