Robin Hood Raises $57 Million to Fight Poverty in New York City: Announces Partnership with X PRIZE Foundation to Fund Global Poverty Solutions

New York, NY (May 15, 2012) — Last night in New York City, Robin Hood announced a partnership with the X PRIZE Foundation to launch a series of incentivized prize competitions designed to engage people from around the world to find solutions to the problems of poverty in New York City and beyond. By offering a substantial prize of at least $1 million and soliciting crowd-sourced solutions from teams and individuals around the globe, Robin Hood and the X PRIZE Foundation hope to identify effective new approaches to fighting poverty that can be put to the test via X PRIZEs in New York City with clear, measurable goals.

Robin Hood is New York’s largest private poverty-fighting organization and has contributed more than $1.1 billion since 1988 to hundreds of the best poverty-fighting programs in New York City. Robin Hood finds, funds, and supports schools and programs that generate meaningful results for families in New York’s poorest neighborhoods.

The X PRIZE Foundation is the global leader in creating and managing large-scale prize-based competitions. The Foundation brings together innovators from around the world to inspire and create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. The competitions encourage risk-taking; accelerate the pace of change; and break through market and government bottlenecks. They reach across national and disciplinary boundaries to attract the intellectual and financial capital required to achieve otherwise unimaginable results.

History has demonstrated that the best solutions develop from unlikely sources when a meaningful prize is offered for a challenge. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh, flew solo, non-stop, from New York to Paris and won the $25,000 Orteig Prize. In the process, he propelled himself into the record books and launched an international airline industry. In 2004, the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE challenged privately funded teams to build a spacecraft capable of carrying three people 100 kilometers above the earth's surface, twice within two weeks. As a result, a billion dollar space flight industry was born.
Announcing the partnership in front of nearly 4,000 people at the Jacob Javits Center, Robin Hood founder Paul Tudor Jones, II, said, “Tonight, we’re introducing R&D to TLC. Over the years, Robin Hood has done a lot of good for a lot of people, but I believe our partnership with the X PRIZE Foundation could be the most transformative event in our history.”

Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation added, “Robin Hood is highly regarded for their 24 year history of making a real difference for the poor of New York City. By joining forces with X PRIZE, together, we will innovate and attack the root causes of poverty.”

In the upcoming months, Robin Hood and the X PRIZE Foundation will collaborate to determine the parameters of the first competition. Among the concepts being considered are those that address homelessness, access to education, unemployment and health care.

“This prize will bring the greatest and most innovative minds around the globe to helping poor New Yorkers achieve their dreams,” said David Saltzman, executive director of Robin Hood. “The cavalry is coming and we are sounding a clarion call to attack poverty in ways previously unimaginable.”

In addition to the $19 million raised to fund the Robin Hood X PRIZE, Robin Hood also raised more than $38 million to fund its day-to-day poverty-fighting programs throughout New York City.
Since Robin Hood’s board of directors generously fund all operating and fund raising expenses, every dollar raised toward the general fund will go directly to helping New Yorkers in need. Robin Hood currently supports more than 200 of the most effective poverty-fighting programs and has made more than $146 million in grants and commitments over the past year alone. Over the course of its 24 year history, Robin Hood has made more than $1.1 billion in grants, changing the lives of millions of New Yorkers.

Featuring a blowout performance by six-time GRAMMY Winner Rihanna, last night’s fundraiser was co-hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers, and also included a special performance by music legend Neil Young. One highlight of the evening was the “Robin Hood 101,” as performed via “slow jam” by Jimmy Fallon, Brian Williams, and house band, The Roots.

The benefit was co-chaired by Steve Burke, chief executive officer of NBCUniversal, and his wife Gretchen; two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and his wife Abby; and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri.

Robin Hood is New York City’s largest private poverty-fighting organization.

About XPRIZE

Founded in 1995, XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. The organization motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE conducts competitions in five Prize Groups: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. For more information, go to www.xprize.org, “like” us at www.facebook.com/xprize and follow us on twitter @xprize.

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