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Portfolio > Alternative Investments > Hedge Funds

Robin Hood Foundation Ball Raises Record Amount for Fighting Poverty

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NEW YORK (–The Robin Hood Foundation, a charity group run mostly by hedge fund and Wall Street people, raised more than US$24 million at its annual benefit, possibly the largest amount ever received from a single event by any philanthropy.

Some 3,600 attendees, including well-known names from both entertainment and finance, paid at least US$2,400 apiece to party at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center the night of June 1.

They were entertained by rock ‘n’ roll star Rod Stewart. Fantasia, the recent winner of the TV show “American Idol,” was a surprise guest, as was soul singer Al Green.

Robin Hood broke its own record from last year’s ball, which brought in US$16 million. The big jump to US$24 million may be partly due to Wall Street’s improved fortunes since then.

Part of the proceeds came from an auction consisting of unique packages, which in the past has included lessons from top sports and Hollywood figures. But most of the money came from table and ticket sales, according to a person involved with the event.

Robin Hood was started by Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp., Greenwich, Conn., and he remains on the board of directors. He teamed up with Glenn Dubin and Peter Borish to develop the organization, which now has a staff of about 65.

The group funds about 125 programs that help New York City’s poor, with a focus on getting results. Activities funded range from early childhood care to job training and securing shelter for the homeless.

Besides having run a relief fund for victims of the 9/11 attacks, Robin Hood pays for several ongoing projects, such as building libraries in elementary schools. It has been conducting a US$50 million capital campaign to build facilities for the groups it funds.

Last year the organization raised US$36 million from people other than its board members–the latter contributed an additional amount. Large banks and hedge funds have made impressive donations, while 60% of the gifts from individuals were for $1,000 or less.

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