Updating your browser will improve your web experience and maximize your security. Please upgrade to a more current browser.

A Tradition of Philanthropy

The Chicago Days

Chicago Heart Association donation, 1950

Jim's long tradition of giving back to the community began in Chicago. Through his fundraising initiatives in Chicago, Jim supported the Boy Scouts, B'nai Brith, Chicago Heart Association, American Cancer Society and City of Hope, among others. Now known as the United Way, Jim raised funds for the Community Chest between 1952 and 1961 – and chaired the Niles Township Community Chest's annual campaign in 1960. After a tragic fire swept through Our Lady of the Angels School in 1958, claiming the lives of 92 children and three nuns, Jim pre-empted his Courtesy Hour program with a personal telethon appeal and raised significant dollars to help the victims' families. Through the years, his fundraising also included hosting several telethons with celebrities such as Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Ebsen, Jack Carson and the Harlem Globetrotters, just to name a few. Jim's fame as an advertising pioneer earned him the cover story in TIME magazine's March 24, 1961, issue. To this day, he is the only automobile dealer ever to appear on its cover.

Jim and Jan Moran: Partners in Giving

Beyond his amazing career, Jim was dedicated to giving back. Jan, his partner in life and chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation, shares his strong commitment of making a real difference in the lives of others. Although Jim's passing was a tremendous loss to our community, Jan has continued his legacy of thoughtful, compassionate philanthropy.

Always inspiring others to work hard and do their best, Jim was quick to assist with both a financial and personal commitment for community projects, especially those involving children and families. In an effort to involve others, he often challenged organizations to raise money and then committed to match all or a portion of what was raised, increasing the total gift. Following the tradition he set in Chicago, Jim's personal philosophy of giving back to the communities where he lived and worked paved the way for a lifetime of charitable endeavors. While he chose to remain anonymous in the early years of his philanthropy in South Florida, we now know that he supported many organizations such as Kids in Distress, Holy Cross Hospital, and The Starting Place.

In 1988, one of the first public announcements of Jim’s charitable giving was his $1 million gift to Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale following his open heart surgery. In November 2000, Jim and Jan announced a $6 million Challenge gift to Holy Cross Hospital, one of the largest single gifts the hospital has ever received from a living donor. The Morans' significant donation funded the five-story Jim Moran Heart & Vascular Center, a facility dedicated to being the preeminent provider of education, prevention, early detection and treatment of cardiac and vascular diseases. In May 2006, Jim and Jan and JM Family announced a $26 million Challenge to assist Holy Cross Hospital in the development of the Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Research Institute. Recognizing the opportunity to bring lifesaving treatments to our community, they pledged $10 million contingent on community contributions to the Institute.

Jim Moran with Youth Automotive Training Center students, 2000

Jim was most proud of the Youth Automotive Training Center (YATC) that he founded in 1984. This program provides mechanical training, academic education and life skills management to South Florida's at-risk youth. For the YATC students, the school offers a much-needed second chance for a successful, happy life. In addition to the instruction and personal assistance students receive while attending the school, YATC provides scholarships and ongoing support to its graduates to help them find jobs and continue achieving their goals. Once accepting 10 students per class, YATC now offers each year 30 disadvantaged young people the opportunity to change their lives for the better. With a graduate success rate of more than 90%, its unique formula is proven, and the school has served as a model for replication for similar programs across the nation, including the Toyota Motor Sales Los Angeles Urban League Automotive Training Center. In December 2001, YATC celebrated the grand opening of its new school in Deerfield Beach. In December 2004, through an initiative supported by Jim and Jan Moran, YATC successfully completed the Kresge Challenge and exceeded its $1 million endowment fund goal. Through the Community Foundation of Broward, the $10 million Kresge Challenge provided area nonprofits with the opportunity to either establish new endowment funds or grow existing funds as they plan for a future of community service. The school completed its $5 million Capital Campaign in 2005, spearheaded by Jim, which raised building, scholarship and endowment funds, ensuring the school's lifetime commitment to all future students and graduates.

Jim and Jan established the Jim Moran Children's Fund through the Community Foundation of Broward, as a part of a $1 million Challenge to the community, and in 1995, they issued a $500,000 Challenge with the United Way of Broward County, establishing the organization's first endowment at the Community Foundation of Broward. Jim and Jan demonstrated their continued commitment to the United Way again in 2000 when they issued a second $500,000 United Way Challenge, a gift the United Way recognized by honoring them with membership in its national Million Dollar Roundtable group of donors. In 2003, Jim and Jan introduced the $1 million Jim and Jan Moran Community Solutions Challenge: New Dollars through New Business. The two-year Challenge match was designed to increase first-time business participation in United Way of Broward County's Annual Campaign and increase fundraising contributions to the United Way of Broward County's Community Solutions Fund. In addition, the Challenge helped raise awareness of the programs that are meeting the most critical needs in this community.

In 1999, the South Florida community met a special Challenge for the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra from the Morans. In just eight months, the Philharmonic received $1 million in new contributions from the community plus a matching $1 million gift from Jim and Jan and JM Family.

Jim and Jan's commitment to human relations and equality for all was underscored by an $80,000 community Challenge given through the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) in honor of Jim's 80th birthday in 1998. The funds generated by this Challenge were used to create a permanent endowment for NCCJ at the Community Foundation of Broward – the first endowment of its kind for any NCCJ chapter in the nation. A year later, when accepting an award recognizing the completion of the $80,000 Challenge, Jim and Jan took their commitment one step further by pledging an additional $50,000 in matching funds to the endowment for NCCJ in 2000 upon completion of another ambitious community fundraising Challenge.

