Have you ever said something stupid? Maybe you meant it, yeah, probably did. But in hindsight you knew it was something that maybe should’ve floated around in your head a while and never made its way out of your mouth. I sure have. A lot.
Anyway, I would like to tell you about a man I have been reading about today, Paul Tudor Jones. One of the things I read was about a statement he should have kept in his head but as I read more and more articles about him I was pretty amazed. This man has a good heart and is actually doing good, a lot of good! Oh, and did I mention he’s a billionaire? Just so happens to be. He is a hedge fund manager. (I don’t personally measure a man by what’s in his bank account; I tend to measure people by what’s in their hearts. But we won’t follow that rabbit trail right now.)
Back to Mr. Jones; one evening he was watching a show featuring a man who had guaranteed college tuition for an entire Harlem class. As soon as the show was over he picked up the phone and called the man and said he wanted to do the same thing. He did. He failed. The program was intended to give kids encouragement to get better grade and ultimately better their future. He put a lot of money, love and time into the kids; providing after school programs and taking them on trips. At the end of a 5 year period the average grade point averages were no better than the remainder of the school. He felt like he had failed all of those kids and instead of that failure stopping him, it actually fueled his passion to help even more. He figured that if self-made billionaires are supposed to be among the smartest people in the world why haven’t they figured out a way to stop poverty in the U.S.?
In 1988 he founded the Robin Hood Foundation. Its key purpose is to fight the war on poverty in the streets of New York. It was a first of its kind in what is now called venture philanthropy. 100% of the donations received go directly to funding the programs they support. Any expenses of the Foundation are paid by Mr. Jones and other board members (also millionaires and billionaires). Adding a new twist to charitable donors; Robin Hood Foundation requires data, reports, 5 year plans and multiple presentations before they will decide to fund a charity. Each year they defund 5 to 10% of their grantees; not because they aren’t awesome programs, but because they are working in a way that doesn’t see results.
They currently work with over 240 non-profit organizations. What they consider their core fund recipients are those working with education, creating jobs, providing economic security and daily survival. Then they have their relief fund recipients that focus on assisting low income victims from the 9/11 attacks find employment, other low income victim services and relief services such as their funds that went to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.
So about the whole name “Robin Hood”; well, this years’ fund raiser was held in Manhattan’s convention center that holds 4,000 people. It could be seen as a private party for the rich and famous; from actors, to professional sports players to the Wall Street Elite. So just how much did this modern day Robin Hood steal from the rich? Almost 81 million.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Mr. Jones during his May 5, 2013 interview with CBS News’ Scott Pelley. “You cannot have significance in this life if it’s all about you. You get your significance; you find your joy in life through service and sacrifice. It’s pure and simple.”
The entire script of the CBS interview may be read here… http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57598586/modern-day-robin-hood/
This post is part of the Nester’s 31 Day Challenge; Writing on the same topic each day of the month of October. Click on over to the Challenge to find a number of topics and authors ranging from Simplicity & Organizing to Personal Endeavors. You can head back here and scroll to the bottom of this post for a listing of all 31 days of Good News & Good People Doing Good Things.