Modern-day Robin Hood applies business skills to philanthropy

Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones' charity -- the Robin Hood Foundation -- fights poverty with the hard-nosed, business sense of Wall Street

Paul Tudor Jones: I was throwing everything in the world I could at it. I was taking them on trips every summer and providing after-school services. We put so much time, energy, and love into them.

But he failed. After five years, the grades in his school were no better than average.

Paul Tudor Jones: I felt like I had failed a great deal of those kids. But failure, a lot of times, is the fire that forges the steel for success, right? There are going to be stops, there are gonna be failures. There are gonna be setbacks. But you grow from those and you get better and it becomes transformative.

Turned out a preacher's compassion needed a little Wall Street ruthlessness. So Tudor Jones and his friends set up Robin Hood to invest in poverty programs in the same hardnosed way they invested in businesses. Their offices are filled with analysts and accountants who help the best ideas develop and measure the results without mercy.

Mary Alice Hannan: My relationship with Robin Hood has evolved over the years like mother-daughter, you know, friend-and-foe--

Sister Mary Alice Hannan's soup kitchen in the Bronx had lived "hand to mouth" for almost a decade and then came Robin Hood with an offer to invest and expand.

Scott Pelley: Friend and foe?

Mary Alice Hannan: Friend and foe. I mean this in a loving way, but I loved and hated them in 30 seconds. And I'm sure they felt the same way about me.

Love was nice but Robin Hood wanted data. Who was being served, how many, what was the cost? Did the data support expansion? And where was the nun's business plan?

Mary Alice Hannan: So I'm like, "OK."

Scott Pelley: You're just trying to get through today?

Mary Alice Hannan: Today, right. So the first thing was a five-year strategic plan and I went, "Ugh, alright." And it was a long, tedious experience. And it was wonderful and we came up with all these spectacular goals and that was really, really good. Yay, yay! It was the follow up of the goals that became the challenge.

Paul Tudor Jones: We started asking grantees, "What are your goals?" and then holding them accountable and yet, at the same time, providing management expertise and providing administrative help and legal help and help to secure buildings. So we weren't just holding them accountable. We were helping them along the way.

Robin Hood invested 5 million in the kitchen's expansion goals and now they're serving more than twice as many as before. But when programs don't perform, Robin Hood takes the money back.

Paul Tudor Jones: Every year we probably de-fund 5 percent to 10 percent of our grantees. Not because the fact that they're not wonderful. Not because of the fact that they're not trying real hard, but because we're not getting the results.

Scott Pelley: You do that to 5 percent to 10 percent of your projects every year?

Paul Tudor Jones: Yes, because we're always trying to find new things, and by definition, you're gonna fail at times. It's what you have to do to be at the forefront of actually finding a way to kick poverty's ass.

Recently Robin Hood's board of directors met at the soup kitchen. The personal net worth of the board adds up to $25 billion. Robin Hood takes all of its expenses from the board members, so 100 percent of donations are given to the poor. Just like its namesake.

Paul Tudor Jones: If you said to me what part of our success is due to our name, I'd say it's a big part of it 'cause it's a great name, right? It says everything.

Scott Pelley: Is that what happens at that gala we went to? Taking from the rich? Well, you put the arm on them.