Speaking

Speaking

Motivational Speaking

Rob is a powerful and engaging speaker. He was a Public Speaking and Theatre Arts major in college and has performed on the stage in many college and community theater productions. He was also a professional dancer appearing on stage and in variety shows on TV. His father and mother were professional actors and Rob and his sisters required from an early age to give standing presentations on their daily activities. Perhaps because of that and his dancing training from an early age, comfort on his feet and in front of an audience has always been a natural for Rob. Since founding Hedge funds Care/Help For Children – www.HFC.org in 1998 to raise funds for organizations dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse (see more on the Philanthropy Tab) Rob has had countless speaking opportunities before audiences from single digits to over fifteen hundred. He says that size of audience is of little difference to him.  He loves the process and the experience no matter the size of the audience and that each talk he gives is an opportunity to move someone to be a more caring person.

Rob Davis speaking about what inspired him to start HFC

Watch Rob’s comments at HFC 20th Anniversary.
(Click on image below to watch!)

Rob Davis at the 2021 Global Custodian Dinner

Gives the Opening Speech on Help For Children (www.hfc.org)

Rob Davis Global Custodian Dinner

Rob Presenting Baseball's Joe Torre With "The 2014 Chairman's Award" for Joe's Philanthropic Efforts to Help Children

Help for Children ... Disrupt Your Conventional Thinking

Rob Delivering the Keynote Address at the
"Services For The Underserved" Gala
at Windows on The World

Help for Children - Our Impact

“I heard Rob Davis speak in NYC at a fundraising benefit called “Open Your Heart To The Children,” held to raise money from the financial community for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. He was the CEO of Hedge funds Care/Help For Children, www.HFC.org, an organization he founded that supported nonprofit agencies throughout the U.S., Cayman Islands, Canada, U.K., Ireland & Hong Kong, that helped children who had suffered the trauma of abuse and their families. I was the Executive Director of one of those agencies and received Rob’s support for several years. 

There were more than 900 people jammed into the ballroom in attendance. The chatter and clinking of glasses was booming as Rob stepped up to the podium, but quickly quieted down as he began to speak. Rob clearly commanded attention at the podium but is also sincere and engagings, his voice warm and trustworthy and his words demonstrating his knowledge and passion for the subject. 

I left the benefit that evening feeling renewed inspiration. I must say that Rob is a wonderful public speaker. Child Abuse is a difficult topic to speak about, but he tempered the disturbing facts with hope and optimism. It was as though he gave us an individual pat on the back and I felt recognized and even more passionate about the work to help children. He gave us a clear reminder that every child deserved a happy childhood and his very big heart came clearly through.

When Rob finished his speech he received a standing ovation and there were few dry eyes in sight. I for one left motivated and energized by his sincerity, warmth and appreciation for the work that I and many in attendance did. I would gladly go out of my way to hear him again.

 

Donna Martire Miller MA, CIPP
CEO Happily Ever Actions

Past Executive Director – The Exchange Club / Help for Kids


Letter from Cynthia Scott, Executive Director Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect

 

Rob Davis

I remember receiving a phone call in the late 90’s from Rob Davis about creating a non-profit organization within the financial services industry to raise money for the prevention and treatment of abused children. I had experience in the non-profit area as an attorney and agreed to assist Rob. I even suggested what was to become the organizations initial name, Hedge Funds Care! It has since also been branded as Help For Children, in both cases www.HFC.org.. Since then, under Rob’s terrific leadership and now others as well, HFC has become a global force for good heiping thousands of children and families each year. As a Board Member from the start I have had the opportunity to hear Rob speak on behalf of HFC many times to audiences large and small, articulating it’s aims and goals in an articulate and compelling way. I’ll simply conclude, that Rob is an excellent speaker!

Eric R. Roper Esq.
President, Eric R. Roper PC


Rob is a wonderful and engaging speaker. A Speech and Theater major in college, he performed in multiple college as well as community theatre productions in polishing his comfort with audiences large and small. Since founding Hedge Funds Care/Help For Children – www.HFC.org in 1998, to raise funding for organizations dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse (see more on the Philanthropy tab), Rob has had many dozens of speaking opportunities before audiences of as many as twelve to fifteen hundred people. 

Rob is a wonderful and engaging speaker. A Speech and Theater major in college, he performed in multiple college as well as community theatre productions in polishing his comfort with audiences large and small. Since founding Hedge Funds Care/Help For Children – www.HFC.org in 1998, to raise funding for organizations dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse (see more on the Philanthropy tab), Rob has had many dozens of speaking opportunities before audiences of as many as twelve to fifteen hundred people. 

Rob is a wonderful and engaging speaker. A Speech and Theater major in college, he performed in multiple college as well as community theatre productions in polishing his comfort with audiences large and small. Since founding Hedge Funds Care/Help For Children – www.HFC.org in 1998, to raise funding for organizations dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse (see more on the Philanthropy tab), Rob has had many dozens of speaking opportunities before audiences of as many as twelve to fifteen hundred people. 


Child Abuse Prevention Program

Child Abuse Prevention Program

Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP)

Since its inception in 1986, the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP) has been at the forefront of giving children the tools they need to prevent and report child abuse. CAPP believes that every child should receive their basic right to safety so that they can have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

With their award-winning Child Safety Workshop, CAPP has found an effective and engaging way of teaching children the skills they need to recognize and resist abuse. Using life-sized puppets to provide school children with safety information, the workshops have reached nearly half a million children to date.

