In Philanthropy: Julia Koch’s Eight-Figure Gift For a Florida Care Center and More

The widow of David Koch is donating $75 million for an ambulatory care center in West Palm Beach.

From a $1.5 million initiative supporting Detroit-based artists to Julia Koch’s eight-figure gift for an ambulatory care center in West Palm Beach, these are some of the most notable developments in the philanthropic world.

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Steve and Alexandra Cohen give $3.8 million towards a disability nonprofit’s expansion plans

Woman and man pose in baseball stadium.
Steve and Alexandra Cohen launched their foundation in 2001. Courtesy Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and his wife Alexandra are donating around $3.8 million to help the nonprofit Abilis open a new location in Stamford, Conn. The organization, which provides services for hundreds of individuals with disabilities, will use the funds to acquire a 26,000-square-foot building that will be named after the couple in recognition for their gift.

“The Cohen Abilis Advancement Center will provide more than double the space we currently have for even more programs and services to enhance the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO of the nonprofit, in a statement. “It’s very exciting!”

The new two-floor center will be the second Stamford location for Abilis, which was founded in 1951 and is currently headquartered in Greenwich. It will be renovated and retrofitted for accessibility by this fall, with plans to offer a memory unit, alternative typing program and areas for music, art, cooking, dance and fitness classes. “People of all abilities should have a place where they feel welcomed and encouraged to thrive,” Alexandra said in a statement.

The Cohens have given out more than $1 billion in charitable donations over the past two decades through the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. Largely focused on supporting underserved communities and the arts, they notably gave a $5 million grant to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit researching the use of psychedelic-assisted health care, in June of 2023. Cohen, who runs the hedge fund Point72 Asset Management and has an estimated net worth of $19.8 billion, also donated some $300,000 last year to support three student-managed funds.

Dan Gilbert’s family foundation launches a $1.5 million arts initiative

Man and woman walking down street
Dan and Jennifer Gilbert at Allen & Co’s Sun Valley Conference in 2015. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Cohen isn’t the only billionaire sports owner making philanthropic contributions. The family foundation of Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and co-founder of mortgage lender Rocket Companies, is investing $1.5 million to help launch Seed and Bloom, a grant-making initiative aiding BIPOC artists based in Detroit.

Founded by Gilbert and his wife Jennifer in 2015, the Gilbert Family Foundation primarily aids economic opportunities in Detroit and medical research initiatives—in 2023, it donated nearly $375 million to help create a rehabilitation center and research institution dedicated to the genetic disease neurofibromatosis. The couple are also signees of The Giving Pledge, committed to giving away at least half of their wealth, currently estimated at $26.2 billion, to philanthropy.

Their newest financial contribution will provide 10 artists with $150,000 each in grants over a three-year period. Established in partnership with United States Artists, a national arts funding organization based in Chicago, Seed and Bloom will focus on deepening the community impact of each grantee’s artistic practices.

“We are truly grateful to be seen and felt in the Detroit community by the residents and Gilbert Family Foundation,” said Asia Hamilton, founder of Detroit’s Northwest Gallery and one of the Seed and Bloom grantees, in a statement. “We are excited to use this incredible opportunity to expand this work, building a legacy for artists of the future to experience and continue for generations to come.”

Julia Koch donates $75 million for new ambulatory care center

Woman in black dress poses in front of white wall
Julia Koch pictured in October 2018. Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

An ambulatory care center in West Palm Beach, Fla., will be named after Julia Koch in recognition of her $75 million gift towards the new NYU Langone Health facility. Koch is the widow of David Koch, who died in 2019 and made his fortune running the conglomerate Koch Industries.

Known as the Julia Koch Family Ambulatory Care Center, the eight-story and 77,000-square-foot facility will open by 2026 and will contain ambulatory surgery operating rooms, endoscopy suits, physical therapy bays and full-service radiology and imaging. It will also provide on-demand care for specialty areas like internal medicine, oncology and pain management.

Koch’s contribution will help NYU Langone meet a growing demand for care in Florida. “Palm Beach Country is full of New Yorkers, many of whom now live there year-round,” said Kenneth Langone, chair of the NYU Langone board of trustees, in a statement. “For the rest of us it’s a home away from home—with one big deficit: a lack of comprehensive care from the full spectrum of NYU Langone doctors, who offer unmatched quality in every specialty.”

Koch has an estimated net worth of $61.2 billion and was ranked by Forbes in 2023 as the second wealthiest woman in the world. The NYU Langone Health gift is one of the first grants to be made by the Julia Koch Family Foundation, which she established last year. Alongside her late husband, Koch previously donated millions to institutions like the Lincoln Center, NewYork-Presbyterian and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology via the David H. Koch Foundation.

In Philanthropy: Julia Koch’s Eight-Figure Gift For a Florida Care Center and More