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Jordan closes charitable foundation

CHICAGO, March 8 -- Basketball superstar Michael Jordan says he will continue to support worthwhile charities but is closing his charitable foundation at the end of March. Jordan said growing administrative costs limited the foundation's 'charitable reach' and indicated he plans to take a more personal approach to his philanthropic activities. 'By taking a more personal and a less institutional approach, my wife and I will know that every dollar we give will go directly to help others, undiluated by administrative costs that come with running a foundation,' he said. The Michael Jordan Foundation was started in 1988 to raise funds for charities. 'The foundation was established initally as a vehicle to raise charitable funding to levels beyond that which I could support personaly at the time, by enlisting the help of others,' Jordan said in a statement. It's been my good fortune since then to be able to financially support my broadened philanthropic interests.' Last year, the foundation gave more than $1 million to 20 groups but was criticized for excessive administrative and salary costs amounting to about 66 percent of the foundation's revenues. However, the head of the charitable bureau of the Illinois Attorney General's office said the spending for staff, accountants, lawyers was not out of line with administrative costs of other charitable organizations. Delores Jordan, Michael Jordan's mother and co-founder of the foundation will work directly with the James Jordan Boys and Girls Club on the West Side. Jordan personally gave $2 million to the club named after his late father.

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Other charities aided by the foundation include the Chicago Abused Women's Coalition, the Night Ministry, Henry Booth House, the Roseland Training Center and the Youth Service Project. Jordan said he and his wife, Juanita, want 'to give more privately rather than to go to these corporations and beg for those kinds of dollars.'

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