Not too long after Hedge Funds Care/Help For Children, www.HFC.org got off the ground, I became aware of an organization that was sending puppeteers into elementary schools, to do shows for third grade assembly. The puppets would describe abusive situations they had been in, and what they’d gone through in order to stop the abuse and make their lives better. It was called CAPP, The Child Abuse Prevention Program. I had to find out more..

Shortly thereafter I met Marion White, who had conceived of and started the program. She had also written the scripts, designed the puppets, hired and trained the puppeteers, and built a donor base to develop the funding, to keep it alive and saving many children from the trauma of abuse. I’m happy to say the HFC has been part of that donor base for many of the years since, and glad that CAPP is now safely ensconced within one of New York’s oldest charities, The New York Foundling and the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection. It didn’t take long after meeting her to arrange attending one of these assembly puppet shows at a public elementary school in Queens. I made it there and into the gym, just in time for the third graders to begin filing in to take seats in neat rows on the floor, in front of the two tables that were set-up for the puppeteers. I stood off to the side to watch,
and it was a good thing i did.

As the performance unfolded, I could not control the tears from pouring down my cheeks. It began with one boy puppet telling another how glad he was that he’d finally gone to the
Principal of his school to ask for help, because of the beatings he was getting from his mother when she’d had too much to drink. He said the therapy he and his Mom were
in together had really helped, and that Mom had stopped drinking.

His friend expressed dismay at how he never had any idea of what was happening, because both mother and son had put on such a good act to hide it. He patted his friend on
the shoulder and said he’d done the right thing.  Then girl puppet Suzie came out and asked the boys if she could speak with them.

“Sure Suzie,” both responded. “What do you want to talk about?”

“Well”, she  said hesitantly, “My Mom’s boyfriend has been…doing things to me and I don’t know what to do!”  And, Suzie’s arm covered her eyes and she began to sob.

“I’m scared’” she said.

Both boys jumped to action, one on each side of Suzie, with a hand on her shoulder.

“Kids,” they both shouted out to the anxious students watching, “ What should Suzie do? Tell her what she should do!”

And the kids, virtually in unison, some staying seated, others jumping to their feet all called out to Suzie…

“Suzie! Go to see the Principal! Tell the Principal! The Principal will help you!

I have to laugh at myself at the memory of it. I was a complete mess, standing there trying to be a casual and nonchalant visitor there to watch the assembly,
with my soaked handkerchief out and wiping up my tears.

Then the really dramatic part happened. The puppets told the kids that they’d been really good, and it was time for them to go back to their classroom. But then they said,

“If you have any questions you’d like to ask us, like Suzie did, about anyone you know, you should just stay seated quietly until the others leave…and we’ll talk.

Four kids remained seated on the floor….

Warm Wishes,

Rob


Counting Crows Concert - Ellington Management Presents 2nd Annual HFC Rocks

ELLINGTON MANAGEMENT PRESENTS 2ND ANNUAL HFC ROCKS

COUNTING CROWS AND JJ GREY & MOFRO TO PERFORM AT

HELP FOR CHILDREN BENEFIT CONCERT TO FIGHT CHILD ABUSE

Industry Steps Up to Help Accelerate HFC’s Global Mission to Protect and Heal Vulnerable Children

Counting Crows Concert - Ellington Management Presents 2nd Annual HFC Rocks

New York, NY, October 16, 2018 – On Thursday, October 18, Help For Children will host HFC Rocks at the Hammerstein Ballroom (at The Manhattan Center), with the Counting Crows – fresh of their 25 Years and Counting Tour – headlining and JJ Grey & Mofro opening for HFC’s 2nd annual benefit concert to fight child abuse.

Joining Ellington Management as HFC Rocks presenters are Wheelock Street Capital, along with Fortress Investment Group, Galaxy Investment Partners, Goldman Sachs Gives, Graham Capital Management, Paloma Partners, Pershing Square Capital, and Starwood Capital Group, the concert brings together the hedge fund, private equity, and broader alternative asset management industries for a night of live music. All proceeds from the evening support HFC’s tireless efforts to prevent and treat child abuse in the New York metropolitan area.

“HFC Rocks is an exciting and important event for HFC, which was founded twenty years ago right here in New York City,” said Dean Backer, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and Chair of the HFC Global Board. “Proceeds from this special night help amplify HFC’s ability to protect and heal vulnerable children throughout the New York area, and we are incredibly grateful to Mike Vranos of Ellington Management for his ongoing leadership with our second annual benefit concert and, of course, as a HFC Global Board member.”

“HFC’s Executive Director and CEO Renée Skolaski is an exceptional steward in the fight against child abuse,” said Mike Vranos, CEO of Ellington Management Group and HFC Global Board member. “I am pleased to partner with Renee and her team on HFC’s second annual rock concert and look forward to having a great evening with both new and old HFC friends and industry colleagues.”

“As a New York-based investment firm, HFC’s fight against child abuse in NYC and abroad is a cause that Wilshire Phoenix is committed to investing in,” said William Herrmann, founder and CEO, Wilshire Phoenix, a HFC Rocks Supporting Sponsor. “Our company has made an unwavering commitment to giving back 10% of all profits to charity and are thrilled to count Help For Children as one of Wilshire Phoenix’s charity partners. We encourage all of our peers to join us in the global fight against child abuse.”

HFC is an international foundation with one overriding mission – the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Established in 1998, HFC has grown from a single fundraising event in New York City to a global foundation that operates in seven countries in 13 cities. Over the past twenty years, HFC has provided more than $51 million in grants to organizations that protect and heal children.

HFC would also like to thank all of HFC Rocks’ Sponsors for stepping up in support of HFC’s mission to fight and eliminate child abuse globally.

