This Connecticut Billionaire is Deep Into Charters: Here Are a Few Must Knows

Dartmouth and Harvard Business School graduate Stephen Mandel worked for Julian Robertson's Tiger Management before founding Lone Pine Capital in 1997. The firm manages around $17 billion and Mandel now has a net worth of $2.3 billion. 

Mandel's philanthropy flows from multiple sources. He and his wife run a more personal outfit called the ZOOM Foundation which has a lot of assets (more than $830 million as of mid-2014) and mainly focuses on fellowships. (The foundation has generated some controversy for its role in Connecticut state politics.)

But a second Mandel foundation, the Lone Pine Foundation, is the real heart of the billionaire's grantmaking and one of the foundation's priorities is funding charter schools, especially in Connecticut and New York. Here are a few things to know:

1. The foundation gives to a litany of schools annually

Charter schools and charter advocacy groups get the majority of the foundation's money. Achievement First received at least $200,000 annually between 2010 and 2013. Teach for America, KIPP, the Boys and Girls Club, Posse, Prep for Prep, Year Up and many others have all seen steady funding from Lone Pine Foundation. What's more, the foundation has given to dozens of public schools annually in Connecticut towns near the foundation and Mandel's home.

2. Mandel's background matters, but he's not the only one to watch

Mandel sits on the national board of Teach for America and is a former trustee at Phillips Exeter Academy and The Children's School. The Lone Pine Foundation is unique in that every staff members on the advisory board are equal voting members. Sure, Mandel has the power of his money, but he's not necessarily the only one with pull in this foundation. Looking at executive director Lucy Ball, she is on several Connecticut boards such as the Fairfield County Community Foundation. 

Normally, we'd also consider Mandel's wife Susan, who also has a business background, but she's more involved with the emerging ZOOM Foundation than Lone Pine. 

3. The foundation even gives internationally

The Lone Pine Foundation also funds in London and Hong Kong and has given to Teach First UK and Teach for China.

To read more about the foundation's charter school grantmaking, read our full profile here