Dirk Ziff Cares About Substance Abuse. But Will He Give More in That Area?

The oldest of the three Ziff brothers, Dirk Ziff, has $4.8 billion to his name and has shown an interest in conservation, arts, and various causes in New York and Massachusetts. He also once made a $1 million gift to the Caron Foundation in 2008 (now called the Caron Treatment Centers), which makes us wonder if he'll do more in this area as he steps up his philanthropy down the line. 

Caron Treatment Centers is a nationwide, nonprofit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment. The Caron network has treatment centers in Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas and has regional offices in cities such as New York and Boston.

What made Ziff give this gift in the first place?

For starters, it helps to know what the other Ziff brothers have been into. Ziff's younger brother Robert has been involved with the Caron Foundation since at least the early 2000s. In fact, the younger Ziff has sat on the board of directors at Caron in the past. In 2003, when the Caron Foundation was engaged in a $8.5 million fundraising campaign called the "Kick Off Capital Campaign," Robert Ziff was among those honored at a gala. Robert himself gave $83,000 to Caron in 2007. It's likely that Robert got Ziff to buy into the foundation and make his large gift. 

The 2008 gift established the Ziff Family Self Development Endowment Fund, designed to provide scholarships for operational expenses at the Breakthrough at Caron Program. 

Caron has facilities in some of Ziff's stomping grounds, with facilities in New York where he works, and Massachusetts and Florida where he vacations.

In 2010, Ziff donated $10,000 to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Center at Columbia University (CASA Columbia) in support of its mental health and crisis intervention programs. Ziff is an alumnus of the school. 

Yet since these two gifts, Ziff hasn't done much else in this area. But it's worth keeping an eye on him, given that the Ziff brothers are winding down their hedge fund and a turn to philanthropy would seem like a natural next move. 

Related: Everything You Wanted to Know About Ziff Family Philanthropy