  • Lead Sponsors: Deloitte, EY, GoldenTree, Morgan Stanley, Options Group, PwC
  • Supporting Sponsors: ACA Compliance Group, Citrin Cooperman, Hunton Andrews Kurth, Insider, Marcum, MKP Capital Management, Sidley, Wilshire Phoenix
  • Media Sponsors: Advisor Crossing, Hedge Fund Association

For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Lynn Fisher at lfisher@hfc.org.

About Help For Children

Help For Children (HFC), a not-for-profit established in 1998, is a global foundation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse through the support of the alternative investment community. As the alternative investment industry’s leading charity, the support of the hedge fund, private equity, venture capital, and real estate investment sectors has helped HFC fund since its inception more than $51 million in grants to organizations in seven countries. HFC provides grants across four major impact areas – decreasing risk, strengthening families, reducing trauma and building individual strengths – with the goal of making the world a safer place for children. For more information, visit www.hfc.org.

HFC 2018 Global Sponsors​Astonishing Heart: Deloitte, EY; Outstanding Heart: PwC; Triumphant Heart: Goldman Sachs, KPMG; Golden Heart: Citco; Grand Heart: ACA Compliance Group, BDO, GlobeTax, Maples, RSM; Great Heart: Agecroft Partners, Aspen, Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP, Context Summits, Credit Suisse, EisnerAmper, HC Global Fund Services, HSBC, JP. Morgan, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Marcum LLP, Schulte Roth & Zabel, Seward & Kissel LLP


Help for Children Spreading the Wealth from June 2008 Magazine

Spreading the wealth June 2008 Magazine

Spreading the wealth June 2008 Magazine

Hedge fund giving grows; the Absolute Return Top 25 Hedge Fund Foundations reach $4.6 billion

By Britt Erica Tunick

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in late August 2005, decimating New Orleans and causing more than $81 billion in damage, hedge funds were there. And during last summer’s subprime mortgage market meltdown and the multiple follow-on effects, hedge funds were there. In both cases, hedge funds were among the first asset managers to spot money-making opportunities from the disasters – profiting from the surge in energy prices created by Katrina, and betting, quite rightly, on the decline of housing derivatives.

Yet hedge funds were also among the fastest to contribute to recovery efforts for both calamities. In the aftermath of Katrina, George Soros’ Open Society Institute contributed $815,000 to eight nonprofit groups in the South dedicated to helping low-income workers, immigrants and women affected by the disaster, along with more than a dozen grants to media professionals focused on documenting the turmoil. As the number of delinquent subprime mortgage holders recently climbed to one in three, efforts to help have been just as rapid. In February, Open Society Institute pledged $10 million over the next two years to help borrowers fend off foreclosures – an issue that has also garnered support from John Paulson, whose Paulson & Co. has contributed $15 million to the Center for Responsible Lending.

Hedge fund managers represent only a small number of individuals in the U.S. philanthropic community, but their impact is significant – and growing. Assets among the Absolute Return Top 25 Hedge Fund Foundations total $4.6 billion, according to the latest data available, a 31% rise from the group’s $3.5 billion in assets at the time of last year’s survey. In that time, contributions to the top 25 foundations have climbed 24.8%, to over $1 billion, up from $865 million last year. (Data reflect totals for foundations’ most recent filings with the Internal Revenue Service, which span from calendar yearend 2005 to fiscal year 2007).

“Very few people have an opportunity to change the way that they look at things during their lifetime with money,” says Campbell & Co. founder Keith Campbell, whose Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment gives roughly 150 grants each year for environmental causes. “There are plenty of people who give their lives to politics, environmental causes and health causes, but without the money to sustain them, they wouldn’t be able to do so.”

Total giving by the top 25 hedge fund foundations increased 61%, to $459 million, compared with data available at this time last year. As the amount of money fund managers contribute to philanthropy rises, so too does the number of causes they support. Charities aimed at children, education and healthcare have long been the most popular causes among hedge fund managers – a fact consistent with the broader philanthropic community. However, hedge fund foundations have been contributing to a broader array of causes and striving to play a greater role in disaster relief, both natural and man-made. The causes receiving donations from hedge fund philanthropies now range from human rights, to prevention of child abuse and eating disorders, and even an effort to lower the U.S. drinking age. Hedge fund managers are also taking a hands-on approach with the charities they support and upping the requirements they attach to such donations. What results is an increasingly powerful group of donors, one whose importance could rise as the United States grapples with the threat of a recession.

Given the poor performance reported by many hedge funds in recent months, nonprofits are bracing for the impact such declines might have on donations in 2008. “The two leading indicators in charitable giving are how people feel about their own personal finances, and then the performance of the stock market,” says Bob Ottenhoff, president and chief executive of Guidestar, which tracks data on nonprofits. While such factors are understandably causing concern among charities, he says, it is still too early to tell if recent market turmoil will affect philanthropy. “Obviously, people are worried, but there has yet to be any precipitous decrease,” says Ottenhoff, noting that any decline is unlikely to be visible before the end of 2008 because most nonprofits raise the majority of their funding in the second half of the year.

So far, professionals within the nonprofit industry say uncertainty surrounding the economy has yet to curtail hedge fund giving. It is difficult to get a real-time reading, however, because publicly available financial data trail the group’s current activities by at least a year. If their most recent filings are any indication of the future, hedge fund managers will continue to pour money into their foundations, and the size of donations their foundations make will continue to rise. Nowhere is that more apparent than our third ranking of the top hedge fund philanthropies.

