Our founders: Donald and Barbara Jonas
Philanthropists Barbara and Donald Jonas are noted art collectors who decided to increase their giving during their lifetimes by auctioning off 15 of their valuable abstract expressionist artworks in May of 2005. The $44 million in proceeds seeded the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund.
Long involved with local arts, education and medical institutions, Barbara, a psychiatric social worker and psychotherapist, and Donald, a leading retail executive, sought appropriate beneficiaries for their new fund. They identified the nursing shortage—and its profound impact on the healthcare of individuals and communities—as an area of particular philanthropic need.
In early 2006, the couple established the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, a first-of-its-kind philanthropic program dedicated to advancing the nursing profession in New York City.