As a testament to Jim's confidence in the mission of the Urban League of Broward County, he initiated another Challenge with a pledge of $500,000 in matching funds to raise a total of $1 million for the Urban League's Campaign for Change to construct a new facility and build its endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Broward. Also in 2000, the Morans and JM Family recognized the 20th anniversary of Planned Parenthood of South Palm Beach and Broward Counties with a commitment to match $200,000 in new or increased giving. The resulting $400,000 would allow the organization to increase its endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Broward, specifically for the purpose of supporting the nationally acclaimed Carrera Program to prevent teen pregnancy.

In 2001, Jim and Jan offered a significant Challenge to Nova Southeastern University (NSU) to enable the University to revolutionize the family center outreach services provided to parents and childcare workers throughout Broward County. By matching $3 million in new or increased donations, Jim and Jan helped expand the University's innovative programs – such as those teaching parenting skills and school preparedness for young children to ensure accessibility to everyone in Broward County, including those who live in underserved neighborhoods. In addition, this gift created a strong endowment at the Community Foundation of Broward to allow these critical outreach programs to continue for many years to come and complete funding for the new facility at NSU, which is named the Jim & Jan Moran Family Center Village.

Jim Moran Scholars with Jan & Jim Moran, 2002

With the desire to foster the dreams of many to own businesses, in 1995 Jim and Jan Moran and JM Family established the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University (FSU) College of Business with an initial $1 million gift. Beginning in 1998, additional contributions from Jim and Jan, JM Family, and The Jim Moran Foundation have enabled the Jim Moran Institute to enhance its programs and services. The gift also provides annual recognition of up to two Jim Moran Scholars – African-American high school seniors from South Florida and North Florida who are role models and have received admission to FSU with an identified financial barrier. Presented by The Jim Moran Foundation, Scholars receive a four-year, needs-based scholarship with funding through the Jim Moran Institute.

The mission of the Jim Moran Institute is to cultivate, train and inspire entrepreneurial leaders through world-class education, leading-edge research and applied training, consulting and mentorship and public recognition. Its faculty and staff provide students, faculty, entrepreneurs and business owners – at no charge – the tools and expertise necessary to develop strategies that establish and sustain advantages for businesses in today's competitive marketplace and to creatively pursue new opportunities and innovations involving the start-up of new business ventures.

In December 2015, Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation committed $100 million to FSU – the largest gift in the university's history – to create the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship and to continue funding and expanding the Jim Moran Institute. As the nation's largest public interdisciplinary, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship, it will greatly expand entrepreneurship courses currently taught in the College of Business and make them available to all FSU students. The official launch is scheduled for August 2018 – as part of the celebration of what would have been Jim Moran’s 100th birthday.

In 1997, the Jim and Jan Moran Theatre in the Times Union Performing Arts Center in Jacksonville opened in honor of the Morans' generous gift to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, made in part to sponsor a series of educational concerts for young people. Also in 1997, the Broward Performing Arts Foundation named the Jan and Jim Moran Stage in the Au Rene Theater of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of their substantial gift. The Morans' donation endowed and expanded the Rising Stars Summer Camp Program and assisted in retiring the Center's bond debt. During the Morans' involvement in Rising Stars hundreds of campers benefited from this six-week camp, which was initiated to serve children from traditionally underserved Broward County neighborhoods who had little or no access to the performing arts.

Jan & Jim Moran with members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, 1995

Jim and Jan spearheaded the renovation and expansion of Collier City Learning Library, a project that developed after being introduced to the library through the Toyota Families for Learning Center in 1991. After learning about Collier City and attending the dedication of the Toyota Families for Learning Center, they were impressed and moved by the extraordinary dedication of the library's staff and their commitment to developing true family literacy. The expanded facility houses a computer lab, distance learning opportunities, space for children, youth and adult programs and meeting rooms to offer residents a place to study, learn and grow. The expansion/renovation project was completed in 2003 and is now named The Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library, a decision made by the Broward County Board of Commissioners in recognition of Jan's commitment to the Collier City neighborhood.

Another of Jim and Jan's most noteworthy projects was the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County's Capital Campaign, for which they served as General Chairpersons for more than four years beginning in 1995. This effort, one of the most successful Capital Campaigns for any Boys & Girls Clubs in the United States, raised $21.8 million. The Capital Campaign funds were used to upgrade the nine existing units and build three new Clubs, including the Jim & Jan Moran Unit in Deerfield Beach. The successful fundraising also enabled all clubs to expand educational programming offered at each location in Broward County. In November 2001, Jim and Jan were recognized by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America by presenting them with the National Award of Merit.

Along with Paul Newman and General Norman Schwarzkopf, the Morans became Founding Board Members of Camp Boggy Creek in 1995, an organization that provides seriously ill children with a safe, fun and medically sound camp experience for one week free of charge in Cassia, Florida, just outside of Orlando. Family weekends are hosted throughout the year to help the children and families learn more and cope with their specific illnesses.

Longtime supporters of Women In Distress (WID), Jim and Jan provided the lead gift for the organization’s 1995 capital campaign when the Jim & Jan Moran Family Center opened in Fort Lauderdale. In 2009, Jan announced the Moran Challenge Grant and made a personal gift to assist with the Project SAFE Place Capital Campaign for the new Jim & Jan Moran Family Center campus in Deerfield Beach. Successful in encouraging others to give, the challenge raised more than $1.9 million and an additional $665,062 in matching funds. In 2014, WID presented Jan with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her more than 20 years of leadership as an advocate for children and families.