This Hedge Fund Billionaire Care About Wildlife. Where's His Giving Going?

When hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio has a passion, he backs it up with funding. This is true when it comes to his unique interest in transcendental meditation, a practice he's supported over the years to the tune of more than $10 million dollars.

It's also true when it comes to his environmental philanthropy. Dalio once marvled in a WSJ interview: "Man will never be able to build a flying device like a mosquito. I look at nature's complexity and think, man has the intelligence of mold growing on an apple." 

Save for a $6 million grant to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Dalio's foundation has only given modestly so far to animal and wildlife organization's specifically. Still, this funder clearly has a keen interest in this area and is worth keeping a close eye on. Here are a few things to know about Dalio philanthropy:

1. It's Regional

The Dalio Foundation isn't yet giving large and frequently to national organizations. His foundation is based out of Connecticut, where a good amount of his grantmaking takes place. It's recently given to Friends of the Audubon Center in Greenwich which received $25,000. The foundation also doles out grants in the New York City area and in Florida. Bonefish and Tarpon Unlimited (now called Bonefish & Tarpon Trust) in the Florida Keys has received a modest but steady stream of money in recent years. 

2. But He's Not Wedded to a Region

One of the larger gifts in recent years out of the foundation was to Ducks Unlimited,  a wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization in Tennsesse. It's unclear what accounts for this particular commitment, but clearly Dalio isn't tied to one specific region. Ducks Unlimited received $205,000 in 2012 and a similar amount the year prior. 

3. This Might Be Just The Start

Dalio is on the board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, where, as mentioned, he has donated at least $6 million. He's also given to the National Audubon Society. Is this a sign of deepening environmental philanthropy? We'll have to wait and see. But as a signatory of the Giving Pledge and a fortune over $15 billion to his name, Dalio is going to have to ramp up his giving eventually. 

Related: Dalio Foundation: Grants for Animals and Wildlife