NET WORTH: $5.1 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Tudor Investment Corporation
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Poverty in NYC
OVERVIEW: Paul Tudor Jones founded the Robin Hood Foundation, an organization whose mission is to fight poverty in New York City. It derives much of its funding from hedge funds. Tudor also founded the Excellence Charter School in Bedford Stuyvesant, and the Bedford Stuyvesant branch of the I Have A Dream Foundation, which puts local students in colleges.
BACKGROUND: Jones grew up in Memphis, and attended University of Virginia, where he graduated with a degree in economics, and was also a welterweight boxing champion. He then went to work on Wall Street, where he was first a clerk, then a broker for E.F. Hutton before founding the Tudor Investment Corporation in 1980. One of his biggest successes was predicting Black Monday in 1987, when he made large sums taking short positions. In 1988 he founded the Robin Hood Foundation.
PHILOSOPHY: Jones likes to keep his philanthropy close to home, and when he tackles a problem, he tends to come at it from a number of angles. Similar to his investing strategy, he looks for places where the market is ready to turn, and applies his philanthropic dollars where he believes he will make the most impact. His Robin Hood Foundation has been called a pioneer in venture philanthropy, embracing free market forces for social benefit. He was also one of the first to really use rigorous metrics to measure the effectiveness of the programs he supports, and has been known to quickly discard programs if they prove ineffective.
EDUCATION: The charter school Jones founded in Bedford Stuyvesant is the nation’s first all-boys charter school for grades K-8, and has consistently outperformed city and statewide averages in reading and math. He has also given millions to other charter schools, mostly in New York but also in other areas, and is a major contributor to the Teachers Training Institute, and has given $1 million to Turnaround for Children, which works to improve failing schools in high poverty areas. Recently, Jones and his wife Sonia, a yoga entrepreneur, helped found the Sonima Foundation which combines yoga and other wellness activities to support kids at underprivileged schools.
NYC COMMUNITY: When it comes to combating poverty and building community, Jones is one of the most active philanthropists in the NYC area. He has given $1 million or more to more than 45 different organizations that provide programs for New York’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. In total, he funds about 200 poverty-fighting organizations in New York through the Robin Hood Foundation, amounting to $146 million in grants to these organizations in 2011 alone. These programs include ones that provide meals and housing, domestic abuse prevention, victim assistance, legal aid, health initiatives, career development, and direct relief.
INCOME INEQUALITY: Jones launched Just Capital, a nonprofit created in partnership with Deepak Chopra, with the goal of reducing income inequality by ranking companies based on how they treat the environment, their employees, and society as a whole. The idea is to pressure companies into a greater sense of stewardship, and help influence consumers in choosing the services and products of companies that have a positive impact on society.
LOOKING FORWARD: As a major proponent of charter schools, look for Jones to expand his giving in education outside the New York area, and perhaps get more involved with programs that seek to turn around public schools as well. He has also focused mostly on younger children, so look for him to start supporting more programs that are geared toward high school students and higher education.
Jones may also get more involved in the environment and global development. He serves as chairman of the board at the Everglades Foundation and is a former chairman of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The Paul Tudor Jones Family Foundation
125 Broad St.
New York, NY 10004