The 2015 Robin Hood Gala on Tuesday night was a smashing success. It was a record-setting night as more than $101 million was pledged at the event in what organizers called the largest single fundraiser in the United States. Last year’s gala raised $60 million, and this year’s total easily outstripped the previous record of $87.8 million set in 2010.
Of note, the Robin Hood Foundation spent over $133 million working with 200 nonprofits in 2014.
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Statement from Robin Hood Foundation executive director
“The people in the room were really receptive when they heard about Karen and Bill’s generosity,” David Saltzman, executive director of the foundation, commented on Wednesday morning in an interview with Bloomberg. “What’s great is tens of thousands of people are part of the Robin Hood community. Some people give a dollar. Some people get to give a million dollar on 2015s.”
More on 2015 Robin Hood Gala
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Jon Bon Jovi kicked off the gala. The big philanthropic night began with the announcement of a $25 million anonymous gift to launch a new fund for education and technology projects. That was followed by another $25 million pledge from Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Foundation which would be used to match other donations.
The Robin Hood Gala was first put together by Saltzman and Paul Tudor Jones, and has grown into a huge event, drawing titans from investment firms, banks, fashion and the Hollywood. This year’s gala also expanded via satellite parties for “next-generation” guests who couldn’t make it to the Big Apple..
The Robin Hood Foundation has raised over $2 billion since 1988, and somehow manages to open up Wall Street wallets wider than other events. Foe example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Ball collected brought in $12.5 million last week, and the UJA-Federation of New York Wall Street Dinner managed to get $26 million in donations late last year.
Paul McCartney performed for two hours to close the Robin Hood Gala this year, regaling guests with favorites ranging from “Paperback Writer” to “Hey Jude.”