The single-donor hedge fund foundations that make up the list have shifted slightly, but on the whole, there has been little change among the top 10. The foundations that captured the first three spots in this year’s rankings are all repeats from last year.

Soros’ Open Society Institute maintains its status as the hedge fund industry’s largest foundation, with assets totaling $1.3 billion, according to its most recently reported fiscal year. The foundation’s assets rose by an impressive 53%, from $858.9 million at the time of last year’s rankings. Herb Sturz, a trustee of Open Society Institute, says annual giving among Soros’ foundations averages between $400 million and $500 million.

Julian Robertson’s Robertson Foundation holds on to second place with $750.9 million, a 14% rise from last year’s $659 million. And Jim Simons’ Simons Foundation repeats in third, counting $477 million in assets, up 47% from the $324.8 million it recorded last year. Rounding out the top five are Stephen Mandel’s Zoom Foundation, with $196.6 million, and Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, which boasts $161.9 million.

Children, healthcare and education dominate hedge fund philanthropists’ giving, with the majority of the top 25 foundations reporting donations to domestic charities dedicated to these issues. But a shift is gradually taking place. Following the lead of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which, with $33.1 billion is the largest U.S. philanthropy – a rising number of hedge fund foundations has begun funding many of the same initiatives overseas.

Susan Frunzi, a partner with law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel who specializes in trusts and estates, says there has been a noticeable rise in the amount of money philanthropists have been directing overseas in recent years, particularly to the Third World, including Africa. “Overseas giving isn’t something that’s new, but the level of emphasis has been greater,” says Frunzi. One representative of the shift is High Water Women, a philanthropic and volunteer group founded in 2005 by Kathleen Kelley, global macro portfolio manager for Kingdon Capital Management, and Leslie Rahl of Capital Market Risk Advisors.

Kelley says that in 2007, High Water Women focused its giving on microfinance overseas in an effort to educate poor and low-income communities about financial services. “People love the idea of microfinance. And when you’re talking about kids and education abroad, a lot of times that ends up meaning microfinance because it is usually the mother who is the head of the family and is running, or trying to run, a small business to support her children,” says Kelley. This year, she says, High Water Women has shifted its focus back to the United States to focus on financial literacy and math education. “To break the cycle of poverty, you have to be able to figure out what you have and how to manage that,” she says.

Interest is also heating up on the environmental front, specifically around the issue of global warming. Fueled by greater media attention in recent years, particularly the glut of attention given to former Vice President Al Gore’s 2006 global warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” there has been a rise in the amount of money making its way to environmental causes. That’s good news for longtime environmental activists such as Campbell, who believes problems like global warming can no longer be ignored.

“If you look back 10 or 20 years, the words ‘global warming’ didn’t really resonate with anybody,” says Campbell, joking that for many people in the Northeast warmer temperatures simply mean the possibility of an extra month on the golf course. But as warmer temperatures have made it difficult for some animal and vegetable life to survive in certain regions, and pollution of major waterways such as the Mississippi River has become impossible to ignore, awareness of the problems plaguing the environment has risen – along with financial support for efforts to combat many of them. “People are now beginning to realize that we have these issues, and if we don’t deal with them real soon, we probably will not be able to deal with them long term,” says Campbell.

An avid outdoorsman – he enjoys fishing, surfing and skiing – Campbell says his passion for the environment began in childhood. Today, he serves as chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s board of trustees, a nonprofit launched in 1967 that fights for stronger regulations to protect the largest and most important estuary in the United States. In 2006, the Campbell Foundation gave $7.8 million to environmental causes – in roughly 150 donations – ranging from a $4,000 gift to the Environmental Media Fund’s film festival to a $110,000 contribution to Oakland’s Environmental Defense Fund to support California fisheries.

Campbell is not alone in his passion for the environment. Tiger Management founder Julian Robertson and Tudor Investment president and founder Paul Tudor Jones II have also made big contributions to preserve the natural world. Robertson’s $750.9 million Robertson Foundation and $18.6 million Tiger Foundation have given $8 million over three years to the Environmental Defense Fund, on top of the big donations Robertson has made directly. “He’s committed his own personal money for lobbying for climate change because he believes it’s a significant challenge that could be devastating for the future,” says Fraser Seitel, a spokesman for Tiger. Jones, an avid fisherman, chairs the Everglades Foundation and has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to help restore the Florida Everglades.

Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, a nonprofit that works with large foundations to help them improve performance, says increased attention to issues such as global warming is leading to larger contributions. “There are at least a few examples of contributors saying ‘well, if we really care about global warming and think that it is an imminent threat to our planet, it doesn’t make any sense to manage our foundation to exist in perpetuity,'” says Buchanan. He notes that several foundations have begun increasing the amount they give away each year beyond the traditional 5% annual payout.

Under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code rules for 501(c)(3) organizations – the tax exemption status granted to an array of nonprofit and religious groups – charities are required to give away 5% of their assets each year. Until recently, Buchanan says most charities have adhered to the 5% guideline to ensure their long-term sustainability. But as government aid has become more scarce and nonprofits struggle to land funding, he says there has been a noticeable rise in the number of philanthropists increasing the size of donations they make. Many hedge fund philanthropists have also been attaching more strings to donations.

“When it comes to hedge fund philanthropists, it’s important not to just look at how they’re giving more money and what kinds of nonprofits they’re donating to, but how they’re donating and taking advantage of the multiplier effect,” says Kathleen McCarthy, director of the Center on Philanthropy at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. With many hedge fund managers approaching philanthropy the same way they approach investments in their portfolios, it is becoming common for nonprofits to be asked to demonstrate quantifiable results from the funding they receive. McCarthy says a major driver of this trend is the Robin Hood Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Jones in 1988 that relies on donations from multiple hedge fund managers to help fight poverty in New York City.

