NET WORTH: $1.78 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Blackstone Group
FUNDING AREAS: Health, Education & Youth, New York City Community
OVERVIEW: Jonathan and Mindy Gray move philanthropy through the Gray Foundation. Their organization supports research, treatment and awareness of BRCA-related cancers and invests in education, healthcare and opportunity for low income youth in New York City.
BACKGROUND: Jonathan Gray graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 with a B.A. in English and a B.S. from the Wharton School of Business. Mindy Gray also majored in English at the University of Pennsylvania, and the two met in an English course there. After graduating, Jonathan Gray joined the Blackstone Group, working in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and real estate. He was named to the company's board of directors in 2012 and currently serves as Blackstone’s president and COO. Mindy Gray has worked as an editor and marketing executive in the publishing industry.
HEALTH: The Grays’ health funding has focused mainly on research, treatment and awareness of breast and ovarian cancers related to BRCA gene mutations. In 2012, the couple gave $25 million toward the establishment of the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania. The center is named for Mindy's sister, Faith Basser, who died of ovarian cancer at 44. Mindy also serves as a director of the executive committee of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Other grantees include the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center, National Jewish Health, the Lungevity Center in Illinois, and to the Hospital for Special Surgery.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Gray and Mindy recently gave a $10 million gift towards a new college savings pilot program that aims to increase number of low-income New York children who go on to attend college. Academic access and readiness is an important part of this funder's work and Gray is on the board of Harlem Village Academies in New York. The couple has supported Prep for Prep, Inner-City Scholarship Fund, Schools That Can, Year Up, and Breakthrough New York, a nonprofit that works with low-income students to prepare them for college and graduation. At least $3 million has gone to the Trinity School, where Jonathan is a board member, and to Educational Alliance, which runs educational, health, arts, and social service programs in New York City. Mindy sits on the leadership council of Peer Health Exchange, a charity dedicated to giving teens comprehensive health education. In higher education, UPenn, of course, and also Columbia Business School, have seen funding in recent years.
NYC COMMUNITY: Support have gone to Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, and Robin Hood Foundation. The couple has given assorted sums to Jewish outfits including the Center for Jewish History and JCC Manhattan. Money has gone to the Police Athletic League, the United Way of New York, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York City.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Grays to focus on their established interest areas for now. Gray is still very much engaged in business, but this is a couple to watch for greater giving down the line.
The Gray Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact, but below is an address:
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Dana Zucker, Executive Director, Gray Foundation