March 6, 2007

Abstract: Tiger Foundation

What happened when the same approach that created a pioneering hedge fund was applied to the work of a foundation?

By: Susan Wolf Ditkoff

Tiger Management was one of the most successful hedge funds of the 1990s. But founder Julian Robertson also wanted to foster a lifelong commitment to giving back among his staff. So in 1990, he created Tiger Foundation with a unique dual mission:

  • To provide financial support to the top nonprofit organizations serving New York City’s neediest families;
  • To encourage active, informed philanthropy among the staff at the firm

The Foundation marries the rigor and analytics of the investment process to grantor/grantee relationships. Individual trustees not only pore over analytics compiled by Foundation staff, but also meet their grantees face to face and champion them at trustee meetings.

The result is nothing short of transformative—for the organizations Tiger funds and for the decision makers.

In 2006, Tiger provided more than $8 million and 2,400 hours to over 70 education, job training, and social services/youth development organizations. Over the last 17 years, the foundation has contributed nearly $80 million to organizations in New York City. Equally important, a growing cadre of Tiger “cubs” are taking the Tiger philosophy and applying it in other charitable venues.

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