As part of its model, Robin Hood leverages federal grants and partnerships to help grantees, often requiring its beneficiaries to match a percentage of the money they receive through their own fundraising efforts and demonstrate how the funds have been used to improve the work of their organizations. “It’s the ‘so what’ question,” says McCarthy. “It’s looking at how you prove you’ve had an impact and, if you’re not having an impact, how you use the data to help refine what you’re doing.”

The heavy investment influence that hedge fund managers’ careers have on their philanthropy activities has also led to the creation of more public/private partnerships, which aim to leverage public funding with private support. Such partnerships have recently come to the forefront as foundations such as Soros’ Open Society Institute have stepped in to help subprime mortgage holders fend off foreclosures.

Among Open Society Institute’s contributions to help with the U.S. mortgage crisis, the foundation gave $1 million in 2008 and committed another $1 million in 2009 to the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, a nonprofit created in December 2007 to provide counseling, legal assistance, loan remediation, advocacy and education around the issues of lending and mortgage foreclosures. Funding for the center, which has a projected budget of $5.3 million for its first year, is through a combination of public funding – $1.6 million from the New York City Council, $1 million from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development – and the rest from private foundations and institutions. Beyond Open Society Institute, contributors include the Robin Hood Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Paulson & Co. and Citigroup.

In late 2005, the Open Society Institute’s Sturz took a similar approach by partnering with New York City officials and civic leaders to create the New York Acquisition Fund, a $230 million partnership that will help purchase land and build more than 30,000 units of affordable housing in Manhattan over 10 years. As with the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, the New York Acquisition Fund relies on a combination of government and private funding. In addition, the organization can rely on the balance sheets of big foundations to guarantee loans that help developers acquire land at lower interest rates. “In sitting down and asking, ‘How do I solve this problem?’ [hedge fund foundations] are realizing that the biggest pocket of funding available will always be from the government, so these public/private partnership have come about,” says Kingdon’s Kelley. “You’re never going to have more money than the government, so the best thing to do is figure out a way to work with them and to push them to use their money more wisely.”

As with most charities, the biggest determinants of where hedge fund foundations direct their money are the causes that have had a personal impact on their founders. Baupost Group founder and president Seth Klarman’s $105.8 million Klarman Family Foundation has directed donations to a wide range of issues since its creation 18 years ago, from poverty, education and healthcare, to an effort to end homelessness in Boston. But the foundation recently shifted its emphasis to eating disorders as a result of a family connection to the issue. “It’s an area that’s often overlooked and often sort of seen as a rich kid’s disease, but it isn’t,” says Klarman. “It’s an international problem.”

A personal experience was also the basis for the creation of Hedge Funds Care, a collaborative effort among many hedge funds to prevent child abuse and treat its victims. Hedge Funds Care was founded in 1998 by Rob Davis, whose experience as a teacher early in his career informed the group’s mission. After seeing first hand the effects of abuse in a few of the students in his class, Davis was instilled with the desire to address the problem. Years later, when the high-profile blowup of Long Term Capital Management led to a flurry of negative publicity about hedge funds, Davis saw an opportunity to try to counteract that image by gathering the industry’s participants to fight child abuse and soothe its effects.

“Family and relatives form a natural constituency to support a child with leukemia, but that doesn’t exist for a child who is abused,” says Davis, noting that the problem is usually well hidden. “It’s one of the most important childhood issues that exists, but it’s very low on the list of what gets money.” In the last decade, Hedge Funds Care has grown to include chapters in 11 cities in four countries. In 2006, the group raised $3.6 million to help address the problem. This year, despite the struggling economy, Davis expects that amount to rise to $7 million to $8 million.

Political issues also factor into the causes hedge fund managers support. The primary focus of the Robertson Foundation has been the environment and New York City schools; the organization was able to help create 50 charter schools by partnering with Mayor Michael Bloomberg a few years back. But underage drinking recently moved to the forefront. In 2007, the Robertson Foundation helped form Choose Responsibility, a nonprofit aimed at lowering the U.S. drinking age to 18 while creating more education and supervision for teenage drinkers. Based on the theory that the current 21-year-old drinking age encourages inexperienced minors to go on dangerous drinking binges, the Robertson Foundation approached Middlebury College president emeritus John McCardell to study the issue and ultimately launch the organization.

As hedge fund philanthropies continue to broaden the range of issues they support, as well as their involvement at the board level in many charities, the group’s importance to nonprofits has become significant. In fact, nonprofit professionals estimate that up to 90% of the money raised by charities comes from only 10% of contributors, and hedge fund foundations represent a larger part of that group each year. So, with widespread fears that a recession is looming, and with many hedge fund firms reporting losses or only small gains, charities reliant on these investment managers are growing nervous that the contributions they count on could suddenly shrink. The possibility is real, given that the 5% formula most foundations rely on to determine what they will give away to nonprofits will be drawn from smaller pools if the hedge fund managers supporting them scale back their support. However, because many gifts consist of multi-year grants, if a downturn does occur, it is unlikely to be visible or measurable before the end of 2009.

At this year’s Robin Hood Foundation dinner, held May 27, the room traditionally used at the Jacob Javitz Center was reconfigured to accommodate a slightly smaller turnout than in past years. The event raised $56.5 million, down from $71 million last year. Arpad Busson’s fundraising dinner for Absolute Return for Kids, or ARK, which will be held in London on June 5, was also expecting donations to trail off. After taking in a record £26.6 million ($53 million) last year, the organization was expecting to raise around £15 million this time around. Nonetheless, Busson is not easing up on his charitable efforts. He has plans to throw a comparable event in the United States in the near future.

And then there’s the simple fact that a bad year for leading hedge fund managers is still an unimaginably great year for the average person – a fact Campbell says has led most in the group to consider philanthropy a key responsibility. Says another hedge fund philanthropist: “Most hedge fund guys do well even if they don’t have a good year, so it’s unlikely that giving among the group will turn down much because of the economy.”


TOP 25 U.S. HEDGE FUND FOUNDATIONS (SINGLE DONOR)

Rank

Manager

Firm

Foundation

Total assets

Gifts received

Total giving

1

George Soros

Soros Fund Management

Open Society Institute

1,315,260,430

534,766,904

73,809,939

Soros Economic Development Fund

139,591,713

500,000

1,275,000

Soros Fund Charitable Foundation

112,388,634

NA

1,917,229

Soros Charitable Foundation

90,731,433

NA

4,100,000

Soros Foundation-Hungary

41,274,069

NA

10,991,148

2

Julian Robertson

Tiger Management

Robertson Foundation

750,981,022

39,494,082

37,916,716

Tiger Foundation

18,608,109

2,240,178

7,101,000

The Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation

25,510,270

7,000,000

2,917,343

3

Jim Simons

Renaissance Technologies

The Simons Foundation

477,022,066

64,749,656

33,017,410

4

Stephen Mandel

Lone Pine Capital

Zoom Foundation

196,635,119

23,156,049

11,000,000

Lone Pine Foundation

16,715,612

2,728,095

3,030,078

5

Boone Pickens

BP Capital Management

T. Boone Pickens Foundation

189,000,000

155,250,000

120,429,754

6

Keith Campbell

Campbell & Co.

The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment

161,940,951

30,000,000

7,761,087

7

Robert W. Wilson

The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust

154,579,374

39,515,552

76,629,647

8

Leon Cooperman

Omega Advisors

The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation

151,356,950

NA

3,699,025

9

Seth Klarman

Baupost Group

Klarman Family Foundation

105,785,752

29,000,310

7,415,183

10

Art Samberg

Pequot Capital Management

Samberg Family Foundation

92,631,241

10,505,396

4,559,486

Pequot Capital Foundation

3,939,179

29,475

509,336

11

Jeffrey Vinik

Vinik Asset Management

Vinik Family Foundation

81,067,746

20,000,000

3,994,516

12

Jonathon Jacobson

HighfieldsCapital Management

The Jacobson Family Trust Foundation

76,161,486

3,508,047

4,390,807

13

Mark Kingdon

Kingdon Capital Managmenet

Mark and AnlaCheng KingdonFund

69,584,056

9,767,958

3,470,014

14

David Tepper

Appaloosa Management

David TepperCharitable Foundation

64,846,168

7,695,304

2,530,300

15

Bruce Kovner

Caxton Associates

The KovnerFoundation

55,582,699

15,747,600

10,640,000

16

Mario Gabelli

Gabelli Group

GabelliFoundation

38,542,004

1,406,533

1,383,000

17

Alan Slifka

Halcyon Asset Management

Alan B. SlifkaFoundation

33,261,874

23,000,000

510,077

18

Louis Bacon

Moore Capital Management

The Moore Charitable Foundation

27,330,868

2,800

3,998,200

19

Robert O’Shea

Silver Point Capital

The O’Shea Family Foundation

23,781,930

12,084,858

637,910

20

Glenn R. Dubin

HighbridgeCapital Management

G&E DubinFamily Foundation

22,411,591

10,087,962

1,093,712

21

Raymond Dalio

Bridgewater Associates

The DalioFamily Foundation

20,434,063

NA

4,891,925

22

Dan Benton

Andor Capital Management

Andor Capital Management Foundation

20,012,138

20,012,138

2,467,174

23

Paul Singer

Elliott Associates

The Paul Singer Family Foundation

18,413,756

143,974

1,627,350

24

Israel Englander

Millennium Management

Englander Foundation

17,655,628

17,361,707

8,780,043

25

John W. Henry

John W. Henry & Co.

John W. Henry Family Foundation

14,779,509

500

929,650

Total assets

4,627,817,440

1,079,755,078

459,424,059


Philanthropy Blog

Philanthropy Blog

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.

— Robert Louis Stevenson

Philanthropy Blog

Philanthropy Blog


Philanthropy

Philanthropy

Rob is the founder of Help For Children/Hedge Funds Care (HFC.org). In late 1998 Rob conceived of the idea of raising money in the hedge fund/alternative investment industry, and making grants to organizations dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. The first event that Rob organized in February 1999, attracted more than 400 people, raised close to $450,000.00 and resulted in grants to outstanding programs dedicated to saving children from the trauma of abuse. It was such a great party and first of its kind, industry networking event, that many people urged Rob to do it again the following year.  Philanthropy

Fast forward to 2021 and there are HFC branches throughout the U.S. plus Grand Cayman, London, Toronto & Hong Kong. Each branch has a “Committee of Hearts comprised of industry professionals who donate their time and effort to raise funds from multiple events in their area. These funds are then granted through a rigorous process developed by Rob and the Columbia University School of Social Work, to organizations focused on saving children from the trauma of abuse in their respective communities, where the funds were raised.

To assure the funds raised are most effectively deployed, Rob innovated the approach of working with a well regarded, graduate level, school of social work in each branch community. For example, Columbia University in NY, University of California, Berkeley, serving L.A., San Francisco and Denver. Emory in Atlanta & University of Chicago in the Midwest. The respective academic consultants collaborate with the local HFC Grant Selection Committee and the Global Office in NYC, to identify the most worthwhile programs to fund, and then collect data as a follow-up, to help evaluate how effectively the funds are put to work, for future reference!

Since inception HFC has made more than 1,000 grants of more than $55million. In addition, HFC funded programs for children, parents, police, teachers and others designed to prevent child abuse from happening in the first place, have addressed more than 20,000 individuals annually.

Rob is the Chairman Emeritus and an active Board Member,  committed as ever to helping prevent child abuse and providing treatment to those who have been victimized!

In addition, Rob is a Managing Director of McAlinden Research Partners, an investment strategy research firm. He is also the author of “What Goes Around Comes Around – A Guide To How Life REALLY Works.” The book and ebook are available on Amazon or the book’s website, www.whatgoesllc.com.

An avid music lover, Rob is a singer/songwriter/performer. The cabaret performance videos of Rob’s original songs and favorite covers are found at: www.youtube.com/robdavismusic:

 His original R&B music & vocals are found at robdavismusic.bandcamp.com.

Rob resides in New York City, has helped raise six beautiful children, has nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren!

Philanthropic Awards

Watch Counting Crows Concert at 2nd Annual HFC RocksRead NewYorker Article on Rob Davis

Please click on letter below to learn about CAPP:   Child Abuse Prevention Program

Child Abuse Prevention Program

Philanthropy has always loomed large in my life. Toward the end of 1998 I started Help For Children/Hedge Funds Care (www.hfc.org). At the time my goal was to simply see if I had it in me to pull together a party of people I’d met at conferences and meetings in my industry, to raise money for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. It turned out to be a really great party, and today HFC is a global movement with chapters in twelve cities and six countries. As of this writing more than $46 million has been donated globally to programs dedicated to saving children from the trauma of abuse. So it has been a rewarding and wonderful Journey that I will be writing more about.

Rob Davis, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Help For Children, receiving the City & State Reports Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Philanthropy in the Financial Community.

Help For Children/Hedge Funds Care raises $2million to help save children from the trauma of abuse

Before entering the financial services industry, Rob Davis worked as a teacher in an elementary school, where some of his students, he found out, had been victims of abuse. Davis, who as a child had been subjected to abuse himself, ultimately got involved in their cases to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to justice. One of the reasons that child abuse persists, Rob came to realize, is that many people treat it as a family matter. Parents of victimized children rarely advocate for the prevention and treatment in the same manner that the parents of children with a particular disability or illness often do. As a consequence, the issue doesn’t garner enough public attention, let alone funding.

Many years later, raising a family of his own, Davis made a decision to become a better role model for his children. “I wasn’t doing anything but writing a check here or there,” he recalled.

Davis, a managing director at McAlinden Research Partners, realized that the best way for him to help others was to open his Rolodex of clients, colleagues and friends within the financial services industry. He decided to organize a fundraiser. The event, which was held in February 1999, attracted more than 400 people and raised $450,000 for abused children.

Even better, many in attendance seemed just as thrilled by the success as Davis himself was. “When are we going to do this next year?” they asked.

That charity born out of that event, Help for Children/Hedge Funds Care (HFC), has grown over the years into an international organization with affiliates in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia, and a handful of American cities. Each HFC chapter has established a relationship with the leading school of social work in its city or region to assist in selecting worthwhile grantees. In New York, grants have been awarded to the New York Center for Children, where police bring children who have been sexually abused for forensic interviews with social workers and psychologists. Another local organization, The Child Abuse Prevention Program, sends puppeteers to elementary schools, where they use storytelling to teach third graders which kinds of contact are acceptable and which should be reported. HFC has also sponsored therapy for some 8,000 children, filling a gap left by government programs that cap the amount of treatment they can provide.

“When kids have been actually hurt and can’t get therapy,” Davis said, “that kills you.”

HFC has also supported preventative programs that provide training to thousands of attorneys, teachers, parents, and children. Between all its chapters and affiliates, the foundation has granted over $44 million to organizations committed to protecting vulnerable children, funds mostly raised through parties, dinners and networking for members of financial services industry.

“HFC has worked because the industry comes together for events that combine business networking with the great cause of saving children from the trauma of abuse,” Davis said. “I’m a believer that participation should absolutely have a positive impact on people’s personal as well as professional lives.”

Enjoy reading this email about how HFC got started, sent from Rob to his good friend Emily, who has been involved with HFC from the very beginning:

Here’s how it went. I started working on it, and came to visit you with Eric Roper in October 1998. The question was whether I needed to go thru all the 501C3 stuff to have the party I was planning, or could find a host organization to front me (which was Eric’s suggestion), since I had no idea at the time if I would be successful. Also, I was just thinking about a one-time event and had no thought that it would turn into something larger. Eric knew you from being on the board of the Henry Street Settlement House, and thought you might have some suggestions.

He was right! You were wonderful to offer set up a separate account for us, so people could make their checks out to UNH, and your staff would keep track of everything. It stayed that way for 3-4 years, until Doris came along and pulled all the legal things together to be official.

You Eric and I then went to Columbia to meet with the Dean, Ron Feldman. In that mtg we also met Kathryn Conroy, who agreed to work with us in selecting who received grants, and evaluating how they did with our money. The relationships with UNH and Columbia turned out to be extremely helpful in my fund raising effort, as they gave my instant infrastructure credibility, and a story about how everything would be handled in a top draw, professional manner. Kathryn was our Columbia consultant for the first ten years (during which period, Doris Schwartz was the ED from years 3-10). When Doris left, Kathryn retired from Columbia and became ED in ’08.

You may recall, that first party at the Pierre was quite a success, and right after, everyone started clamoring for another the next near. Before long people started popping up in other cities to start branches there. At first we followed the same model of working with local charities to handle the money, but it began to get way too complicated keeping track of everything…enter Doris.

I retired as Chairman after the tenth year, the year we changed ED’s (seemed like the natural time to do it so people would get the idea that different people could step in and keep it going) as I didn’t want it to end with me. To wit, the Chairman role has passed hands twice since, and is now held by Dean Backer, a terrific guy from Goldman. I am now an Emeritus J, still very involved in the background, and thinking that I should get the story written and on video.

That’s the story. Since you were so crucial to the formation (never could have started without you), I’m delighted that we could work out meeting with you. Caroline is a close friend who worked with me when it all started and has been to every event since. Jay, the video guy is also a good friend and talented videographer.

Warm wishes,

Rob

I’m happy to say that since inception we have actually donated more than $42million, through more than 1000 grants to organizations with a laser focus on preventing child abuse and providing treatment to those who have been victimized.. The organizations that we fund are subjected to a rigorous process. They must first respond to the HFC Request For Proposal that is posted each year on the HFC website. All proposals are first vetted by the local academic advisor, who in most cases is a Professor of Social Work at the leading University in that city. More about that later. Their first job in this process is to screen out the proposals that clearly are not “on mission”. In our case, that means without a clear and laser focus on the prevention and treatment of child abuse. 

The proposals that make it through, are then further evaluated by members of the local “Grant Selection Committee.” comprised of individuals from the local business community. Their mission is to decide which existing programs should be re-funded, and which are the most compelling new ones to add. The crucial component of course, is how much money we have available from fund raising activities. It is a bruising and  difficult process due to the fact that there are virtually always, more deserving programs seeking funding than we have the capacity to include. Having said that, in 2015 HFC funded more than 100 programs throughout our network of branches. 

Back to our academic consultants. When I started HFC in the Fall of 1998, one of the first things I did was to meet with the Dean of the Columbia University School of Social Work. I asked the Dean if they would be our guide in choosing the programs we funded, if that is, I was able to raise any money, which at that moment was far from a foregone conclusion. I’d like to say that the idea of going to Columbia was an original idea, but truthfully, that is not the case. Actually, what happened is that I had been telling a friend about my plans to raise money and donate it to programs focused on child abuse, when he stopped my in my tracks! 

“Seriously,who would trust you with their money when you have zero experience in that process, and you know how skittish people are these days about some of the crap that goes on! 

I was definitely taken aback by his vehemence on the subject, but thankfully, in his next breath… 

He said, “Hey, why don’t you see the people at Columbia. Its the top rated graduate school of social work in the U.S. They have to know all the programs out there, because they place their students with them for internships as part of their studies. So they have to know which ones are the best and worst. They can’t place their students in clunkers or they’ll lose their highly coveted rating.”

“Ummm” I droned, “Any chance that you anyone there? How can I get in front of the Dean to even ask?”

“Leave it to me” he said. My wife’s best friend works for the Dean.”

The meeting had barely started when the Dean interrupted and said there was someone that he wanted to bring in to join us. A few minutes later, in walked DR. Kathryn Conroy, the Assistant Dean in charge of “Field Placement” and the person most directly responsible for that internship, placement process described before. 

After about ten minutes later, as I was describing my vision of raising funds and donating funds, but hoping that Columbia would help in the granting process and also devise a way to analyze results, she literally pounded her hand on conference room table and declared, “I want to do this! “

The dean, a wonderful guy named Ron Goldman, added, 

“Wow, what a great idea. Ya know, not one other charity has ever asked us to participate in something like this, even though we probably know the social service community in this city better than anyone! At the very least, as well as anyone! Now let’s see” he went on. “The business community would like to bring badly needed funding to a dramatically underserved population, and they’d like Columbia to assist them in providing the most effective possible home for whatever funds they are able to raise.” He gazed up and feigned heavy thought for about 10 seconds before proclaiming, “Done! Ok Kathryn, the ball is in your court. Rob, with Kathryn in your corner you got better than you bargained for by coming here today. Now go and raise some bucks.”

cacf.org – The nation’s only pan-Asian children’s advocacy organization.

www.newyorkcenterforchildren.org – Child abuse prevention and clinical treatment for children who have suffered sexual & physical abuse.

www.em-powering.org – Providing educational opportunities for children in Uganda

www.childcenterny.org – Family strengthening support for high risk parents & children

www.nyfoundling.org  – click on Program & Services – click on Child Abuse Prevention Program – Puppet shows for elementary school students that provide tools to prevent child abuse and deal with current abusive situations.

 www.sunriseassociation.org – Giving support to children suffering from cancer through summer camp and in-hospital recreational activities.

www.sus.org – Services for the Underserved.

Charity is good! Rob & Karen- Founder of Cherished Feet

Cherished Feet

Global Custodian Dinner where Rob gave the 2021 Keynote Speech  about www.HFC.org

Rob Davis Global Custodian Dinner

Rob Presenting Baseball's Joe Torre With "The 2014 Chairman's Award" for Joe's Philanthropic Efforts to Help Children

Help for Children ... Disrupt Your Conventional Thinking

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